EAS1043 - Critical Reflections

2021/2 Module description

StaffDr Emily BernhardJackson -
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.5
NQF Level4
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module description

This module is compulsory for those of you who are enrolled on the Combined Honours English and Creative Writing degree programme. It is the creative-writing equivalent of the module ‘Academic English’ that Single Honours English students take in their first year, and as such will provide you with the skills necessary to write excellent essays on both the English and Creative Writing sides of your degree. Under the guidance of your seminar leader you will approach the subject of Creative Writing in a critical sense, looking at texts with regard to form, technique, context and motivation. Students will research and write essays that critically engage with the particular works chosen by individual tutors, so there is no set reading list for the module. The module will enable you to become excellent researchers, and will give you the ability to structure, compose and finish academic essays to a high standard.

This module is not available to students taking any degree programme other than English and Creative Writing.

Module aims

This module will give you the ability to engage critically with the discipline of creative writing. You will research and write essays that analyse the particular pleasures granted by reading. You will gain the research skills and the essay-writing skills that you will need for both the English and Creative Writing sides of your degree.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate an awareness of the conventions and practices of studying Creative Writing at undergraduate level
  • 2. Demonstrate an understanding of formal and/or thematic, contextual analysis of the discipline of creative writing
  • 3. Demonstrate the ability to analyse creative writing techniques in the works of various authors and to group creative works within a particular critical context

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Demonstrate enhanced skills in close reading, research, writing and in the presentation of material in accordance with the conventions of the Department of English by planning, researching, constructing and concluding an independent essay
  • 5. Show an awareness of literary techniques, styles and conventions and of the relevance of historical and cultural contexts
  • 6. Demonstrate an ability to apply key research and writing skills appropriately in relation to different projects

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 7. Through essay-writing, demonstrate appropriate research and bibliographical skills, a capacity to construct a coherent, substantiated argument and a capacity to write clear and correct prose
  • 8. Through research for seminars and essays, demonstrate a proficiency in information retrieval and analysis
  • 9. Through seminar discussion and essay writing, demonstrate a capacity for critical thinking, including the questioning of your own and others’ assumptions, and a willingness to engage with different philosophical viewpoints.

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Introduction to the critical study of the discipline of creative writing
  • MLA Referencing and Works Cited – good academic practice
  • Close reading
  • Thesis statements and research questions
  • Research strategies and databases
  • The self-reflexive essay
  • Evaluating techniques and pleasures within the discipline of creative writing
  • Sources – texts and contexts
  • Choosing and working with secondary material
  • How to write good essays – tone and style
  • Writing an introduction and a conclusion
  • Presentation and finishing

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching2211 x two-hour seminars
Guided Independent Study 110Practice essays and research
Guided Independent Study 18Preparation for assessment

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Weekly academic writingOngoing1-9Oral and with opportunity for office-hours feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay proposal 251000 words1-9Comments sheet with opportunity for office-hours feedback
Essay 651500 words1-9Comments sheet with opportunity for office-hours feedback
Seminar Participation10n/a1-9In seminar

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Essay proposalEssay proposal1-9Referral/deferral period
EssayEssay1-9Referral/deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • The Creative Writing Coursebook, editors Julia Bell and Paul Magrs
  • Poetry in the Making, Ted Hughes
  • On Writing, a Memoir of the Craft, Stephen King
  • On Writing, Jorge Luis Borges

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

  • Newspapers for book reviews and articles: The New Yorker, The Guardian, TLS, LRB, New York Review of Books

Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date


Key words search

Creative Writing, essay-writing, English

Important please note

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All modules displayed below have been approved by the approval process but may require further minor amendments before the commencement of teaching.

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Foreign Language Centre modules 2020/21

Term 1 module codes listed above ending with C, i.e. FLF1115C, are only available to outbound students who are away in Term 2. Students studying all year must select the standard module across both Term 1 and 2.