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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ENGL2100 Style and Authorship

20 creditsClass Size: 30

School of English

Module manager: Dr Mel Evans

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The question of ‘who wrote what’ remains a pervasive and complex question within linguistics and literary studies. Drawing on developments in digital tools and critical frameworks, this module allows students to investigate what constitutes ‘authorial style’ in a range of texts and genres. The module introduces the history of authorship investigation in English language texts and outlines the current state-of-the-art in areas such as forensic linguistics and computational stylistics. Students will think critically about the social value of authorship (e.g. why does it matter what Shakespeare, or whoever, did, or didn’t, write?) and the ideologies often bound up with expectations and interpretations of language style and social categories, such as gender. The module provides students with training in digital tools and software, giving opportunities for hands-on experience in digital text analysis, mark-up language, programming languages and corpus linguistic software.


The module will develop students’ understanding of the theoretical and methodological dimensions of investigating linguistic style and authorship, focussing on examples of English language from the present and the past, and provide practical experience in relevant digital tools and applications.
The main objectives are:
To introduce students to the key concepts of style and authorship from a linguistic perspective
To enable students to investigate style and authorship in a range of text types, from the past and present, and from literary and non-literary genres
To promote a critical approach to ideologies around language use and its social connotations, such as stylistic stereotypes around gender, race and class.
To provide students with digital skills and literacies relevant to digital stylometric and stylistic analyses, which are also transferable to post-degree employability contexts

Learning outcomes
1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the ways in which style, identity and authorship have been conceptualised and investigated in English language texts
2. Able to select and apply appropriate analytical digital tools and approaches relevant for the analysis of style and authorship
3. Critically engage with scholarship and wider social views around authorship and style stereotypes
4. Compare, contrast and critique frameworks relevant to authorial style
5. Design and develop investigative approaches in response to research questions about style and authorship
6. Develop digital skills and literacies linked to text analysis

Skills outcomes
Experience in the investigation of authorial style
The ability to analyse literary and non-literary texts using close-reading techniques and digital tools


The module covers a range of genres and texts from different historical periods, with a focus on early modern, late modern and present-day evidence. This will include literary authors such as William Shakespeare and Aphra Behn, alongside evidence from non-literary digital corpora and other online resources.
The scholarship will draw on researchers within linguistics (e.g. Asif Agha, Barbara Johnstone), digital humanities (e.g. Ted Underwood), computational stylistics (e.g. Hugh Craig) and literary scholarship (e.g. Harold Love), providing students with an interdisciplinary perspective on the treatment of authorial style.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
On-line Learning41.004.00
Private study hours180.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Private study includes: wider reading and research (65 hrs); developing digital skills (23hrs); preparing for seminars (32hrs); contributing to portfolio (20hrs); preparing assignments (40hrs)

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will have preparatory tasks for each seminar and online workshop, with formative feedback provided from staff and peers for each session.
Students will complete a reflective log on their experience of using digital tools, and receive recorded spoken feedback on each entry as the course progresses.
Students will get group feedback on their progress at key milestones on the module
Students will receive formative feedback from their tutor and peers on their essay plan and rationale

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3000 word Essay70.00
Reflective logAccount of digital tools and skills development during module30.00
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: 29/04/2022 15:24:12


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