Reading and Interpretation

Kingston University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Reading and Interpretation

  • Host University

    Kingston University

  • Location

    London, England

  • Area of Study

    English, Literature, Poetry

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    Previous academic study of English literature; needs to be taken along with EL4003

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course Content:

    This introductory module develops skills of close reading and textual analysis. Taking a
    broad range of examples from prose, poetry, and drama, the module will explore aspects
    of form, genre, and convention and provide a solid foundation for subsequent work on
    the degree. Students will be asked questions such as what is literature and why is it
    worthy of our study? What are the distinctive characteristics of narrative forms, for
    example the realist novel, children?s literature, or science fiction? In poetry, what are the
    formal requirements of a sonnet, pastoral, or epic; or of tragedy, comedy, and realism in
    drama? To what extent are these categories useful ways of reading and thinking about
    literature and who decides anyway?

    There are four main strands:

    Strand 1: Genre. What characterises the main genres of literature? Why is a novel
    different from a romance, a poem different from a play, or a biography different from
    short story?

    Strand 2: Form. What are the detailed formal characteristics of literary genres? How are
    poems divided into subgenres such as epic, ballad, and lyric? What are cantos, stanzas,
    and verses? How do poets use rhythm and meter? How are plays structured into acts and
    scenes? What are the formal requirements of the novel?

    Strand 3: Language. What is the difference between literal and figurative language? What
    do we understand by metaphor, metonymy, and symbolism? How can we analyse tone,
    context, and register? How do we interpret writing that is nuanced, ambiguous, or ironic?

    Strand 4: Criticism. How do we communicate our advanced reading of texts to others?
    How is a close reading of a text structured and presented? What is an appropriate critical
    vocabulary? How do we give an oral presentation? How do we present close readings in
    electronic media?

    Lectures/workshops and seminars

    STUDY OPTION 1: Portfolio (100%):
    ? Close reading of 1000 words (40%)
    ? Essay plan (10%)
    ? 1500 word essay (50%)
    STUDY OPTION 2: portfolio (some elements as those for Study Option 1).
    STUDY OPTION 3: portfolio (some elements as those for Study Option 1).

    Study Option 1 = Whole Year
    Study Option 2 = Autumn
    Study Option 3 = Spring/summer

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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