SEL1030 : Close Reading

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The module aims:

1. To develop students' ability to close-read poetry, prose, theatre and film through a focus on the formal and stylistic features of each mode.

2. To introduce students to the critical vocabulary used to identify and describe those features.

3. To teach students how to apply that critical vocabulary thoughtfully and with precision in their own analyses.

Outline Of Syllabus

Close reading is one of the tools which are fundamental to any degree involving the study of literature. This core Stage 1 module is therefore designed to equip students with the analytical skills and vocabulary needed to read and write meaningfully and accurately about a wide range of 'texts'. The syllabus will involve the analysis of works in each of the four main modes: poetry, prose, theatre and film. Lectures and seminars will concentrate on developing students' understanding of how to approach works in each mode, identifying and interpreting key formal and stylistic features. Students will develop their own close-reading practice both orally and in writing.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion184:0084:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture261:0026:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching121:0012:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study178:0078:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures introduce students to the four main modes (poetry, prose, theatre and film), examining some of the major stylistic and formal features which are particular to a mode or in some cases common to all of them, and explaining essential critical terms and how to use them. Seminars give students the opportunity to develop and practise their analytical skills orally and through preparatory small-group written work, using both set texts and unseen sample extracts from each mode. Students will also receive detailed guidance on their assessments in some of the lectures and regular feedback on their assignments and study group work.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio1A1001800 word essays (x2) plus a 300 word reflective piece on the feedback received from the formative assessment
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Essay1MA close reading of one of the first two forms studied on the module.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The formative essay of 1000 words allows students the opportunity to gain feedback on a close reading of one of the genres studied in the first half of the module. The final portfolio consists of two essays (2 x 1800 words) which provide close readings of two of the other genres, and a short reflective piece (300 words) on the feedback from the marked formative essay. The marked formative essay will also be resubmitted along with the rest of the portfolio.

Reading Lists