Students who are not accustomed to academic writing and presentation tend to fail in citing reference materials appropriately. This study approached in tackling this issue from the perspective of course development. A course on Japanese language pedagogy was employed in four stages that focused on their autonomous thought process; (1) reading a specialized book and discussing it, (2) working on a practical assignment related to the book, (3) making a presentation related to the assignment and discussing it, (4) writing a paper. This course design persuaded the students to read reference materials repeatedly and think about them critically. Additionally, it helped in developing to their academic writing and presentation abilities through insightful learning.