Module Catalogue 2021/22

SEL1030 : Close Reading

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Ella Dzelzainis
  • Demonstrator: Dr Marco Medugno, Mr Toby Martinez De Las Rivas, Mr Steve Kendall, Miss Chiara Pellegrini Giampietro, Dr Bysshe Coffey, Mr Jonathan Quayle
  • Lecturer: Dr Alex Niven, Dr Hannah Durkin, Dr James Harriman-Smith, Dr Chloe Ashbridge, Dr Kirsten MacLeod
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



The module aims:

1. To develop students' ability to close read the formal and stylistic features of a range of literary modes.

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 will equip students with the analytical skills and vocabulary needed to read and write meaningfully and accurately about a wide range of 'texts'. These skills will underpin the study in the rest of the degree. The syllabus will involve the analysis of works in a range of different literary modes. 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.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

At the end of the module, students will have gained:

1. knowledge of how to approach and engage in the close reading of a range of literary modes

2. knowledge of the critical vocabulary needed to discuss key formal and stylistic features of works in each mode

3. an understanding of how to apply critical terms in their analyses

4. insight into the significance of literary form

Intended Skill Outcomes

At the end of the module, students will be able to demonstrate:

1. the ability to identify key formal and stylistic features of a wide range of texts

2. the ability to ask new and different questions of texts informed by the understanding of their form

3. the ability to formulate and support their own critical interpretation of a text, using their analytical skills and critical vocabulary

4. the ability to present a meaningful critical analysis of unfamiliar extracts, demonstrating close engagement with it, in an academic essay

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00Lecture material
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00Seminar work
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity101:0010:00Study groups
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1157:00157:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures introduce students to a range of literary modes, 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.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio1M60Essay portfolio (2 x 1000 word essays) plus weekly submission of close reading exercise.
Portfolio1A40Essay portfolio (2 x 1000 word essays)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The weekly exercise provides practice in close reading. The mid-module portfolio consists of two essays which assess the first half of the module, and the end-of-semester portfolio assesses the second half of the module.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2021/22 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2022/23 entry will be published here in early-April 2022. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.