Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information

Module QXE-4012:
MA Open Essay 2

Module Facts

Run by School of Languages, Literatures, Linguistics and Media

30 Credits or 15 ECTS Credits

Overall aims and purpose

This module builds on the student's first semester experience of Open Essay(1). They aim: (1) To help students develop their autonomy as learners, through guidance from an experienced researcher. (2) To help students gather knowledge of the current state of scholarship in a given field of literary research. (3) To help students structure a complex argument in secondary form. (4) To help students employ a mixture of primary and secondary evidence in an essay. (5) To help students learn to frame working hypotheses, to evaluate them in the light of counter-arguments and counter-evidence, and to revise them. In doing this, they relate abstract principles and concepts to particular literary texts. (6) To help students design a small-scale programme of literary research.

Course content

Each module is taught by up to six individual supervisory tutorials, one hour each, the exact timing across the semester to be agreed between tutor and student. QXE4012 is taken by all students taking the English MA.

Assessment Criteria


Is able to summarise existing critical positions; is able to present an argument supported by appropriate evidence from both primary and secondary sources.


Is able to develop ideas and techniques found in existing critical work, and is aware of relevant theoretical questions; structures his/her argument clearly.


Writes persuasively, with precision and circumspection, demonstrating the potential to produce fresh critical insights into the chosen text(s), and to place these insights into the context of the main lines of relevant critical traditions; aware of relevant theoretical questions.

Learning outcomes

  1. The ability to structure a complex argument in essay form, the length of the essay not exceeding 5000 words.
  2. The ability to incorporate primary and secondary evidence in an essay, as appropriate to the chosen topic, and to document it using a specified system of annotation.
  3. The ability to present an argument that takes due note of the current state of scholarship in its field.
  4. The ability to write persuasively and unambiguously.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
essay 100

Teaching and Learning Strategy

  6 one hour supervisory tutorials  

Courses including this module

Optional in courses: