ENG-10026 - Reading Literature
Coordinator: Jonathon Shears Tel: +44 1782 7 33014
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 4
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733147

Programme/Approved Electives for 2023/24


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2023/24

Module Overview
This is the first of two compulsory core modules in first year for principal students of English and for single honours students in English and in English & American Literature; the other is 'Composition' in semester 2. In these two modules we aim to develop the foundational skills for literary study at university.

How is university English different from 'A' level? What sorts of concepts and contexts are important for studying literature? What makes literature distinctive and exciting? This core introductory module aims to answer these questions and thereby enable students to manage the transition from 'A' level or equivalent to self-study, group work, and formal assessment at university level. The texts on this module are representative of the wide range of research interests of the lecturers in the English Programme and we have chosen them because they are all great reads. Alongside these primary works, you will also be introduced to some key ideas and terms in literary criticism, as well as to all the research resources available to you at Keele. 'Reading Literature' is a module designed to develop and strengthen your pleasure, knowledge, and confidence as a reader of literature.

Texts for Purchase
Andrew Bennett and Nicholas Royle, An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory, 4th edn., Longman, rev. 2009.
Aphra Behn, Oroonoko, ed. Joanna Lipking, Norton, 2010
Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient, Bloomsbury, 1993.
'The Island' in The Township Plays, ed. Dennis Walder, Oxford University Press, 1993.
Lord Byron, Poetry and Prose, ed. Alice Levine, Norton, 2010.
Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights, ed. Pauline Nestor, Penguin, 2008.

1: Close Reading, weighted 30% (1,200 words)
This is a close reading written exercise focusing on a short extract of drama or poetry or prose. It will be set in week 3 (posted on Blackboard), and is to be handed in during week 6.
2: Two Hour Seen Examination, weighted 50%
You answer two questions from a list of ten. This will be a seen paper, but not open book. You will have the opportunity to practice through a mock exam exercise to be considered and completed between weeks 10 and 12.
3: Class Participation, weighted 20%
A mark will be given for class participation skills. These include: contribution to discussion, group skills, preparation, etc. Participation is assessed on the basis of evidence of preparation in response to set seminar topics, and readiness to apply the preparation positively in class discussion.

To develop students┐ ability in the close literary analysis of prose, poetry, and drama
To develop essay-writing skills, including producing a thesis and sustaining an argument
To impart research skills (use of library, electronic resources, etc.)
To ensure competence in grammar and the mechanics of writing
To introduce students to essential techniques and conventions of presenting ideas in writing, including correct citation and referencing

Intended Learning Outcomes

assess, organise, and engage with a wide variety of sources (including electronic ones) as part of the practice of research: 2
demonstrate skills in close reading
: 1,2
demonstrate competence in academic writing: 1,2
develop and sustain critical arguments: 1,2
express themselves in clear and grammatical written English: 1,2
demonstrate an understanding of the conventions of academic citation: 2

Study hours

Lectures (12 hours)
Small group classes (12 hours)
Whole cohort live sessions (12 hours)
Seminar preparation and private study (83 hours)
Formative exercise preparation and writing (10 hours)
Final essay preparation and writing (20 hours)
Individual consultation and feedback with tutor (1 hour)

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Short Paper weighted 30%
Short written exercise (1000 words)
Close reading exercise. Students will be asked to choose a passage of prose or poetry taken from texts studied on the module and perform a close reading. Through this, they will demonstrate their understanding of both content and formal features, and show their ability to develop a sustained argument. This assignment will be 1000 words (+/- 10%).

2: Essay weighted 70%
1500-word essay
Students will choose from a choice of questions and will write an essay based on two of the module's set texts, for which they will be required to show their awareness of secondary criticism as well as developing an original academic argument. They will also be expected to show their ability to reference correctly and follow all the usual conventions for presentation and formatting.