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Reading Now - ENG00029C

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  • Department: English and Related Literature
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Bryan Radley
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2023-24
    • See module specification for other years: 2024-25

Module summary

This module prepares you for the study of literature at university level, introducing essential skills for reading, analysing, and writing about literature in English and related languages. At the same time, the module provides tools for understanding what it means to study literature now.

The first half of the semester provides you with a 'literary toolkit', honing the essential skills for literary research: interpreting texts, defining an essay topic, developing a thesis statement, discovering and evaluating sources, close reading, finding your voice, referencing effectively, and editing your writing.

The second half of the semester considers the wider challenges and opportunities in studying specific types of literature, with a focus on how to read and write about different genres and forms, including drama, fiction, film, and poetry in English and in translation. Your tutors will guide you through the various stages of critical thinking, close reading, and research so that you may approach advanced literary study with a sense of assurance.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2023-24

Module aims

This module aims to introduce students to the essential practical skills required for thinking about and writing about literary texts, such as: using the library, locating and evaluating secondary sources, close reading primary texts, developing a critical voice, conveying an argument, and referencing effectively. It will help to foster a sense of critical dexterity as students analyse and discuss works from a wide variety of genres, forms, and periods. Through class discussion and team work, students will also develop crucial collaborative skills.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a basic understanding of and engagement with the study of literature and a range of essential skills for literary research.

  2. Demonstrate a basic understanding of and engagement with a range of literary genres, including drama, fiction, film, and poetry.

  3. Develop close readings and literary arguments which demonstrate university-level analysis, research, referencing, and writing skills.

  4. Produce a portfolio of literary critical writing that demonstrates a multi-stage process of planning, writing, and editing.


Task Length % of module mark
Summative Portfolio
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Summative Portfolio
N/A 100

Module feedback

  • You will receive feedback on all assessed work within the University deadline, and will often receive it more quickly. The purpose of feedback is to inform your future work; it is provided in a pedagogical spirit, and the Department also offers you help in learning from your feedback.
  • If you would like to discuss your feedback, please consult your tutor or your supervisor, during their Open Office Hours.

Indicative reading


This Thing Called Literature: Reading, Thinking, Writing by Andrew Bennett and Nicholas Royle (London: Routledge, 2015).

This module will also draw upon the Writing at York website, which will allow students to access a range of supporting materials relating to reading and writing about literary texts.


Studying English Literature: A Practical Guide by Tory Young (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008).
Thinking About Texts: An Introduction to English Studies, 2nd revised edition, by Chris Hopkins (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009).

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.