University of Kent at Canterbury

Title of the module
Stylistics: Language in Literature
School which will be responsible for management of the module
School of European Culture and Languages (English Language & Linguistics)
Start date of the module
September 2012
The number of students expected to take the module
Modules to be withdrawn on the introduction of this proposed module and consultation
with other relevant Schools and Faculties regarding the withdrawal
LZ505 Language in Literature I and LZ506 Language in Literature II
Level of the module (e.g. Certificate [C], Intermediate [I], Honours [H] or Postgraduate
The number of credits and ECTS value which the module represents
30 (15 ECTS)
Which term(s) the module is to be taught in (or other teaching pattern)
Autumn or Spring
Prerequisite and co-requisite modules
10. The programme(s) of study to which the module contributes
English Language and Linguistics (SH and JH). This module is core and
compulsory for students studying on JH programmes with Comparative Literature
or English & American Literature.
11. The intended subject specific learning outcomes
Students will be able to:
1. select and apply precise linguistic, stylistic and narratological terminology
to the study of poetry, prose and drama texts
2. analyse the linguistic and stylistic choices a writer makes which are
connected with meaning and effect on the reader
3. extrapolate from linguistic examples and evidence those characteristics
that contribute to individual authorial ‘style’ and world view, including the
effect of social and cultural context on the production of literary meaning
4. develop their understanding of the interconnections and interfaces
between English literature and language
5. present, evaluate and interpret both qualitative and quantitative stylistic
and linguistic data to develop lines of argument and make sound
judgements about literary discourse
6. come to a detailed understanding of concepts relating to literary genre
12. The intended generic learning outcomes and, as appropriate, their relationship to
programme learning outcomes
Students will be able to:
1. engage in critical reflection, verbal discussion and written analysis of
various core theoretical texts, exemplar texts and secondary critical
commentary and to devise and sustain arguments relating to this analysis
using ideas and techniques at the forefront of the discipline; students will
also gain an appreciation of the uncertainty and ambiguity of language and
meaning through engagement with this body of critical and stylistic theory
2. make judgments about the appropriateness of different theoretical
approaches to problem-solving in texts, frame appropriate questions to
achieve a solution – or identify a range of solutions - and evaluate the
efficacy of such approaches
3. demonstrate the ability to undertake independent learning (exercising
initiative and personal responsibility), use secondary texts with critical
discrimination, reflect critically on their own academic work and present
cogent arguments in both oral and written form
13. A synopsis of the curriculum
This module is concerned with the stylistic analysis of literature and is based on the
premise that the decision to study literature is also a decision to study the expressive
mechanics of language (and vice versa). Attention is given to all three main genres
(poetry, prose fiction and drama); thus the module is divided into three blocks
according to the kind of text analysed. The first section examines poetry and considers
topics such as patterns of lexis, phonetic and metrical organisation and the
relationship to meaning; the second looks at fiction through patterns of style variation,
inferencing and speech thought presentation; the third examines drama and considers
topics such as the patterns in turn-taking and their relationship to the roles and
functions of characters, speech act analysis and styles of politeness behaviour. At all
stages of the module, the social and cultural context of the works studies will be an
important consideration.
14. Indicative Reading List
Culpepper, J, M. Short and P. Verdonk (1988) Exploring the Language of Drama: from
Text to Context, Routledge.
Short, M.H. (1986) Exploring the Language of Poems, Plays and Prose, Longman.
Verdonk, P. and J.J. Weber (1996) Twentieth Century Fiction: from Text to Context,
Simpson, P. (2004) Stylistics: a resource book for students, Routledge.
Short, M. and G. Leech (2007) Style in Fiction: a linguistic introduction to English
fictional prose, Longman.
15. Learning and Teaching Methods, including the nature and number of contact hours and
the total study hours which will be expected of students, and how these relate to
achievement of the intended learning outcomes
One one-hour lecture per week + one two-hour seminar per week x 10 = 30 total contact
hours (Total study hours = 300) + film screenings, reading events, compulsory
assessment feedback sessions and open lectures.
