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EN3L3-30 Research Project

English and Comparative Literary Studies
Undergraduate Level 3
Module leader
Rochelle Sibley
Credit value
Module duration
52 weeks
100% coursework
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

Research Project is core module for the final year of the BA in English Literature. It requires students to undertake and complete an independent research project on any area of literary studies that falls within the scope of the ECLS department. The module will involve individual supervision of each student by a staff member with relevant knowledge of their project topic , alongside academic writing and research skills workshops that run from the second half of Term 2 in the students' intermediate year of study, right through until the end of Term 2 in their final year.

Module web page

Module aims

To provide a capstone to the BA in English Literature
To provide students with an opportunity to develop an independent project of their own devising
To act as a culmination of the writing and research skills developed throughout the degree programme
To provide students with space to explore ideas, topics, and traditions beyond the scope of the current curriculum

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

  1. Provision in the student's intermediate year of study (all 1h workshops with pre-class tasks to complete online in advance)

Week 5, Term 2 – Online resources on how to develop a research project topic
These resources will take the form of asynchronous materials on how to identify a topic and start developing a project idea.

Weeks 9 and 10, Term 2 – How to create a realistic research project proposal
This session discusses how to approach the proposal, including the need for a thesis, how to locate a project in relation to the existing literature in the field. It will also discuss shat constitutes a realistic scope and focus for a research project.

Weeks 10 and 11, Term 2 – Drop-in clinics to address concerns about the proposal-writing

Week 5, Term 3 – How is the research project is different to standard modules?
This workshop highlights how the practicalities of the research project can be managed by early planning and research (to be followed-up with more detailed guidance in Week 9), including how to build a good working practices with your supervisor.

Week 7, Term 3 – Being critically engaged in the research project
This workshop will introduce students to some of the key aspects of critical engagement in relation to their research project preparation, focusing on mapping out research areas for a project (and will be followed-up with more practical guidance in the Week 9 session). It will also incorporate opportunities for students to build on existing tutor feedback from that year’s module assignments.

Week 9, Term 3 – Developing research strategies and project planning
This session focuses on honing literature searching skills and setting up strong research practice over the summer (creating topic alerts, improving search terms), and also discusses longer-range time-management and project planning for the dissertation in 2021-22.

  1. Schedule of workshops and support for the students' final year

Week 2, Term 1 - Getting underway and managing your research goals
This workshop concentrates on getting students re-engaged with their project after the Summer break. It covers strategies for beginning the research and balancing the research project module against the students’ other modules, so as to establish good working practice and independent research.

Week 4, Term 1 – Starting to write on your project
This workshop offers strategies for building writing confidence for the research project. It will incorporate different practical approaches for developing an argument and locating a critical viewpoint through reviewing secondary sources and smaller writing tasks, in preparation for starting to draft full chapters later in the project.

Week 7, Term 1 – Demonstrating critical engagement
This workshop focuses on how to generate a clear line of argument and how to create a consistently analytical approach to the research project topic.

Weeks 9 and 10, Term 1 – drop-in clinics
These drop-in clinics would allow students to raise any questions or concerns about their project from Term 1, and to discuss research strategies for the second term’s work.

Week 2, Term 2 – Structuring the research project
This workshop concentrates on different approaches to structuring the research project assessment, with differentiated content for students choosing to write two 4,000-word essays rather than one 8,000-word essay. It will cover structuring chapters as well as structuring the entire project document.

Week 4, Term 2 – Demonstrating originality in the research project
This workshop will look at different ways in which students can demonstrate original and independent research for the project. This would build on the Term 1 workshop on demonstrating critical engagement to emphasize the research project as the culmination of the “Student as Researcher” ethos in the UG degree programme.

Week 7, Term 2 – Building a consistent argument for the research project
This practical workshop will encourage students to check their progress on mapping out a consistent argument for the project. It would build on the Week 1 workshop on structuring the research project and act as a checkpoint for their progress in maintaining a consistent focus for their research and chapters so far.

Week 9, Term 2 – Creating a clear and consistent writing style
This final workshop will focus on the need for revising and editing in the research project in order to create a clear and consistent writing style. It will also offer guidance on responding to supervisor feedback to create the full first draft.

Weeks 10 and 11, Term 2 – drop-in clinics
The drop-in clinics for the end of Term 2 will be a good chance for students to raise any questions or concerns about how to stitch together their full draft of the research project, as well as addressing any issues around research strategy for revisions to previously written chapters.

Weeks 1 and 2, Term 3 – drop-in clinics
These last drop-in clinics cover any last-minute writing concerns, usually around editing and formatting the research project, and responding to supervisor feedback.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate independence in the management and execution of research
  • Be able to conceptualise and articulate an original research project in literary studies
  • Develop strategies for the research and writing of a long-form research project
  • Gain expert and in-depth knowledge of a chosen subfield within literary studies
Research element

It is an independent research project, where the student will have supervision but will be expected to identity and direct their own project's approach.


Students have the opportunity to write about narrative forms and textual objects beyond the usual scope of English literary studies, including fields of literature not currently covered by the other modules in ECLS. It is also an opportunity for students to combine areas, topics and approaches from multiple previously studied modules in order to create a new, original project.


Students have the opportunity to write about global literatures and cultures

Subject specific skills

Engage in-depth with critical arguments on an aspect of literary studies
Demonstrate close critical analysis of the chosen primary texts
Analyse the chosen primary texts in relation to their literary, social, historical and/or cultural contexts
Undertake an extended written analysis of the chosen topic

Transferable skills

Demonstrable ability to design and execute a discreet research project
Argumentative and critical writing skills
Conceptualisation of a long-form written project
Self-management of milestone deadlines within a longer project

Study time

Type Required Optional
Seminars 11 sessions of 1 hour (4%)
Tutorials (0%) 12 sessions of 1 hour
Project supervision 6 sessions of 30 minutes (1%)
Online learning (independent) 6 sessions of 1 hour (2%) 4 sessions of 1 hour
Private study 280 hours (93%)
Total 300 hours
Private study description

Online independent learning involves preparatory tasks that students undertake before the face-to-face lectures. This will include watching mini-lectures on different aspects of writing and researching their project, as well as undertaking short writing exercises.

Private study will comprise the majority of the module's hours, since it is a student-led long research project. This will involve researching, planning and writing the research project assignments.


No further costs have been identified for this module.

You must pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Assessment group A
Weighting Study time
Research Project 100%

8000 words of writing on a chosen area or topic

Feedback on assessment

Written comments


This module is Core for:

  • Year 3 of UENA-Q300 Undergraduate English Literature