LANG 3050 Introduction to Stylistics

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 102186

Coordinator Christopher Conti Opens in new window

Description The focus of this online subject is the language of literature and the craft of writing. The subject explores the rhetorical or figurative dimension of language across literary and non-literary texts. Students analyse a range of short texts - mostly passages from novels and poems - with an eye to the formal basis of their effects. Through recorded lecture pods and online exercises, students are introduced to the basic tools of stylistic analysis, including narrative analysis, metaphorical analysis and critical discourse analysis.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Discipline Linguistics

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 1 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 3 subject


Successful completion of 60 credit points of study in currently enrolled program.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Identify the linguistics basis of literary effects or "style"
  2. analyse the rhetorical character of "ordinary" language and text, including the key tropes metaphor, metenymy and irony;
  3. apply a range of analytical tools to literary and non-literary texts;
  4. implement textual, interpretive and narrative analyses that have applications across discursive and disciplinary boundaries.

Subject Content

Introduction: Literature and literariness - Defamiliarisation - Foregrounding
Module 1: Language as system - Word choices - Collocation
Module 2: Grammar, syntax and function - Transitivity 1: Clauses and agents - Transitivity 2: Patterns
Module 3: Metaphor and metonymy -Tenor and vehicle - Cognitive metaphor theory
Module 4: Language, rhetoric and power - Text and context - Critical discourse analysis
Module 5: Narrative - Focalisation and free indirect discourse - Mind style


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Online quizzes 1,000 words in total 20 N Individual
Transitivity analysis 1,000-1,500 words 30 N Individual
Final essay 2,000 words 50 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • No prescribed textbook. Short texts for analysis will be drawn from a range of sources, including subjects in the BA English Major, and provided in PDF form (mostly poems and short stories).