During lectures, methodological tools and model analyses will be presented and
discussed, helping students to achieve the following learning outcomes: to
demonstrate good knowledge of twentieth-century and more recent literary and
linguistic theory, to come to an awareness of current thinking in the discipline of
stylistics and literary studies more generally, to situate these theories in a wider
cultural context and to understand the value and the limitations/drawbacks of such
approaches to the literary text. Lectures will also give practise in extracting information
from oral sources and reflecting critically on this information, helping the acquisition
of key skills. (LO: 11.4-6 & 12.1-2)
The seminars will allow students to re-interrogate the methods and techniques they
have learned in lectures and on prerequisite modules to review, consolidate, extend
and apply their knowledge and understanding, and to initiate and follow through their
own projects (students are encouraged to demonstrate self-direction and originality).
There will also be ample opportunity for critical reflection on the part of the individual
student, helping to fulfil the following learning outcomes: to carry out detailed analysis
of a range of texts, use linguistic, stylistic and literary theory and related concepts to
make informed critical and evaluative judgments, demonstrate a detailed
understanding of the interconnections between language and literature and come to a
detailed understanding of the nature of literary genre. (LO: 11.1-6 & 12.1-3)
Seminars will also contribute to the achievement of the following generic outcomes: to
engage in critical reflection, verbal discussion and written analysis of various texts, to
make judgments about the appropriateness of different theoretical approaches to
problem-solving in texts and to demonstrate the ability to undertake independent
learning and to self-direct, use secondary texts with critical discrimination, reflect
critically on their own academic work and present cogent arguments in oral form
through seminar presentations and associated group work. (LO: 11.6 & 12.1-3)
16. Assessment methods and how these relate to testing achievement of the intended
learning outcomes
100% coursework, made up of 1 1000-word essay (30%), 1 2000-word essay (60%) and
seminar contribution (10%).
The essays will test achievement of the following learning outcomes: a systematic and
detailed understanding of stylistic, linguistic and literary theory, contextualising these
theories, carrying out detailed textual analysis, showing cogent application of
particular theories and approaches, making critical and evaluative judgements about
texts, demonstrating detailed understanding of the interconnections between style and
genre and understanding how theoretical approaches to the text impact on a wide
range of themes and topics. (LO 11.1-5)
Essays will also help test the achievement of the following generic outcomes and key
skills: critical reflection, written analysis, the ability to undertake independent learning
and use secondary texts with critical discrimination, present cogent arguments in
written form, communicate logically and effectively in writing and use IT appropriately
and effectively. (LO 11.6 & 12.1-3)
The seminar contribution mark will test achievement and understanding of all of the
above (with the exception of writing skills).
17. Implications for learning resources, including staff, library, IT and space
Staffing will be provided from the existing resources of the English Language and
Linguistics Section of SECL. The library already has extensive holdings in the area
covered by the course, including multiple copies of all key texts. No special
implications for new IT or space resources are anticipated.
18. The School recognises and has embedded the expectations of current disability equality
legislation, and supports students with a declared disability or special educational need
in its teaching. Within this module we will make reasonable adjustments wherever
necessary, including additional or substitute materials, teaching modes or assessment
methods for students who have declared and discussed their learning support needs.
Arrangements for students with declared disabilities will be made on an individual basis,
in consultation with the University’s disability/dyslexia support service, and specialist
support will be provided where needed.
19. Campus(es) where module will be delivered
If the module is part of a programme in a Partner College or Validated Institution,
please complete the following:
20. Partner College/Validated Institution:
21. University School (for cognate programmes) or Faculty (for non-cognate programmes)
responsible for the programme:
Statement by the School Director of Learning and Teaching/School Director of
Graduate Studies (as appropriate): "I confirm I have been consulted on the above module
proposal and have given advice on the correct procedures and required content of module
Director of Learning and Teaching/Director of Graduate
Studies (delete as applicable)
Print Name
Statement by the Head of School: "I confirm that the School has approved the introduction
of the module and, where the module is proposed by School staff, will be responsible for its
Head of School
Print Name