(Please note: As emagazine is a subscription website, the links in the activities will not work unless you have already logged in. So before starting, please make sure you have logged in to emagazine: https://www.englishandmedia.co.uk/e-magazine/emag-login/)
What can critical approaches offer you as you develop your own independent reading? In this article, Dr Andrew Green shows how theory can open up new possibilities, using Dylan Thomas's 'Do not go gentle' as an example.
In this article, George Norton asks how we know that something is literature or not. Using extracts from texts and critical comment, he offers some ways of deciding that get to the heart of what we do when we study texts.
Professor Peter Barry argues for four levels of commentary – a way of analysing any text which draws on different approaches to literary study. He exemplifies this with commentary on a poem.
You could read his article and then try to apply his methods to a poem of your own choice.
Which texts are you proud to have read? And which do you keep quiet about? In this article, Carol Atherton reflects on her teenage reading to explore ideas about the canon, those that are included – and those that are not.
In this article, English Lecturer Siobhán Holland explains what you can expect from an English Literature course at university – not an entirely different experience, but one that will give increasing sophistication to your ideas about texts and reading.
There are several other articles on the website that give you ideas about what studying English at university might be like. If you’re in Year 12 and will have some choices coming up, this one might be good to help you with your decision.
emagazine editors, Barbara Bleiman and Lucy Webster, introduce some ideas about how narrative texts begin, drawing on the ideas of John Mullan and Blake Morrison, and provide an activity to do yourself on the openings of several well-known novels. Click to read.