COURSE TITLE: Literary Research: Theory and Methods
CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION: credits 3 (hrs lect 3 - hrs sem 0 - hrs lab 0)
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course addresses fundamental issues about the many ways we "read" literature, including questions about its production, interpretation, and reception. Focusing on contemporary theory and research methods, the course will provide students with the necessary literary skills to study literature as a formal discipline at an advanced level. It will also provide students with the ability to understand and integrate literature into their own cultural perspectives and worldviews, especially how the Christian faith both expresses and challenges the important critical debates of the 20th and 21st century.

Prerequisites: ENGL 214, 215
  • Lynn, Steven. Texts and Contexts: Writing about Literature with Critical Theory. 7th ed, Pearson, 2017.
  • Online access of Texts and Contexts
Journals/Writing (5X3%) 15%
Quizzes and Discussion 10% 
Article Critique (750 words, 3 pages) 10%
Annotated Bibliography 15%
Research essay (2200-2500 words, 8-10 pages) 30%
Final Exam (take-home) 20%
COURSE OBJECTIVES: Students will . . .
  • become familiarized with the basic schools and language of literary theory
  • learn to identify the theoretical assumptions of literary criticism (which includes students’ own essays)
  • examine theories of reading in a Christian framework
  • be equipped with advanced research methods in preparation for larger essays in senior courses
  • learn to engage critically with secondary literature
  • develop academic essay writing skills
  • The classes will incorporate both lecture and discussion formats. I will introduce each text and its critical background, and then as a class we will examine the text in detail if it is in person,, as well as any supplementary texts. This means that you must attend class, keep up with the readings, and be prepared to contribute to class discussions. It would be useful for you to note what you believe are significant sections from the texts, and how they may contribute to our understanding of the course as a whole.
  • Essays will be accepted for grading within TWO weeks of the due date; however, late paper assessment will follow standard Department of English late policy: one alpha grade-step deduction per day (excluding weekend) to a maximum of five steps. If extenuating circumstances arise, contact your instructor in writing as soon as possible to arrange a plan for completion of the paper.

  • Students must complete all essay assignments to qualify to write the final exam. Failure do so will result in a failing grade in the course even if the grade is mathematically a pass.
  • All assignments must be submitted by the last day of classes.
  • Any rescheduling of the final exam must be formally requested by the student through Registry. 
  • I do not accept rewrites of essays or additional assignments for credit. However, I am happy to assist you with any of your assignments to improve your grades.
GRADING  All grades will be assigned using King's University's alpha scale (A+ - F) and must be uploaded to Turnitin via our Moodle site. Please make copies of your assignments before submission. Keep all assignments in electronic form (on file or on disk) until the semester is over and you have received your official final grade. Essays are due at the beginning of class on the due date. Essays submitted past the due date without medical certificate or a prior arrangement with me will be deducted one alpha step per day (excluding weekends) to a maximum of five alpha steps. Without instructor permission, no new essays will be accepted once class assignments have been returned.. No faxed or e-mailed assignments will be accepted.

Academic integrity measures will be used in this course, including screening all essays for originality through Turnitin. Academic dishonesty is a serious offence with potentially disastrous consequences, and I intend to hold you to the highest academic standards. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with University policies regarding scholarly ethics and academic integrity (see current King's calendar).

There is a zero tolerance policy and multiple incidents may affect your academic record. Stiff penalties apply for offenders:

•  First offense = automatic zero on the assignment.

•  Second offense = automatic failure of the course.

•  Subsequent offense = convening of Discipline Committee with power to recommend penalties up to and including expulsion from the University.

Academic Honesty
The University disciplinary code defines the following as offenses. Committing these or aiding another student in committing these is academic misconduct.

Cheating includes: obtaining or providing information or material from or to others during an exam; allowing another student to observe answers during an exam; or possessing or attempting to acquire or distribute unauthorized material relating to an exam.

Plagiarism includes: representing another's work in whole or in part as one's own in an exam or paper, knowingly including a false statement or reference as if it were true, or submission by the student of the work prepared for a different course without the express consent of the instructor.

Other offenses are: tampering or attempting to tamper with examinations, class work, grades or class records; failure to abide by instructor directions regarding the individuality of work; impersonation of another student in an examination or other class assignment; falsification or fabrication of lab reports; the non-authorized recording of lectures; failure to obtain approval, permission, or to otherwise follow procedures, as required by the University as outlined in the University Calendar.

The first occurrence of plagiarism in any course results in a zero for the assignment, test, or exam; the second case in any course results in a zero for the course; and the third case in any course results in academic suspension. Occurrences of plagiarism will also be noted on the student’s academic record. For more information see the King’s Calendar.

Academic integrity applies to every aspect of the classroom – from testing to our relationship with peers. Major assignments will be vetted by TurnItIn; students will also sign and submit an Academic Integrity Agreement detailing our shared understanding of professional practices and conduct.

***Please (PLEASE!) discuss with me any concerns you may have regarding your research or other matters.  I will also address plagiarism and proper citation methods throughout the semester, and post information on our website.


Student Support Services

Students with disabilities or medical conditions who require academic accommodations in this course must contact a Coordinator in the Student Support and Accessibility Office (SSAO) to complete a registration form and receive the necessary Letters of Accommodation.

After registering with the Student Support and Accessibility Office, students must present their Letter of Accommodation and discuss their needs with their professor as early in the term as possible.

Please note that more information including deadlines for the submission of documentation and completed forms to Student Support and Accessibility Office are available on the website:

Tutoring Services

Students can access tutoring help through the Tutoring Registry in the Academic Enrichment Centre in the Library, which allows students to hire a tutor at $15/hr. Students will also be able to apply to become a tutor through this Registry.

The Writing Centre, also housed within the Academic Enrichment Centre in the Library, will be offering weekly group tutorials for English as well as individual tutoring in writing. Some academic departments offer weekly group tutorials in the areas of Math, Chemistry and Biology. There is an Academic Support Assistant, who can share effective study techniques and time management skills. Book appointments by emailing

Mental Health Supports

Counselling Services: Book appt online through

Wellness Room: Join King’s Wellness Room on FB

Campus Minister: Tim Wood (

Spiritual Mentor and Life Coach: Bob Foo ( or Val Martens (

Student Life: – to help you find supports in your area

Check out the King’s website for more support information.


Department of English