Tackling Text: Explaining Style - LL307

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
Autumn 4 15 (7.5) DR J Scott checkmark-circle


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.


This module appears in the following module collections.

Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 20

Method of assessment

Essay 1 (1,000 words) – 15%
Essay 2 (1,500 words) – 25%
Examination (2 hours) – 60%

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List:

Astley, N. (ed.) (2004). Being Alive. Tarset: Bloodaxe Books.
Carver, R. (1999). Cathedral, London: The Harvill Press.
Churchill, C. (1991). Top Girls. London: Methuen Student Edition.
Joyce, J. (1992). Dubliners, London: Penguin Classics.
Verdonk, P. and JJ Weber (1995). Twentieth Century Fiction: From Text to Context, London: Routledge.
Wales, K (2001). A Dictionary of Stylistics (2nd edition), London: Longman.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

Select and apply precise stylistic strategies to analyse poetry, prose and drama texts;
Analyse the linguistic and stylistic choices a writer makes to create meaning and effect programme outcomes;
Demonstrate an understanding of the interconnections between English literature and language;
Critically evaluate theories of stylistics;
Develop strategies towards more effective close reading of poetry, prose and drama texts.


  1. Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage 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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