The Writer''s Workshop: Studying Manuscripts

University of Reading

Course Description

  • Course Name

    The Writer''s Workshop: Studying Manuscripts

  • Host University

    University of Reading

  • Location

    Reading, England

  • Area of Study

    English, Literature

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • 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

  • ECTS Credits

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

    Module Provider: English Literature
    Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
    Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
    Non-modular pre-requisites: English Part 1
    Modules excluded:
    Module version for: 2016/7

    Summary module description:
    This module provides a practical and theoretical introduction to the study of manuscripts and textual scholarship. Students will have the unique opportunity of drawing on the resources of the extensive range of manuscript materials held at the University?s Special Collections.

    This module is designed to provide students with an introduction to manuscript study. It aims to promote the skills necessary to working with drafts, letters, notebooks and other manuscripts, and to develop a critical awareness of the ways in which such material relates to our understanding of an author?s work.

    Assessable learning outcomes:
    Assessable outcomes

    By the end of the module students will be expected to:
    ? Demonstrate the practical skills necessary to working with a variety of manuscripts
    ? Show an awareness of theoretical issues generated by the study of manuscripts
    ? Engage critically with ideas discussed in seminars
    ? Construct and express coherent arguments, both orally and in writing
    Additional outcomes:
    Oral and written communication skills will be developed, together with critical, interpretative and analytical abilities. Students will also enhance their IT competence through the use of relevant web resources in a critically informed manner.

    Outline content:

    The module starts by offering students a look inside the writer?s workshop. Through visits to Special Collections, students will be introduced to the different kinds of manuscripts (notebooks, diaries, letters, drafts, publishers? records) that contribute to the creation of a literary text, and to the ways in which the information contained in such material can be read. Subsequently the broader theoretical issues surrounding the study of manuscripts will be examined, such as the relation between draft and final text, the materiality of text, external influences on the writing process, notions of author intention, historical and contemporary theories of manuscripts (in particular ?Genetic Criticism?), and the way in which manuscripts can aid our understanding of published texts. For the 100% coursework assessment, students will either create an edition or write a study of a manuscript or a manuscript dossier.

    Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
    Three seminar hours weekly, for which students are required to do preparatory reading. Students are also entitled to a half-hour tutorial on their formative written work. With the consent of the module convenor, students may also undertake a placement, through which they will learn how to apply the knowledge and skills gained in studying for this module in a professional context outside the University.

    Contact hours:
    Seminars 30
    Tutorials 0.5
    Guided independent study 129.5
    Total hours by term 160.00

    Summative Assessment Methods:
    Written assignment including essay 80
    Report 20

    Other information on summative assessment:
    Summative Assessment Methods (%) - work which always contributes towards the overall module mark:

    Students will submit a bibliographic task of approximately 1000 words, carrying 20% of the total mark. Building on this work, students will then submit a case study, which counts for 80% of the overall assessment. This assessed case study will be established under guidance of the module convenor.

    Formative assessment methods:
    Formative Assessment Methods - work which provides opportunities to improve performance (e.g. through feedback provided) but which does not necessarily always contribute towards the overall module mark:

    Students conduct a bibliographic exercise on a manuscript, of between 1500 and 2000 words. Feedback will also be provided on the assessed coursework.

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-examination in August. Coursework will be carried forward if it bears a confirmed mark of 40% or more. Otherwise it must be resubmitted by 22 August.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

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.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

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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