EL5022 - Thinking About Voice

What will I learn on this module?

This module introduces students to the core skills and ideas of voice as applied to creative writing. You will learn about technical aspects of voice in creative writing, e.g. the concepts of register and free indirect discourse. You will also learn about the wider notion of developing an individual creative voice, i.e. the expression of subjectivity, and the importance of originality. You will learn about the way that tone is deployed in different types of writing, and you will learn about the imaginative use of language. All of this will give you tools that you can utilise in your own creative work.

How will I learn on this module?

Teaching is through one 1.5 hour session per week. The sessions will include tutor presentations and exercises, writing in class, and workshops where students offer peer feedback on work-in-progress.

The aim of this module is to create a supportive environment in which your knowledge, confidence, creative and critical skills in working on voice can develop. The module makes appropriate use of technology enhanced learning through use of the Blackboard electronic learning platform and the online support offered by Northumbria’s SkillsPlus programme.

In addition to the scheduled sessions, you are expected to undertake both directed and independent learning. Directed learning includes preparation for seminars (including both reading and written work) individually or in small groups. Independent learning includes further reading and investigation, the consolidation of seminar materials, and revision/preparation for the module assignments. There will also be one one-to-one tutorial per semester.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Your learning will be academically supported by peer and tutor feedback on your work within writing workshops as well as tutor-led debates around different forms and modes of writing voice; your tutor will facilitate set writing exercises and help trigger new work and provide tutorial support.

The module handbook provides details of seminars, reading lists and assessment criteria; lecture PowerPoint slides are made available on the e-learning platform, together with links to relevant skills materials in the library. The module tutor is available in lectures and seminars, as well as during office hours, to discuss any queries or concerns you have. Feedback in workshops on formative work serves as ‘feed forward’, giving guidance on how to improve during the module.

You are advised to see your Guidance Tutor at least twice each semester to review your academic progress. The Guidance Booklet, which you receive at the start of your first year, includes structured materials designed to help you develop your self-reflection skills. These materials underpin the academic side of the regular Guidance meetings, helping you to learn how to best use the feedback you receive on your assignments, how to build on your strengths, and improve in the areas where you could perform better.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

• Develop an understanding of the nature of voice in different writing genres.

• Gain an appreciation of how different kinds of voice can be applied effectively.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

• Achieve a variety of basic key skills related to voice, e.g. register, free indirect style.

• Develop critical judgment and editing skills.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

• Sensitivity and effectiveness when giving and receiving critical feedback in a group context.

How will I be assessed?

Formative: students will receive peer and tutor feedback on work-in-progress as part of seminars

You will submit one assessment at the end of each semester

Assessment 1
A creative piece(s) totalling 1,700 words (or equivalent), accompanied by a 300-word reflective commentary. (50%) MLO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Assessment 2
A creative piece(s) totalling 1,700 words (or equivalent), accompanied by a 300-word reflective commentary. (50%) MLO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Feedback on summative work will be provided using the Departmental template and comments on the script.





Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

Course info

UCAS Code QW38

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Humanities

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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