Critical Writing and Reviewing! Course Outline

Faculty: Social Sciences – Department: Mass Communication
Course Code: MAC 216 Unit(s): 2 – Semester: Second
Course Title: Critical Writing and Reviewing
Lecturer: Dr. Chinenye Nwabueze – Programme: B. Sc.

This course exposes students to the basics of critical thinking, questioning, reading and evaluation for review writing. It is structured to train students on how to critique a work objectively, that is, after asking critical questions about the work, interpreting the contents of the work for audience appreciation, and putting forward possible ways the work can be improved upon. At the end, students would be conversant with different kinds of review – film, book, journalistic work, music, artwork review. This includes a practical guide on the process of writing a meaningful, expository critical review.

By the end of this course, students will have learned:
Basic concepts associated with critical writing and reviewing;
Process of critical review writing;
Approaches to critical review writing;
Structure of a critical review;
Kinds of review.

Indoor Quizzes
Outdoor Quizzes
Practical Classroom Sessions


1. Introduction
Conceptual understanding of Critical writing and reviewing
Functions of Critical Reviewing
Characteristics of Critical Reviewing
Works that Can be Reviewed
Critical Reviewers’ Quick Guide

2. Critical Reviewing Process
Basic Research
Formulate Critical Questions
Examine the Work
Write the Review
Review the Review

3. Structure of a Critical Review.
The Head
The Neck
The Body
The Legs
Summarizing and Paraphrasing in a Review

4. Approaches to Critical Writing and Reviewing.
Moral Approach
Psychological Approach
Sociological Approach
Formalistic Approach
Biographical Approach
Gender Approach

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5. Book Review Writing
Types of Books
What is Book Review Writing
Critical Questions for Book Review
Steps in Writing a Book Review

6. Film Review Writing
What is Movie Review?
Elements of Movie Production
Types of Movies
Critical Questions for Film Review
Writing the Movie Review

7. Music Review Writing.
What is Music Review?
Kinds of Music
Kinds of Music Review
Critical Questions for Music Review
Writing the Music Review

8. Reviewing Journalistic Works
The Basics of Journalism
Types of Journalistic Works
Steps in Critical Review of a Journalistic Work

9. Reviewing Artistic Works
What is Artwork?
A Quick Guide to the Basics of Art, Art Forms and Concepts
What is Artistic Work Review?
Writing a critical Artistic Work Review

10. Class Activities

Nwabueze, C. (2015). Fundamentals of Critical Writing & Reviewing. Owerri: Topshelve .

Journal Article:
Blackey, Robert (Feb., 1994). Words to the Whys: Crafting Critical Book Reviews. The History Teacher, Vol. 27, No. 2 , pp. 159-166. Published by: Society for History Education (CLICK HERE to see the article

Useful Links:

Writing a Critical Review 2

7 Rules for Writing Short Films

10 Characteristics Of Great Photos


The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

Nwabueze is a communication researcher with several years of lecturing experience in Nigerian universities.

1 Comment

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  1. Nwoye chisom precious,( Reg no- 074) - 200 level

    1- hip hop
    2a) song title- turn by turn
    airtist – Element D boss

    genre- highlife
    Director xx- stars entertainment
    released in 2018
    duration- 3:15
    reviewer- Nwoye chisom precious
    2b-the song turn by turn is saying that everyone lives their own life the way they want and also describes girls and it has no meaningful.meaning. ( 2016054074)

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