Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2008/09 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ENGL3258 The Language and Style of Crime Narratives

20 creditsClass Size: 20


Module manager: Dr Christiana Gregoriou

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2008/09

Pre-requisite qualifications

Students wishing to take this module must have passed an introduction to language study in the School of English or another department (such modules include 'Language, Text and Context', 'Foundations of Language Study', 'Language Methodologies and Research Methods', a Level 1 module in Linguistics and Phonetics, or similar modules in other departments in Modern Languages). Other students who have an A in English Language A-level and who wish to do this module should consult the module tutor, as should any student who is uncertain whether they meet the pre-requisite requirements.

Please note: This module is restricted to Level 2 and 3 students.

This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary

In this module, students will explore the language and style of narratives revolving around crime, and interrogate the role played by the construction of deviant minds, the categorising of the characters into various types, and the extent to which crime narratives of factional, fictional and factual texts differ, if at all.


To introduce students to the stylistic and narratological make-up of crime narratives ranging from those that are fictional to those that are, or at least purport to be, real.

Learning outcomes
Students will have developed:
- the ability to use written and oral communication effectively;
- the capacity to analyse and critically examine diverse forms of discourse;
- the ability to manage quantities of complex information in a structured and systematic way;
- the capacity for independent thought and judgement;
- critical reasoning;
- research skills, including the retrieval of information, the organisation of material and the evaluation of its importance;
- IT skills;
- efficient time management and organisation skills;
- the ability to learn independently.

Skills outcomes
Skills for effective communication, oral and written.
Capacity to analyse and critically examine diverse forms of discourse.
Ability to acquire quantities of complex information of diverse kinds in a structured and systematic way.
Capacity for independent thought and judgement.
Critical reasoning.
Research skills, including information retrieval skills, the organisation of material, and the evaluation of its importance.
IT skills.
Time management and organisational skills.
Independent learning.


The crime narrative is an art form that has dominated publishing ever since the revolution of the mass-market publishing industry began, and it hence constitutes a genre that has never proved unfashionable. This module aims to introduce students to the sylistic and generic make-up of contemporary crime narratives, ranging from fictional and factional to factual texts. As the module is cognitive poetic, it is concerned with our reading and reaction to contemporary crime narratives, and this genre's textual analysis of style. It brings together a whole range of theories penetrating disciplinary boundaries, from literary criticism to philosophy, and from social theory to linguistics.

We will be considering a number of stylistic models applicable to crime narratives. In defining the genre, we will use Wittgenstein's Family Resemblance Theory and the notion of Defamiliarisation. When narratologically engaging with the genre, we will use Bremond's Narrative Cycle and Labov's Narrative model. In exploring Crime Worlds, we will employ Ryan's Possible World Theory while, in investigating Crime Narrative Frames, we will use Emmott's Frame Theory. In considering the linguistic portrayal of the criminal, we will use Gregoriou's Criminal Mind Style. This module additionally introduces a unique model of the 'metafunctions of deviance', a model which directly explores the three aspects of deviance that contemporary crime narratives manipulate: the linguistic, the social and the generic.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours185.00
Total Contact hours15.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Teaching will be through weekly seminars (10 x 1 hour) plus up to 5 additional hours (content to be determined by the module tutor). The 5 additional hours may include lectures, plenary sessions, film showings, or the return of unassessed/assessed essays.

Private Study: Seminar preparation, reading, assignment writing.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Contribution to seminars.
1st assessed assignment (Week 7).

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Assignment1,700 words33.30
Assignment2,750 words66.70
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 24/04/2008


Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019