Course Syllabus

Course Description

In this course, students will develop reading skills for improved comprehension in the arts and sciences. Students will also develop strategies for comprehending college texts across the disciplines, discerning organizational patterns, distinguishing between key points and support, drawing inferences, building vocabulary, problem-solving, mapping, and strengthening retention.

  1. Read texts with engagement and understanding.
  2. Apply text concepts to personal experience, previously learned knowledge, and practical situations.
  3. Retain and recall information.
  4. Understand worldviews among academic disciplines.

NOTE: This is a very rigorous course. Students will be expected to spend 9–12 hours per week on reading and assignments.


After completing this course, students will be able to do the following:

  • Apply reading strategies to determine the meaning of a text.
  • Create an evidence-based claim related to a class reading or topic.
  • Classify a text based on its rhetorical structure.
  • Create various types of text-based questions using course readings.
  • Compose a theme analysis based upon three assigned readings.

BYU-Idaho Learning Model Implementation

Prepare: Qualify to learn through appropriate preparation.

  • Complete all assigned readings and assignments before the due date.
  • Come to the course and the discussions prepared with questions you would like to discuss.
  • Be physically and spiritually prepared to learn.

Teach One Another: Clarify and deepen understanding through participation.

  • Participate in discussion boards.
  • Respect and learn from peers in discussion boards.
  • Develop the confidence to teach what you know to others.

Ponder and Prove: Demonstrate and apply knowledge.

  • Review the material being studied individually and as a group.
  • Use a learning journal or notebook to capture and apply key ideas.
  • Test yourself periodically and work on weak areas.

Course Materials

There is not textbook for this course. All course readings are articles that can be accessed from library resources or direct links.

Technical Requirements

This class will have all assignments and learning material in the course. Students will need access to a computer. It is also recommended that they have a webcam and a headset with a microphone in case Zoom is needed for tutoring.

Course Policies


Participation is crucial to the learning process. Students are expected to adhere to the BYU-Idaho Learning Model and be prepared and actively involved every week. The course relies heavily upon the practical application of learning. They will be graded on the quantity and quality of their participation and completion of assignments.

Late Work Policy

All assignments must be turned in the day they are due. Late assignments lose 20% each day for up to five days. No late work is accepted after five days. If a student experiences legitimate extenuating circumstances, they are urged to contact the instructor.

Academic Integrity

As described by the BYU-Idaho Honor Code, academic dishonesty constitutes a violation of the university rules and regulations and is punishable according to the procedures outlined by BYU-Idaho. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism, fabrication, falsification, and cheating.


Assignments/Tasks Percentage
Respond Entries 22%
Critical Thinking Questions and Reflection 22%
Reading Discussion 22%
Reading and Notes 22%
Exams 12%

Course Requirements

Reading Strategies and Skills Discussion

Each week, a new rhetorical pattern, strategy, or skill will be reviewed and discussed. Students should take notes about each pattern as they will be tested on this at the end of the semester.

Reading and Notes

There will typically be three readings (essays or articles) that students will need to read before the middle of the week. The readings will be composed of different complexities and styles. They will cover a wide array of topics. Students will be asked to create Cornell Notes for each article in the week and upload them as evidence of close reading.

Respond Entries

Students will create a journal entry for each of the readings. The journal entry will follow a specific format and require the student to analyze the text for the author's purpose, tone, and appeal, as well as to make a gospel connection.

Critical Thinking Questions

Students will be taught how to write interpretive, evaluative, and factual questions. They will create five questions for each essay that will be used during the week.

Midterm and Final Exams

There is a midterm exam that opens in Week 07. The midterm exam will ask students to reflect on three essays that they have read during the semester and write a short thematic analysis (five-paragraph analysis). Students will be asked to identify a central claim or theme and support the claim or theme with evidence from the passages they have read with appropriate reasoning, along with MLA documentation.

At the end of the semester, students will complete a three-part final exam. The exam is composed of a thematic analysis, rhetorical patterns test, and reflection.

Course Changes

Occasionally, adjustments are made mid-course to the syllabus. If any change is made to the syllabus, students will be notified and a copy of the changes will be available in I-Learn.

University Policies

Students with Disabilities

Brigham Young University-Idaho is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere that accommodates qualified persons with disabilities. If you have a disability and require accommodations, please contact the Disability Services Office at (208) 496-9210 or visit their website and follow the Steps for Receiving Accommodations. Reasonable academic accommodations are reviewed for all students who have qualified documented disabilities. Services are coordinated with students and instructors by the Disability Services Office.

This course may require synchronous meetings. If you are currently registered with the Disability Services Office and need an interpreter or transcriber for these meetings, please contact the deaf and hard of hearing coordinator at (208) 496-9219.

Other University Policies

Student Honor and Other Policies

Please read through the document called University Policies. It gives important information about the following topics:

  • Student Honor
    • Academic Honesty
    • Student Conduct
      • Sexual Harassment
  • Student with Disabilities
  • Complaints and Grievances
  • Copyright Notice

Go to the Student Resources module to review further resources and information.


There is tutoring available through the BYU-Idaho Reading Center. For more information about accessing tutoring for this class, please contact 208-496-4290.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due