module specification

SJ4000A - Approaches, Methods and Practices in Creative Writing Part 1 (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Approaches, Methods and Practices in Creative Writing Part 1
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 15
School Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities
60 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
90 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Oral Examination 40%   Oral Presentation
Coursework 60%   A portfolio of creative writing
Running in 2017/18 No instances running in the year

Module summary

Approaches, Methods and Practices in Creative Writing Part 1 will introduce students to literary texts in a variety of genres through reading, literary analysis, and the practice of writing. The module will enable students to understand and develop in practice the stylistic approaches used to create poetry and narrative forms such as fiction, memoir, and drama, as well as hybrid genres. Each student will give a short oral presentation on a topic of their choosing that arises out of the seminar readings and discussions. The oral presentation will be formally assessed along with a substantial portfolio of creative writing and a literary research paper, to be submitted at the end of week 15. The module will also include discussion and reading about publishing and the industry throughout the year, in order that students begin to gain valuable employability skills and knowledge early in their course of study.

Prior learning requirements

None; entry level module.

Module aims

This module aims to:

  • introduce the student to literary texts in a variety of genres including poetry, fiction, memoir, drama, and hybrid forms with an aim to analyze the literature from not only a literary perspective but also a creative writing perspective, by including analysis of stylistic techniques used in the texts
  • help students to understand and develop through both analysis and practice various approaches and techniques writers use to craft narrative forms and poetry, including development of voice, use of image, sound and rhythm of words, and metaphor; methods to develop character, plot, and setting; and stylistic techniques used to create texts in blended or hybrid genres
  • enable students to develop skills in critical analysis and the application of literary theory to creative writing, including the ability to comment on and critique writing in a workshop setting
  • enable students to develop research skills applicable to a literary research paper or creative work, and gain valuable transferable skills and knowledge necessary to enhance employability.


In this module students will read and discuss a variety of literary texts, with an aim to learn about and practice the stylistic approaches to crafting poetry, drama, and narrative. Seminar discussions will focus on weekly reading assignments and students will be expected to contribute to discussions, drawing on short written responses to the readings each week. These written responses will be used toward developing a critical essay that will be formally assessed, due week 15. Each student will give an oral presentation of about 15 minutes, arranged during weeks 10-14, on a topic of their choosing that arises out of the readings and seminar discussions. In addition to the literature component, much of the module will focus on the crafting of the student’s own writing in a variety of genres including poetry, short stories, memoir, script, and hybrid genres. Students will submit writing for tutor and peer critique in a workshop setting, and the drafts submitted for the workshops will be revised for the final portfolio to be submitted and assessed at the end of the module. The module will interweave discussion and reading about publishing and the industry throughout, and emphasise transferable employability skills. 

Learning and teaching

The module will be taught in weekly sessions over 15 weeks. The sessions will generally be divided equally between seminar discussions and writing workshops. The first 3-4 weeks will focus largely on reading and discussion of literature, and these sessions will build the students’ skills toward the crafting of their own writing. Sessions as of weeks 4-5 of the year will be part seminar discussion and part workshop, with the expectation that each student will submit writing for tutor and peer critique in small and large groups. Materials for reading and writing assignments will be made available by the tutor and on Web-learn, and the tutor will provide online discussion and feedback to written work. The writing that is submitted for tutor and peer feedback in workshop will be revised as an ongoing process throughout the module to enable the student to develop a substantial portfolio of creative writing in addition to the critical essay.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  1. identify stylistic techniques used in poetry and narrative forms
  2. apply in practice to creative writing the stylistic techniques analyzed in literary texts and discussed in class
  3. apply the skills of critical analysis and an understanding of theory to the practice of creating writing in poetry, memoir, fiction, drama, and hybrid forms
  4. apply research skills in the practice of creative writing as well as research papers in literature
  5. develop skills and knowledge through reading, discussions and the practice of writing to enhance employability.

Assessment strategy

  • Formative assessment: Contributions to seminar discussions and workshops including submissions of drafts to the workshop and critique of peer writing; informal weekly written responses to readings to be used toward developing a critical essay; ongoing revision of drafts of writing toward the final assessed portfolios
  • Summative assessment: Participation in seminar discussions and workshops; oral presentation; and a substantial portfolio of writing. The portfolio will include creative writing in a combination of genres and include a critical essay.


Ashcroft, William et al. (2002). "The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Postcolonial Literatures." London; New York, Routledge.
Bambara, Toni Cade. (1981). "Gorilla, My Love." New York: Vintage Books.
Boland, Eavan, and Mark Strand, eds. (2000). “The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms.” New York: Norton.
Burroway, Janet. (2003). "Imaginative Writing: the Elements of Craft." New York: Longman.
Burroway, Janet. (1992). "Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft." New York: Harper Collins.
Cixous, Helene. (1991). "Coming to Writing and other Essays." Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard UP.
Cowan, Andrew. (2011). “The Art of Writing Fiction.” Harlow: Pearson Education.
Eliot, T.S. (1979). "Four Quartets." London, Faber and Faber.
Gass, William. (1968). "In the Heart of the Heart of the Country and other Stories." New York, Harper and Row.
Kristeva, Julia. (1986). "The Kristeva Reader." New York: Columbia UP.
O'Connor, Flannery. (1965). "Everything that Rises Must Converge." New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Poets and Writers website: