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The University of Southampton

ENGL6132 Adventures in Literary Research

Module Overview

Adventures in Literary Research will provide you with the advanced knowledge and skills you need to be a successful researcher and scholar in the field of literary studies. You will learn about the methodologies of theory and criticism, book history, textual editing, and archival research. The module will help you to define a distinctive approach to a literary research topic; differentiate between scholarly sources and evaluate the limits of a literary critical monograph; participate in the research culture of the department and the Faculty through research seminars; reflect on the material form and history of the book; acquire skills in effective scholarly presentation and referencing; and learn how to mobilise theoretical concepts and historical sources in the close literary analysis of texts. As well as providing excellent preparation for doctoral study, this module provides high-level transferable skills.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • good practice in academic writing
  • good practice in oral presentations in an academic setting
  • strategies for the selection, development and management of a research project
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Speak cogently and persuasively about work you have done
  • respond effectively to criticism
  • offer constructive analysis of others’ arguments
  • retrieve and assemble information from a variety of resources
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • write an abstract of an argument
  • build a bibliography
  • navigate print, archival and electronic research resources
  • present findings orally in formal and informal settings
Cognitive Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • assess a book, journal or other research tool for its quality and relevance to your work
  • locate a range of research resources relevant to your field of study
  • respond constructively to peers’ work
  • present information and arguments orally in formal and informal settings


Adventures in Literary Research is designed as a practical and theoretical introduction to the methods of conducting research in the disciplines of English. Lectures, workshops, oral presentations, and written assignments will enhance your knowledge of the contemporary research environment and provide direction and practice in the development of a substantial research project.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • Lectures • Seminars • Exercises with prompt feedback Learning activities include • Self-assessment of research skills at start of module • Development of a portfolio of research exercises and other relevant evidence of skills acquisition • Oral presentation • Group work • Peer editing

Preparation for scheduled sessions46
Completion of assessment task200
Total study time300

Resources & Reading list

Wayne Booth, Gregory Colom, and Joseph M. Williams (2003). The Craft of Research. 

Gabriele Griffin (2005). Research Methods for English Studies. 

Alice Crawford (ed.). The Meaning of the Library: A Cultural History. 

Jacques Derrida (1995). Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression. 

Gina Wisker (2001). The Post-Graduate Research Handbook. 



Group presentation


MethodPercentage contribution
Written assignment 50%
Written assignment 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Resubmit assessments 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


Costs for this module will not exceed £40.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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