The University of Southampton

PRES0010 Academic Reading (Pre-sessional Course B)

Module Overview

This module is non-credit bearing and forms part of Pre-sessional Course B in which you study Academic Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing. You also attend Independent Learning workshops to further develop critical thinking and study skills necessary to succeed at the University. The reading module is taught in conjunction with the writing module as these skills often overlap; for example, the ability to read critically is also an important skill for effective academic writing. As a result, you will be expected to practise a range of skills in the same class. The reading module follows the University of Southampton Pre- sessional Course B Reading and Writing syllabus.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The Pre-sessional academic reading module is part of an integrated programme designed to allow you to learn and practise the academic reading skills you will need to succeed in your future university study. Throughout the module, you will be strongly encouraged to develop your independent reading skills so that you are prepared for the challenges of the extensive reading you will be expected to undertake in your future programme of study.

Learning Outcomes

Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Use appropriate reading strategies for your purposes
  • Efficiently identify reliable sources appropriate for your discipline
  • Employ critical reading skills
  • Understand the structure of academic texts at whole text and paragraph level
  • Understand academic English writing structures and vocabulary at sentence and paragraph level


A. FINDING INFORMATION IN A TEXT 1. Reading for gist; identifying general information in a text – skimming techniques. 2. Locating specific information –scanning techniques. 3. Distinguishing between main ideas, subsidiary ideas and supporting information/examples. 4. Reading intensively for detailed understanding and implied information. 5. Understanding the structure of academic texts at whole text and paragraph level. B. CRITICAL READING 1. Identifying reliable/unreliable sources. 2. Identifying writer, intended audience and purpose. 3. Recognising bias and vested interest. 4. Making judgements about central claims of text and context for text. 5. Evaluating argument presented (reasoning, evidence and conclusions). C. UNDERSTANDING OF ACADEMIC ENGLISH WRITING STRUCTURES AND VOCABULARY AT SENTENCE AND PARAGRAPH LEVEL 1. Processing sentences with complex noun phrases, clauses and clause markers. 2. Understanding of discourse markers at paragraph and text level. 3. Knowledge of academic word list and verbs of reference. 4. Ability to work out the meaning of unknown vocabulary. 5. Recognising synonyms used in a text. 6. Distinguishing between nuances of meaning (ie precise understanding). 7. Understanding meaning referred to by pronouns and other reference phrases in specific contexts. D. USING ACADEMIC READING TEXTS FOR ASSIGNMENTS 1. Recognising and recording source details. 2. Using notes to record information from texts, including quotations. 3. Completing summaries based on notes and text information. 4. Recognising acceptable/ non-acceptable paraphrase from a text.

Special Features

This reading module forms part of Pre-sessional Course B and is taught alongside academic writing, academic speaking and listening, and independent learning.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

You will experience a wide variety of teaching and learning methods including: full class teaching; individual, pair and group work in class; set tasks to be completed outside class; use of authentic reading texts for exploitation; Independent Learning workshops; self-directed independent study and tutorials (normally in pairs with your tutor).

Independent Study4.58
Total study time9.75

Resources & Reading list

S Cottrell (2011). Critical Thinking Skills: Developing Effective Analysis and Argument. 

British Council Learn English Writing for a Purpose.

C Sowton (2014). Unlock Level 4 Reading and Writing Skills: Student's Book and Online Workbook (Cambridge Discovery Education Skills). 

University of Portsmouth [online]..

A Osmond (2013). Academic Writing and Grammar for Students. 

University of Michigan Press [online]..

H Reinders, N Moore and M Lewis (2008). The International Student Handbook. 

K Paterson, and R Wedge (2013). Oxford Grammar for EAP: English Grammar and Practice for Academic Purposes with answers. 

S Bailey (2015b). Academic Writing for International Students of Business. 

J Godfrey (2013a). How to Use Your Reading in Your Essays. 

K McMillan and J Weyers (2013). How to Research & Write a Successful PhD. 

C Fletcher (2013). Skills for Study Level 3. 

A Gillett, A Hammond and M Martala (2009). Successful Academic Writing (Inside Track Series). 

Anglia Ruskin University [online].

S McCarter and P Jakes (2009). Uncovering EAP: How to Teach Academic Writing and Reading. 

J McCormack and J Slaght (2012). Extended Writing and Research Skills Course Book. 

C Sowton (2012). 50 Steps to Improving your Academic Writing: Study Book. 

A Pallant (2012). English for Academic Study: Writing Course Book. 

Sage Study Skills Resources - Free online study skills resources.

LLAS webpage for exam preparation [online]..

D Hopkins and P Cullen (2007). Grammar for IELTS with Answers. 

J Slaght (2012). English for Academic Study: Reading and Writing Source Book. 

J Bell and S Walters (2014). Doing Your Research Project: A Guide for First-Time Researchers. 

Cite them right online.

University of Toronto [online]..

N Caplan (2012). Grammar Choices for Graduate and Professional Writers. 

A Oshima and A Hogue (2006). Writing Academic English. 

J Godfrey (2013b). The Student Phrase Book: Vocabulary for writing at university. 

Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL) [online]..

N Murray and G Hughes (2008). Writing Up Your University Assignments and Research Projects: A Practical Handbook. 

University of Nottingham AWL highlighter [online]..

S Bailey (2015a). Academic Writing: A Handbook for International Students. 

University of Manchester – Academic Phrasebank (pages for introducing work, referring to the literature, being critical, describing methods, reporting results, discussing findings, writing conclusions, general functions).

University of Nottingham AWL gapmaker [online]..

T Day (2013). Success in Academic Writing. 

D Burnapp (2009). Getting Ahead as an International Student. 

S Argent and O Alexander (2014). Access EAP: Frameworks Course Book. 

R Pears and G Shield (2013). Cite them Right. 

J Swales and C Feak (2012). Academic Writing for Graduate Students. 

UEfAP website (Andy Gillet) [online]..

R R Jordan (1999). Academic Writing Course. 

Academic Writing in English (AWE) Finnish Virtual Language Centre [online.

University of Southampton Harvard Guide.

A Wallwork (2012). English for Research: Usage, Style, and Grammar. 

K Pakenham, J McEntire and J Williams (2013). Making Connections Level 3 Student’s book. 

A McNair and F Gooch (2013). Language for Study Level 3. 

University of Southampton LibGuides@Southampton (Academic Skills:Home- useful links for academic writing, critical thinking, information management, academic integrity, presentation skills, exam techniques and resources [online]..





MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (90 minutes) 100%
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