Stylistics and Creative Writing - LING5100

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 6 15 (7.5) Jeremy Scott checkmark-circle


This module proceeds from the premise that the ambition to write creatively presupposes an interest in the 'expressive mechanics' of language. A more in-depth understanding of these processes will benefit the writer in many ways, for example by providing them with a precise taxonomy with which to precisely describe various fictional, poetic and dramatic techniques and by furnishing them with a critical nomenclature which will aid detailed analysis of their own and others' creative work. The module is designed to appeal not just to those with an interest in writing, but to anyone who would like to explore further and in a 'hands on' fashion the insights into the expressive functions of language and text offered by stylistics. Students will be 'doing stylistics' in the broadest sense of that phrase.

A two-pronged approach is adopted, whereby students are at first introduced to various stylistic and narratological concepts and models (e.g. linguistic deviation, deixis, register, focalization, ways of representing thought/speech, and metaphor), then expected to produce creative exercises which implement and explore these concepts (for example, using linguistic deviation to foreground themes and images or using varying focalization to tell a story from different perspectives). Various 'input’ texts (poetry, fiction and drama) will also be used as examples of the techniques and concepts under discussion, and some as the basis for textual intervention exercises (critical-creative rewriting). This process culminates in the production of a portfolio of students’ creative work (which may be one or more complete stories, a selection of poems, a dramatic text, or a mixture), accompanied by a critical commentary and stylistic analysis which will focus on how an understanding of stylistics and linguistics in general has impacted on the work.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 20
Private Study Hours: 130
Total Study Hours: 150

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
• Portfolio of Creative Work (2,500 words in total) – 70%
• Stylistic Commentary (1,000 words) – 30%
Both of the above assessed components must be passed.

Reassessment methods
• 100% Coursework (3,000 Words)

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices. The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages:

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1 Demonstrate systematic knowledge and understanding of precise linguistic and stylistic terminology and be able to deploy this terminology in relation to the production of
fiction and/or poetry and/or dramatic texts;
2 Critically analyse and account for the results and implications of their stylistic and methodological choices as writers in terms of their precise effects on the reader;
3 Extrapolate from stylistic examples in order to analyse those characteristics that contribute to individual authorial 'style' and world view;
4 Use linguistic and stylistic concepts and analytical techniques to make informed judgments about literary genre;
5 Develop conceptual and advanced-level understanding of the interconnections between language and literature;
6 Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the potential sources of their own material and of the techniques of presentation available to them as creative writers;
7 Demonstrate analytical and 'workshopping' (oral criticism in groups) skills and be capable of applying the outcome of seminars and workshops to their own work;
8 Editing, proofread, format and type their own work, and be able to account for and analyse editorial changes in rigorous stylistic and linguistic terms;
9 Demonstrate confidence and independent learning skills necessary to produce a more sustained piece of creative work, along with an accompanying stylistic analysis
(the critical essay).

The intended generic learning outcomes.

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1 Engage in critical reflection 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 written form


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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