News and events from the University of Brighton's Humanities programme areas

Hacks from Literature student

English Literature student and online ambassador Misti has written a series of hacks that she has found useful during her time on the course.

1) Audiobooks This has to be my number one ‘hack’ as an English literature student. One of the things that puts people off studying literature, and a lot of the questions I get from prospective students is ‘how many books do you have to read?’ and while the answer is on average 3 books a week (which panics people) it’s really not as hard as it seems. Firstly, reading novels/ novellas/ short stories/poems is EASIER and more enjoyable to read than most academic writing. I switched from a History course and although there was technically more reading, it didn’t really feel like it. This is because academic journals and essays take much more focused effort, especially when you’re looking up every other word in the dictionary. So- audiobooks are your new best friend. You need to get through novels quickly and these are perfect to listen to while you’re getting ready/ sitting on the 25 in traffic- an hour in the morning and you’ve flown through 2/3 chapters. Also- with lots of literature modules you’re going to be studying very popular books and these audiobooks are often on YouTube for free!

2) Try to read Literature lecturers are nice, and they’re all passionate about literature. While it is very important to cover most of the books in a module, getting into a rut and feeling like you’re never reading for pleasure any more can really suck the joy out of your degree. My advice here would be to ask your module leader what flexibility there is within the reading list (there often is) and they would be happy to suggest novels closer to your interests that you can write about in your assessments. You’re always going to do better when you’re writing about what you enjoy!

3) Referencing Tools As a literature student referencing will be the bane of your life. So many times I’ve written an entire essay only to go back and forget where half my quotations came from. Using software like ‘endnote’ -which you can get for free from the university here: really a life saver as it does all the hard work for you! Book a 1 to 1 at the library at University for someone to help you, it really is worth it as it’s an easy way to pick up marks on your essays!

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Kate Miller • January 27, 2020

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