University of Kent at Canterbury

The title of the module: Tackling Text: Explaining Style
The Department which will be responsible for management of the module: School of
European Culture and Languages
The Start Date of the Module: Spring Term 2011
The number of students expected to take the module: 45
Modules to be withdrawn on the introduction of this proposed module and consultation
with other relevant Departments and Faculties regarding the withdrawal: None
The level of the module: C (Certificate)
The number of credits which the module represents: 15 credits
Which term(s) the module is to be taught in (or other teaching pattern): Spring (Period
Prerequisite and co-requisite modules: None.
The programmes of study to which the module contributes: This module is available as
an option for the BA in English Language and Linguistics. It is also available as a wild
The intended subject specific learning outcomes and, as appropriate, their relationship
to programme learning outcomes: Students will be able to:
1. Select and apply precise stylistic strategies to analyse poetry, prose and drama texts: A2,
A6, A9; B10
2. Analyse the linguistic and stylistic choices a writer makes to create meaning and effect
programme outcomes: A4, A5; C18, C21-22
3. Develop an understanding of the interconnections between English literature and language
programme outcomes: A1, A7
4. Critically evaluate theories of stylistics: B11, B13; C21
5. Develop strategies towards more effective close reading.
The intended generic learning outcomes and, as appropriate, their relationship to
programme learning outcomes: Students will be able to:
1. Communicate the results of study and work accurately, with well structured and coherent
arguments: BC20; D23-25
2. Interact effectively within small groups, exercising personal responsibility and appropriate
decision-making skills: D25-27.
3. Develop their ability to work cooperatively with others, exercising personal responsibility
and sensitivity: D26, D27.
4. Demonstrate their ability to undertake independent learning, by taking initiative, being
organised and meeting deadlines: D26-32.
5. Demonstrate high sensitivity to the nuances of the written word, and the linguistic strategies
employed by authors in producing them: B11-13; D27
6. Reflect on and identify interdisciplinary and/or transferable skills: B16
A synopsis of the curriculum:
The module introduces students to the study of Stylistics as a systematic way to explore and
analyse literary texts. Particular aspects of the structure of English will be related to literary texts
from the three main genre. The first block considers linguistic choice and its relation to style and
meaning, the levels of language, sound meaning and effect in poetry and figurative language and
metaphor; the second block examines style and style variation in prose fiction, point of view and
speech and thought presentation; the third block examines conversational structure and character,
discourse structure and strategies, and impoliteness and characterisation in drama text. The lectures
introduce theoretical and methodological material and the seminars enable the student to produce
their own analyses with reference to specific stylistic features.
Indicative Reading List:
Primary texts
Astley, Neil (ed.) (2004) Being Alive. Tarset: Bloodaxe Books.
Carver, Raymond (1999) Cathedral, London: The Harvill Press.
Churchill, Caryl (1991) Top Girls. London: Methuen Student Edition.
Joyce, James (1992) Dubliners, London: Penguin Classics.
Secondary texts
Culpeper, J, M Short and P Verdonk (1998) Exploring the Language of Drama: From Text to
Context., London: Routledge.
Leech, GN (1969) A Linguistic Guide to English Poetry, London: Longman.
Leech, G and M Short (1981) Style in Fiction, London: Longman.
Rimmon-Kenan, S (2002) Narrative Fiction, 2nd edition, London: Routledge.
Short, M (1996) Exploring the Language of Poems, Plays and Prose, London: Longman.
Toolan, M (2004) Language in Literature, London: Arnold.
Verdonk, P and JJ Weber (1995) Twentieth Century Fiction: From Text to Context, London:
Wales, K (2001) A Dictionary of Stylistics, 2nd edition, London: Longman.
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 one-hour seminar per week x 11 = 22 contact hours.
The lecture session will introduce methodological tools, provide model analyses and introduce
relevant areas of theory, thus helping students to achieve the following learning outcomes: selection
and application of precise critical terminology and appropriate strategies for close reading to the
study of literary text; awareness of current thinking in literary linguistics; enhanced understanding
of the interface of theory and stylistic practice, including the limitations and drawbacks of such
approaches to literary text.
Seminar sessions will enable students to interrogate the methods they have learned in lectures in
order to review, consolidate and articulate their knowledge and understanding. Seminars also
contribute to the achievement of generic outcomes such as critical reflection, verbal discussion and
written analysis of texts, in order to make judgements about the appropriateness of different
approaches. Today study hours: 150.
Assessment methods and how these relate to testing achievement of the intended
learning outcomes: Coursework (40%) + Examination (60%)
Coursework made up of 1 x 1000 and 1 x 1500-word assignments. Assignment 1 = 15%
Assignment 2 = 25%.
The assignments test achievement of the following learning outcomes: a systematic and detailed
understanding of linguistic and stylistic terminology, contextualising these methods, carrying out
detailed textual analyses, showing cogent application of particular approaches, making critical and
evaluative judgements about texts, and demonstrating a detailed understanding of the
interconnections between style and genre. Essays also help to test 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, logical and effective
communication in writing and appropriate use of IT.
The written examination (2 hours) will require candidates to answer 2 from 6 or 7 questions and
thereby demonstrate understanding of key themes discussed during the course. The two questions
will be equally weighted.
17 Implications for learning resources, including staff, library, IT and space:
A statement confirming that, as far as can be reasonably anticipated, the curriculum,
learning and teaching methods and forms of assessment do not present any nonjustifiable disadvantage to students with disabilities:
As far as can be reasonably anticipated, the curriculum and forms of assessment do not present any
non-justifiable disadvantage to students with disability. SECL is committed to actively fostering an
inclusive community within the classroom. We have enabled students with physical disabilities,
sensory impairments and learning difficulties to play a full part in the curriculum of our
programmes. Such support has taken the form of assisted note-taking and alternative assessment
formats. We will continue to work together with individual students and the DDSS to identify
strategy aids and assess needs in order to provide appropriate educational support.