Surrey University Stag

RESEARCH AND WRITING SKILLS - 2023/4

Module code: ELIM005

Module Overview

This is a Level M compulsory module for English and Creative Writing. It provides a systematic framework for understanding and conducting research in both English and Creative Writing and introduces students to key research preparation skills including using library resources, using electronic journals, working with archives, identifying a research area, building a proposal, ethical considerations when conducting research, basic academic writing skills and (for CW students) writing critical commentaries on one’s own creative work. It enables students to apply this framework and these skills to developing their own dissertation or   writing proposal; it also places a strong emphasis on workshopping exercises so that students develop an ability to act as editors and ‘critical friends’ in relation to other students’ projects. Attendance is compulsory, since the module acts as vital foundation for all other modules on the programme. It connects especially with the students’ final modules, either ELIM009 Dissertation (EL) or ELIM020 Final Creative Portfolio (CW), since the proposal students develop for ELIM005 will usually be for that final project: in this way it establishes a useful foundation for the final Dissertation or Creative Portfolio, and ensures extensive formative feedback at this crucial early stage of these large-scale projects.

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

PULHAM Patricia (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: X210

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 66

Seminar Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 55

Captured Content: 7

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None.

Module content

Indicative content includes:


  • Introduction - What is Research and what is a research proposal in English and Creative Writing?

  • Researching an Essay Question and Identifying a Research Area

  • What is originality?

  • Library Skills

  • What is creative theory and what is a Critical Commentary?

  • Developing a Critical Methodology and Building an argument

  • Proposal Workshopping (and assignment troubleshooting)

  • Abstracts and Conferences

  • Creative Careers

  • Small and Large Structure



Writing Up and Self-Evaluation

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework DISSERTATION OR WRITING PROJECT PROPOSAL WITH ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY (3000 WORDS) 100

Alternative Assessment

n/a

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate


  • the development in their writing skills in academic prose

  • their understanding of the context of their work in historical and cultural terms, as well as in terms of other creative writing in the field

  • their development of research and writing skills

  • their creative ability in devising and summarising an original creative or academic project and in creating a proposal that  effectively summarises that

  • productive and informed critical reflection on both the literary writing itself and the critical and secondary material that surrounds it, and/or both the creative process itself and the finished work that has resulted from it
     



Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

* End of semester Dissertation or Writing Project Proposal with Annotated Bibliography (3000 words) (100%)

This is a final assessment which not only feeds forward directly into the final dissertation (ELIM009) or creative portfolio (ELIM020): it is also a form of ‘authentic’, real-world assessment, since proposal writing is often now a feature of many different professional careers (in academia, seeking funding from UK research councils; in creative careers, when pitching projects to agents and publishers, or when seeking funding from arts administrators; in the civil service and in business, when seeking grants from government and other sources.) [Employability]

Formative assessment and feedback

Verbal feedback and formative ‘feed forward’ is provided through seminar discussions, and tutor feedback in the seminar, on short pieces (250-500 words of a creative or academic project proposal) presented as part of the workshopping element of the classes. Each student can expect to present 2 such pieces over the course of the semester in the weeks 5 and 11 proposal workshops. [Resourcefulness and Resilience]

As such, writing, presentation and critical analysis skills will be developed and honed which will feed forward to the summative assessment at the end of the module. There is the option of a range of other feedback mechanisms agreed between tutor and students in week 1 of the module, such as seminar contribution and writing exercises.

Module aims

  • This module: helps students to understand the fundamental characteristics of research in English and Creative Writing
  • raises awareness of the challenges of research in these closely related fields, and trains students in relevant strategies and solutions
  • aims to provide students with the skills, vocabulary and concepts necessary for developing a viable dissertation or writing project proposal
  • is designed to help students formulate and express their critical and creative aims more clearly, and to reflect productively on the most effective techniques for achieving them
  • For Creative Writing students, this will also prepares them to think about proposal writing and research as components in conceiving and designing creative projects and in pitching these to other parties
  • The module also introduces CW students to the key practice of producing critical commentaries on their own creative work: an important element in undertaking a Masters-level academic programme in creative writing

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 By the end of the module students will be able to: understand, describe and explain the nature, role, importance and impact of research in English and Creative Writing KC
002 Understand and critically appraise a range of research preparation skills in English and Creative Writing KCT
003 Locate their own creative or critical writing in relevant theoretical, literary and historical contexts CT
004 Demonstrate confidence in the use of discipline-specific discourse practices KC
005 Utilise writing skills effectively PT
006 Identify and develop a viable dissertation or writing project proposal and annotated bibliography CP

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:


  • Hone and develop students’ writing skills in academic writing, and/or creative writing (prose fiction and/or poetry) by developing confidence in the use of discipline-specific discourse practices and utilizing writing skills effectively, and to help students produce innovative, imaginative and exciting publication standard creative work [Employability]

  • Assist students in locating a) literary texts and b) their critical writing and/or creative work, in historical and cultural  l  contexts by identifying the connections and references in their own creative or critical writing to relevant theoretical, literary and historical contexts [Resourcefulness and Resilience]

  • Equip students with the research and writing skills they will need to produce critically informed, original academic writing, and/or creative writing (prose fiction and/or poetry) and creative criticism, by developing an understanding of the nature, role, importance and impact of research in English and Creative Writing, and of a range of research preparation skills in English and Creative Writing

  • Facilitate students’ productive reflection on both the critical and political agendas of literary studies and on their own place within theoretical positions, and/or on both the creative process itself and the finished work that has resulted from it,  by assisting them in identifying and develop a viable dissertation or creative writing project proposal, applying scholarly approaches and models to reflect on their own research and writing practice, and researching, explaining and presenting a viable dissertation or writing project in written form, with an annotated bibliography



 

The learning and teaching methods include a combination of lecture materials, seminars, captured content, guided learning and independent learning. Two contact hours per week over Semester 1. Classes will take the form of workshops; students are  expected to read and research extensively outside classes and to undertake preparatory work in advance for workshops. Considerable emphasis is placed in sessions on students workshopping their developing ideas and proposals with other students (variously in pairs, small groups and with the whole cohort), so as to develop editorial and ‘critical friend’ skills and enhance their understanding of their own projects [Resourcefulness & Resilience / Employability].

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

https://readinglists.surrey.ac.uk
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ELIM005

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Sex, Gender and Sexualities MSc 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Creative Writing MA 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
English Literature MA 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2023/4 academic year.