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About this book

Competition to study English Literature at university is now tougher than ever before. How can you make sure your application stands out?

What is expected of you at university? How will you adapt to the changes in teaching, learning and lifestyle?

The world of English Literature is an unfamiliar yet exciting one, and clear guidance on how to cope with the demands of university-level study is essential if you want to succeed.

Andrew Green takes you from the A level/school/college classroom to the university lecture theatre, covering everything from:

• deciding which university and course is right for you
• making initial applications
• tackling Summer reading lists

to the skills needed for studying at degree level:

• preparing for lectures, seminars and tutorials
• interpreting reading lists and developing your reading skills
• applying literary theory
• becoming a better writer
• referencing an essay and avoiding plagiarism
• researching online.

Whether you are just thinking about taking English Literature to degree level, or needing help through your university course, Starting an English Literature Degree is the must-have companion.

Table of Contents

1. Initial bearings

Abstract
By the end of this chapter you will have considered:
  • what to think about when selecting a university;
  • your experience of English Literature at A level, IB or Access;
  • the subject knowledge you have gained to date;
  • what abilities are necessary to succeed at university;
  • the nature of study at university;
  • relations with academic staff;
  • working at university.
Andrew Green

2. Teaching and learning at university

Abstract
By the end of this chapter you will have considered:
  • how university courses are structured;
  • how you will be taught at university;
  • language and learning;
  • types of modules;
  • module selection;
  • assessment of modules;
  • breadth and depth of study at university;
  • what learning styles are;
  • what your own preferences in learning are;
  • how learning styles relate to your study of English Literature.
Andrew Green

3. Independent study

Abstract
By the end of this chapter you will have considered:
  • what your lecturers will expect of independent study;
  • how independent study at university differs from independent study at A level, IB or Access;
  • how to organise your week, including preparing a study plan;
  • how to prepare for lectures and seminars;
  • how to prepare for assignments;
  • studying alone;
  • studying in pairs;
  • studying in larger groups;
  • how to use module handbooks;
  • using the library.
Andrew Green

4. Seminars and workshops

Abstract
By the end of this chapter you will have considered:
  • the purpose of seminars and workshops in your degree;
  • how seminars relate to lectures;
  • your roles and responsibilities in seminars and workshops;
  • how to prepare for seminars and workshops;
  • how to use module handbooks;
  • giving presentations in seminars and workshops.
Andrew Green

5. Lectures

Abstract
By the end of this chapter you will have considered:
  • how to prepare for lectures using module handbooks;
  • how to pre-plan note-taking;
  • how to work in lectures;
  • how to follow up on lectures;
  • how to deal with questions;
  • transition from lecture to seminar and workshops;
  • how to develop lecture notes — note-taking into note-making.
Andrew Green

6. Reading

Abstract
By the end of this chapter you will have considered:
  • the differences between reading at pre-university and at university;
  • how to use your reading for a range of different purposes;
  • the way to use reading as part of the study cycle;
  • a range of strategies for managing the reading demands of your course, and how to plan for your reading;
  • the role of literary theory in reading at university;
  • two worked examples of how theory can be used in your studies;
  • how to prepare for the theoretical demands of your course;
  • a range of methods for recording your reading and the importance of doing so;
  • reading for pleasure.
Andrew Green

7. Writing

Abstract
By the end of this chapter you will have considered a range of issues surrounding writing:
  • who do you write for?
  • exploratory writing and free writing;
  • creative writing and transformative writing;
  • assignment writing;
  • developing writing skills and writing processes;
  • use of literary terminology;
  • referencing;
  • plagiarism;
  • assessment of writing.
Andrew Green

8. Using ICT

Abstract
By the end of this chapter you will have considered a range of issues surrounding the use of ICT:
  • recommendations for the Web;
  • using Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs);
  • study materials on the VLE;
  • submitting assignments electronically;
  • electronic literary texts;
  • referencing ICT texts;
  • plagiarism;
  • Web literacy.
Andrew Green

9. Final thoughts

Abstract
‘If you think … that anything like a romance is preparing for you, reader, you were never more mistaken. Do you anticipate sentiment, and poetry, and reverie? Do you expect passion, and stimulus, and melodrama? Calm your expectations, reduce them to a lowly standard. Something real, cool and solid lies before you; something unromantic as Monday morning, when all who have work wake with the consciousness that they must rise and betake themselves thereto.’
Andrew Green
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