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Doing English


  • Credit value: 0 credits at Level 4
  • Convenor: Professor Joe Brooker
  • Assessment: a 250-word comprehension task (25%), 250-word writing exercise (25%), 250-word essay plan (25%) and plagiarism online exercise (25%)

Module description

This module will help you gain and practise the skills you need to study English successfully at university. Covering such things as time management, seminars, reading skills, researching and writing essays, note-taking and referencing, this interactive course will help you get the most out of your degree. The module is compulsory for BA English Year 1 students only.

Indicative module content

  • Being at university: time management and planning your work; how to manage key tasks and keep on top of reading
  • Making the most of seminars: what you can expect from seminars and what is expected from you; how to prepare effectively; how to get the best out of seminar sessions
  • Plagiarism and how to avoid it: what plagiarism is and why it is important not to do it; referencing and bibliographic techniques
  • Essay writing: the various stages of essay writing from choosing a question to handing in a finished piece of work; practical help on writing strategies, structuring your essay and shaping an argument

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will:

  • be familiar with, and have practised strategies for, time management, effective reading, note-taking, writing, referencing and seminar participation
  • be able to research and reference correctly and avoid committing plagiarism
  • manage time more effectively, having practised ways of scheduling different kinds of activities (lectures/seminars, personal study, assessments, employment, domestic tasks, personal time) and gained an understanding of the time required for different learning tasks
  • use efficient and organised methods of making and storing notes in lectures, seminars and personal study
  • understand the function of seminars (in their different forms), and be able to participate in them productively
  • read literary texts critically, both to comprehend basic sense and engage in analysis
  • comprehend, evaluate and use literary criticism competently
  • use reading lists effectively by understanding the difference between monographs, journals, articles and chapters, and developing an ability to prioritise the most relevant readings
  • use print and online resources proficiently and with discrimination
  • use active learning strategies, as modelled and required throughout the module
  • understand the principles of essay structure by knowing what an argument is, how to develop it through presenting ideas in a logical sequence, and how paragraphs work
  • engage in self-evaluation, having developed an understanding of how to build on existing skills and respond constructively to feedback.