EN2WRI-Writing and Revising

Module Provider: English Literature
Number of credits: 40 [20 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Patrick Flanery

Email: p.d.flanery@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module allows students to explore and deepen their understanding of different modes of creative writing, developing their skills in composition, critical appraisal and revision through workshops. The workshops enable students to present drafts of their work for discussion, with all participants contributing feedback on their peers' work. Each student will choose to write in two of the following modes: prose fiction, drama, or poetry. They will write two creative writing pieces in total, and their portfolio will include an accompanying critical essay. In this essay, students will analyse their own creative writing processes (their aims, techniques, responses to feedback, and revisions), and relate their creative work to generic conventions, movements and others’ oeuvres in the field of literature or other relevant art forms.

The aims of this module are that students will deepen their understanding of their chosen modes of creative writing, hone their craft as wordsmiths, and master the technicalities of typescripts’ layouts and styling. Through scrutinising their own and others’ work, they will further develop their critical appraisal skills and, also, their ability to weigh up feedback judiciously and revise their work effectively. They will, additionally, learn to place their work more eruditely within the framework of aesthetic and literary history, relating their writing to precedents as well as to literary theory.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module students will be expected to:
• Articulately and thoughtfully appraise their own creative work and that of others
• Engage constructively and critically with points discussed and theoretical issues raised
in seminars
• Judiciously weigh up the feedback they receive and, thus, effectively revise their work
• Prepare typescripts to a professional level
• Analyse the relationship of their work to historical precedents and generic convention

Additional outcomes:
This module will, additionally, augment students’ knowledge and understanding of issues surrounding the practice of creative writing and the pursuit of publication or production. It will increase students' awareness of rhetorical devices and techniques employed by writers in a wide variety of contexts. It will encourage the development of oral communication skills and effective participation in group work, while also enhancing IT competence through the use of relevant web resources and word processing.

Outline content:
Each student chooses the modes in which they wish to write, selecting two from the following: prose fiction, drama, or poetry. In other words, the student can choose to write drama and poetry, or prose fiction and drama, or poetry and prose fiction.

The students start writing over the summer vacation. In the workshops of the Autumn term, they present a draft and then revisions of one of their creative works-in-progress for discussion, and they give feedback on their peers' creative work-in-progress. In the Spring term, they progress to presenting drafts of their second creative piece, making revisions, and again giving peer feedback. At the end of the Autumn term and again at the end of the Spring term, they submit a feedback journal, collating the feedback which they have previously – in the form of printed-out short written pieces – given to their peers and their supervisor. These feedback journals are for summative assessment, 10 per cent of the final mark being allotted to this element of the module.

The content of the workshops will depend on what is offered. However, issues discussed will include literary form, characterisation, plot, temporality and point of view, artistic intention and effect, purposeful self-criticism and revision, and the professional styling of typescripts.

At the beginning of the Summer term, each student will submit a portfolio containing their two pieces of creative writing, revised and completed, and their accompanying critical essay. The critical essay should be between 1500 and 1800 words. The precise length of a student's creative writing pieces may (according to the nature of their composition) be discussed and agreed with the seminar leader, but a creative writing piece in the mode of prose fiction should be between 2500 and 2800 words. If the mode is poetry, the piece should be a collection of between 10 and 12 poems (word count or line count to be agreed with the seminar leader). If it is dramatic dialogue, it should be a one-act play or a cinematic short (word count or page count to be agreed with the seminar leader).

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Group discussions in workshop-style seminars. Students will additionally be expected to attend occasional but key UoR literary events, such as lectures and talks by visiting authors, publishers, promoters and/or producers of creative writing. With the consent of the module convenor, students may also undertake a placement through which they will learn how to apply the knowledge and skills gained in studying for this module in a professional context outside the University.

Contact hours
Ten 2-hour workshop-style seminars in the Autumn term, and a further ten in the Spring term. Occasional UoR literary events, such as lectures and talks by visiting authors, publishers, promoters and/or producers of creative writing, during the two terms. Independent study: 180 hours in the Autumn term, and 180 in the Spring term.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 20 20
Guided independent study 180 180
Total hours by term 200.00 200.00
Total hours for module 400.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Portfolio 90
Class test administered by School 10

Other information on summative assessment:

The portfolio (containing the two creative writing pieces and the critical essay) must be submitted at the start of the Summer term. Written feedback will be given on that, with the creative work carrying 60% of the total mark, and the critical essay carrying 30%. The remaining 10% is carried by the feedback journals, one of which must be submitted at the end to the Autumn term and the other at the end of the Spring term.

Formative assessment methods:
Oral feedback given in weekly workshops. Students will also receive formative written feedback on their creative writing from the seminar leader at least once in the Autumn term and once in the Spring term.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:
    Requirements for a pass

    A mark of at least 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-examination in August. Coursework will be carried forward if it bears a confirmed mark of 40% or more. Otherwise it must be resubmitted by 22 August.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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