• Class Number 3398
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Russell Smith
    • Dr Russell Smith
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/02/2019
  • Class End Date 31/05/2019
  • Census Date 31/03/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 04/03/2019
SELT Survey Results

This course will build on students’ research skills and knowledge in literary and cultural studies, drama and creative writing, and will equip them with the tools needed to write a well-researched and critically-engaged thesis at honours level and beyond. The course will focus on guiding students through the writing of a portion of their own thesis project. This will involve three elements: 1) locating and evaluating secondary material relevant to their topic; 2) developing a critical framework which is appropriate for the discussion and analysis of their primary text/s (whether poetry, fiction, drama, film, or other cultural texts); and 3) drafting and revising a section of the thesis itself. Through each stage of the process students will exchange their work with their peers for discussion and feedback. The aim of the course is to enable and encourage students to position their work clearly in relation to existing scholarship and critical debates on their topic, and to articulate their own intervention with clarity and persuasiveness.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. Conduct bibliographic and/or archival research in the field of literary studies, including drama and creative writing.
  2. Analyse and critically evaluate primary and secondary material from a range of sources.
  3. Apply knowledge of appropriate theories and  methodologies to primary texts and position this analysis in relation to existing research in the field.
  4. Outline their research topic and situate their research question or critical approach in relation to existing scholarship in the field.

Required Resources

None: reading is guided by the student’s thesis topic.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • verbal feedback from tutor and peers, and written feedback from tutor, on the Annotated Bibliography
  • Feedback on the Oral Presentation via wattle;
  • written comments on the Essay submitted for Task 3;
  • summary feedback during seminars throughout the course.

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

You can use sections of your essay written for ENGL4020 in your thesis. Make sure that if you submit an early version of a chapter of your thesis as part of the requirements for ENGL4020/ENGL8020 that you insert a statement in the front matter of your thesis specifying what has been reused, such as:

An early version of [specify what was previously submitted, e.g. chapter one] was previously submitted as part of the requirements for ENGL4020 Researching and Writing the Thesis.

Referencing requirements

All sources directly quoted, paraphrased, or consulted as part of background reading, should be cited according to the academic conventions as outlined in EITHER the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th Edition), or the Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition). Helpful guides to both referencing formats are available here:

MLA Formatting and Style Guide


Chicago Manual of Style 16th Edition


Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Seminar: Introduction: Why do research? What is ‘good’ research? Presenter: Russell Smith
2 Seminar: What is a thesis?; Past thesis evaluation; Writing a research question; Planning for library research Presenters: Russell Smith and Vivien Silvey
3 Seminar: Finding and evaluating sources for your thesis; Constructing an annotated bibliography in the Chifley Library Flexible Learning Lab Presenters: Russell Smith and Rebecca Barber
4 Seminar: Endnote session in the Menzies Flex Lab Presenter: Jason Murdoch
5 Seminar: Reading and analysing secondary sources. Bring two potentially useful sources to the workshop and a draft annotated bibliography. Peer review session 1 (Annotated Bibliography) Presenter: Russell Smith
6 Seminar: Effective oral presentation skills & Drafting an introduction Presenters: Russell Smith & Vivien Silvey Annotated Bibliography due
7 Seminar: Structuring a thesis chapter; Practicing the lit review Presenter: Russell Smith Student presentations Part 1
8 Seminar: Developing a theoretical approach & Situating the Thesis in relation to current research; Refining a research question/sketching an outline; Bring a chapter outline Presenter: Russell Smith Student presentations Part 2
9 Seminar: Peer review session 1: bring an introduction of your essay Presenter: Russell Smith Student presentations Part 3
10 Seminar: Peer review session 2: bring draft of essay Presenter: Russell Smith Student presentations Part 4
11 Seminar: No class – essay writing week Presenter: Russell Smith Essay due
12 Seminar: Using essay feedback (bring your essay); Essay to chapter revisions; Course evaluation Presenter: Russell Smith Student presentations Part 5

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Annotated Bibliography 20 % 01/04/2019 23/04/2019 1,2
Oral Presentation 10 % 01/01/2029 02/02/2029 1,2,3,4
3000-5000 word essay 70 % 23/05/2019 21/06/2019 1,2,3,4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 01/04/2019
Return of Assessment: 23/04/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2

Annotated Bibliography

Details: 1000 words

Value: 20%

Due date:

Details of task:

Present an annotated bibliography of work-in-progress research towards your thesis.

You bibliography should include:

  1. A sorting of your references into a series of sub-bibliographies, categorised both thematically and functionally (that is, in terms of the kind of work they do for your research project: overview or comprehensive? Primary or secondary texts? Theoretical/methodological? Background/broad context?)
  2. Preliminary annotations on key references that you sense will be central to your project as it develops.
  3. Notes on further work to be done in terms of:
  • Finding material
  • Assessing material
  • Taking summary or detailed notes

Students will be asked to bring a DRAFT Annotated Bibliography to the Peer Review Session in class in Week 4 (Tuesday 14 March). Students will be asked to review and comment on each other’s work during class, and are expected to draw on this feedback in finalising the Annotated Bibliography for submission.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 01/01/2029
Return of Assessment: 02/02/2029
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Oral Presentation

Details: STRICTLY 10 minute presentation

Value: 10%

Due date: Rolling deadline

Details of task:

Present a brief overview of your thesis topic, which should include:

  1. A quick introduction to the broader research field;
  2. An explanation of the specific problem/research question you aim to address;
  3. An outline of the proposed structure of your thesis;
  4. A brief summary of work completed so far, any anticipated problems or difficulties, and how you aim to confront, combat and defeat them.

This presentation is STRICTLY limited to 10 minutes. Practice and time your talk beforehand.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 70 %
Due Date: 23/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 21/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

3000-5000 word essay

Details: 3000-5000 words

Value: 70%

Due date:

Details of task:

This essay should be a free-standing extract from your thesis-in-progress. It could be your introduction, or a chapter on one of your primary texts. Where necessary, include a brief contextualising statement to orient your reader.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) as submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Written feedback on Assessment Task 1 will be returned three weeks after submission. Written feedback on Assessment Task 3 will be returned to students via Wattle by the end of the examination period.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Russell Smith

Research Interests

Dr Russell Smith

Wednesday 14:00 15:00
Wednesday 14:00 15:00
Dr Russell Smith

Research Interests

Dr Russell Smith

Wednesday 14:00 15:00
Wednesday 14:00 15:00

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