ENGL 301: Dissertation Unit
Course Convenor: Dr Michael Greaney
N.B. IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR SECOND YEAR STUDENTS: This Third Year Course actually starts in the Summer Term of Year 2.
In Week 2 of the Summer Term of Second Year, you will have a lecture on 301, in particular on choosing your topic and writing a dissertation proposal. This lecture takes place in the ENGL 201 Theory and Practice of Criticism lecture time and place, and it is essential that you attend. The 301 Handbook will be made available on the Departmental website at the same time. You then spend part of the Summer Term of Year 2 researching your possible topic and submit a proposal by the Friday of Week 9 of the Summer Term. You are expected to read for and think about your dissertation over the summer vacation.
Course Aims and Objectives:
The introductory lecture in second year advises students on their choice of dissertation topic, research skills, matters of presentation, and proposals, to be submitted to the Undergraduate Office in Friday, Week 29, of the Second Year. The proposal must be submitted in the form outlined in the lecture and ENGL 301 Handbook, and be presented in conformity to the Departmental Style Sheet. We assign students to supervisors on the basis of their proposals.
You are broadly free to write on any literary or theoretical/critical topic, so long as we feel that it is appropriate, the library has adequate resources, you have had appropriate training to tackle the material, and we can supervise it. The dissertation should be an opportunity to build on the skills you have acquired in your second year with the Department, and we expect you to pursue your research with proper regard to modern critical methods and cultural debates. You may choose a topic arising out of one of the courses taught on our programmes, or you may choose to do something entirely different. The material you use in your dissertation must not duplicate material for which you will be assessed in other courses.
The dissertation represents a whole unit’s work, and will require substantial reading, planning and drafting. It is fundamentally your project and responsibility. The supervisor’s role is a limited one; it involves guidance, not the detailed and regular teaching you get on other courses. We hope you will see this as an exciting opportunity to construct your own research project and work it through to a successful conclusion. All students will have four meetings with their supervisors. Two of them will be group seminars (of around one hour) and two will be individual seminars (of around 30 minutes).
Assessment: 1 x dissertation: 100%.
Submission deadline: Two ‘soft bound’ copies in clear plastic covers with smooth spine (not spiral), together with two copies of the coversheet slipped inside the plastic cover (not bound in), to be submitted with your name and supervisor clearly shown on the front page cover by 3.00 pm on Thursday of Week 1 of Term 3. (You are also required to submit a copy of your dissertation electronically).
Late submission: Extensions are not normally granted for the submission of an ENGL 301 dissertation, except in exceptional circumstances, supported by a statement and corroborating evidence. Such requests must be made directly to the Director of Undergraduate Studies (Students), not your supervisor, who will make a decision in consultation with the Department’s Teaching Committee and, if necessary, External Examiners. Late submissions without permission will be subject to University regulations on penalties for late work, namely a one letter grade deduction for late submission up to 3 days and thereafter a mark of 0/F4.
Contact hours: Periodic individual and group meetings to check progress. Formal meetings are held at the beginning and end of Term 1; mid-Term 2; and the end of Term 2. Dates, times and locations will be announced on the ENGL 301 Moodle site by your supervisor, who will also contact you by email at the start of the academic year. The course has three lectures, as specified below. In addition to formal meetings, you are additionally encouraged to discuss your Dissertation with your supervisor in his/her office hours.
Learning Outcomes: You will develop the abilities (critical, scholarly and presentational) to carry out a sustained piece of independent academic research, and will develop skills of independent directed study and time management as you pace this activity across an academic year.
See the ENGL 301 handbook and Style Sheet on the ‘Resources for Current Students’ section of the departmental website for further information.
There will be three lectures for this course. They will take place as follows:
Tuesday Term 1, Weeks 2 and 3, 11am – 12pm, County South LT
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Forward to: ENGL 303
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