EN3PDI-Part-time English Dissertation

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

Module Convenor: Dr Chloe Houston

Email: c.houston@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

The Dissertation is designed to develop students’ independent skills in the formulation, research and scholarly presentation of an extended and substantial literary-critical argument.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the Dissertation students will be expected to:
-show an ability to plan, organize and carry out a substantial piece of independent research
-identify, select and deploy in cogent argument a wide range of appropriate resources and relevant evidence
-demonstrate, where relevant, a confident awareness of and engagement with critical debates surrounding the selected topic
-exercise skills of editing, proof-reading and formal presentation to high standards of scholarly accuracy.

Additional outcomes:
By the end of the module students will also be able to:
-use a variety of IT resources (including word-processing software and on-line information resources)
-organize his or her time effectively.

Outline content:
The 9,000-10,000 word Dissertation is a compulsory element in the English degree. It provides students with the challenge of producing an extended piece of independent literary criticism on a topic arising from their own interests. The acceptable range of topics is extremely wide, and may include such projects as the study of a single author, a comparative analysis of two or more authors, an enquiry into aspects of form, style, genre or literary movement, the application of a particular methodology to selected materials, etc. The only restrictions on choice are that the topic must be capable of substantive critical development, and that-while the topic may relate to or grow out of work previously undertaken-it must not overlap unduly with taught materials covered in other modules the student has taken.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The preparatory workshop on dissertation skills is organized in the Summer term after the completion of 240 credits. The module consists primarily of independent study and writing. After attending the workshop, students submit a form with a proposal title by Week 7. The title plus the name of the supervisor to whom the student is assigned will be communicated by Week 8. Students should contact their supervisor to receive preliminary guidance and bibliographic advice before the Summer vacation. Thereafter, students are entitled to four supervision sessions. Supervisors will read and comment on one draft of no more than 3,000 words of the Dissertation, provided that it is submitted by a date specified by the Department.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 2
Tutorials 3 2
Guided independent study 175 158 60
Total hours by term 180.00 160.00 60.00
Total hours for module 400.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Dissertation 100

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:

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:
    A mark of at least 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Dissertation to be resubmitted by 22nd 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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