Introduction to Literary Study module (EN11001)

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EN11001 Introduction to Literary Study introduces students to University-level work in Literary Studies through close examination of the three main literary genres: drama, poetry and the novel. Through close study of relevant examples, the module provides students with fundamental tools for the study of literary texts. Lectures will cover essay writing and referencing skills, tragic and comic forms, performance, irony, genres of poetry, metre and stanza, imagery and symbolism, diegesis, focalisation and other formal aspects of the novel. The module will also introduce students to foundational questions in literary theory in order to provide a thorough grounding in the subject prior to more specialised modules in the programme.


The course will be taught through a combination of lectures and tutorials.

Lectures: Lectures are meetings of the whole first-year class. There are two one-hour lectures per week - one on Monday 11-12 and the other on Tuesday 2-3. In general, though not too strictly, the first lecture will seek to introduce some of the critical and conceptual vocabulary with which you are expected to be familiar in your analysis of texts; the second lecture will employ this vocabulary in a discussion of a set text.

Tutorials: Tutorials are 1.5 hour compulsory meetings of small groups of students with their tutor. You will be assigned a tutorial group at the start of the module. Tutorials are essentially discussion-based classes and you will be expected to contribute to these sessions and prepare carefully for them. The contents of lectures and tutorials are closely integrated; missing lectures will be to your distinct disadvantage. Attendance at tutorials is compulsory.


This term you will write three essays (30% of the overall module mark each), and take the Module Quiz (for the remaining 10%);

Your essays will be practical criticism pieces (close readings of a given passage), and will be due on the Mondays of Weeks 7, 10 & 13.

Essay questions on Drama will be set in Week 5 Essay questions on Poetry will be set in Week 8 Essay questions on the Novel will be set Week 11

Essays should about 1000 words long (excluding quotations and footnotes) and follow carefully the plagiarism guidelines covered in weeks 1 and 2. Submit your essays by uploading them to Turnitin via My Dundee.

Module Aims

1. To provide an introduction to English at university level for students of all age groups and with a wide variety of previous experiences, including qualifications gained from CSYS, Higher, Advanced Level and University Access courses.

2. To investigate the nature and potential of the major literary genres: drama, poetry, and the novel.

3. To introduce some conceptual tools that aid the analysis of texts.

4. To further the skills of close reading.

5. To develop as transferable skills critical analysis, effective participation in small-group discussion, and a professional approach to making written presentations.

Intended learning outcomes

You should:

 1. be able to discuss a variety of texts from the three main literary genres (poetry, drama, and the novel);

 2. show some awareness of the literary vocabulary used to describe the formal features of each genre;

 3. be able to comment in detail on the effects of style and language in texts;

 4. be able to write essays that incorporate some of the above and demonstrate the ability to construct clear and relevant arguments.


Drama: General and theoretical issues in drama, including comic and tragic form, irony, dramatic representation, realism and symbolism, staging effects, intentionality and audience;

Poetry: General and theoretical issues in poetry, including imagery and metaphor, form and genre, syntax, rhythm and metre;

Novel: General and theoretical issues in the novel, including voice and focalisation, mimesis and diegesis, representing speech, narrative structure and time.