ELE 3918 Critical Analysis and Efficient Writing

ELE 3918 Critical Analysis and Efficient Writing

Course code: 
ELE 3918
Law and Governance
Course coordinator: 
Knut Sogner
Espen Ekberg
Course name in Norwegian: 
Kritisk analyse og effektiv skriving
Product category: 
Bachelor - Programme Electives
2024 Spring
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

Many positions in the business world are about doing analysis and studies, interpreting texts, and critically reading budgets and accounts, and then communicating the analysis internally in one's own organization or externally to customers. This bacelorcourse will train the student's skills in precisely these activities. The course's ambition is to strengthen the student's general abilities for information gathering, interpretation and effective written communication. The course is also suitable for preparing students to write a bachelor's thesis.

As part of building the skills needed to gather, interpret, and disseminate information in a serious and effective way, the course provides a special introduction to qualitative social science research methods, including various methods for collecting, analysing and producing qualitative data. "Research" in this context must be understood as a systematic approach to acquiring new knowledge and critically assessing the truth value of this knowledge. The primary purpose of the course is not to train students to become researchers, but to develop their general abilities to acquire and impart knowledge.

We will draw on teachers with different approaches to business-relevant methods, including text analysis and source criticism, participatory observation, and interviews. At the same time, training is provided in critically assessing economically relevant figures, accounts and other quantitative information, with particular emphasis on the importance of being able to interpret such data as products of human activity. The course also sheds light on the relationship between quantitative and qualitative methods more generally and aims to give students an introduction to method triangulation. The course places particular emphasis on enabling the student to critically assess which methods and which data are suitable for analysing different types of issues.

The course will then give students knowledge of effective strategies for writing and revising different types of texts as well as practice in designing such texts through prescribing, writing and finishing work. Increased awareness of the importance of being able to write well is a key goal. Students should not only understand how knowledge and truth are created; they should also be able to convey it.

The course has a portfolio as a form of evaluation. The portfolio is composed of three written papers that are submitted together towards the end of the semester. The evaluation of the texts is based on both academic content and how the thesis is written and structured. Pedagogically, the course is process oriented.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

During the course students shall acquire:

  • Basic insight into general scientific principles for research.
  • Basic insight into various forms of qualitative and critical interpretive methods, including text analysis and source criticism, participatory observation and interviews.
  • Knowledge of method triangulation.
  • Knowledge of different frameworks / models for structuring texts.
  • Knowledge of effective strategies for planning, writing and revising different types of texts
  • Knowledge of criteria for assessment of texts (in terms of structure, logic, readability, use of terms, etc.)
Learning outcomes - Skills

After completed course students shall:

  • Based on a larger problem complex, be able to design specific problems that can be answered through available data and methods.
  • Be able to assess the suitability of different methods for answering different types of questions.
  • Be able to critically evaluate financial figures, accounts and other quantitative information.
  • Be able to carry out a simple, investigative analysis and communicate the findings in an effective way.
  • Practice skills in designing different types of texts through prescribing, writing and finishing.
  • Be able to structure texts to ensure an effective "flow" between different parts of the text
  • Be able to receive and provide feedback on text, and revise and improve draft texts based on this feedback.
General Competence

Be able to reflect in a balanced and critical way on how reliable and true knowledge is produced.

  • Increased awareness of the importance of being able to write well.
  • Increased motivation to develop own skills and knowledge of writing
Course content

The course will have a two-part orientation, partly aimed at critical analysis and partly aimed at writing.

The section on critical analysis will address the most common methods for qualitative information gathering, text analysis and source criticism, participatory observation and interviews. It will also address critical analyses of economic data and the principles of method triangulation.

The section on writing will address how texts can be structured, it will address effective strategies for planning, writing and revising different types of texts and emphasizing key criteria for evaluating texts.

Teaching and learning activities

The course will consist of lectures, video lectures, class discussion, group work, writing exercises, written introduction.

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.

Higher Education Entrance Qualification


Deviations in teaching and exams may occur if external conditions or unforeseen events call for this.

Required prerequisite knowledge

No particular prerequisites are required.

Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Written submission
1 Semester(s)
Exam code: 
ELE 39181
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Portfolio assessment
Total weight: 
Student workload
26 Hour(s)
Prepare for teaching
80 Hour(s)
78 Hour(s)
Feedback activities and counselling
16 Hour(s)
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 7,5 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of at least 200 hours.