Saturday , November 25 2023

Syllabus for Journalism & Media Studies Courses: Critical and Review Writing (CMS 202)

With the unbundling of Mass Communication programme in Nigeria, the face of communication education in the country has changed. The programme has transited into a full college/faculty while individual courses have adapted to the change. While several new courses now exist in the seven new departments, some of the courses you used to know before have also taken a new shape. We have done a thorough research on what these courses offer in universities across the world; and we have provided prototype syllabus for students to study ahead. This is also to assist lecturers who might be facing new challenges with several new courses to have an idea of what the syllabus of each course offers.



Faculty: Communication and Media Studies                                            Department: Journalism & Media Studies

Course Code: MAC 202                                         Unit(s): 2                      Semester: Second

Course Title: Critical and Review Writing

Lecturer:                                                       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 the theory and practice of 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.


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

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



Andrew Goatly and Preet Hiradhari (2016). Critical Reading and Writing in the Digital Age: An Introductory Coursebook. Routledge.

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

 Ifedayo Akinwalere (2016). The Art of Critical Writing & Reviewing. Ibadan: Emgee Publishing Ltd.



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

Critical Writing

How to write a critical book review

Writing a Critical Review 2

7 Rules for Writing Short Films

10 Characteristics Of Great Photos

A Concise Guide to Writing a Critical Book Review


READ ALSO: Syllabus for Journalism & Media Studies Courses: Intro to Communication I (CMS 101)

READ ALSO: Syllabus for Journalism & Media Studies Courses: Introduction To Communication II (CMS 102)

READ ALSO: Syllabus for Journalism & Media Studies Courses: History of Nigerian Media (CMS 103)

READ ALSO: Syllabus for Journalism & Media Studies Courses: Traditional African Communication Systems (CMS 105)

READ ALSO: Syllabus for Journalism & Media Studies Courses: Editing & Graphics of Communication (CMS 203)

About Chinenye Nwabueze

Nwabueze is a writer with passion for cutting-edge news

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