EGH210 : Investigating Real Readers

Convener(s): Dr Sara Whiteley


General Information

In stylistics, textual analysis and other approaches to literary and non-literary texts it is very common to talk generally or hypothetically about the effect which a text has on its readers or audience. Often, ‘the reader’ in such analyses is a theoretical construct rather than an actual person. In contrast, this module is centrally concerned with how data from real readers can be used in text analysis. You will be introduced to some of the methods which can be used to investigate real readers’ responses to texts, with a central emphasis on verbal (written or spoken) data and qualitative analysis. These include empirical tasks, questionnaires, focus groups and internet resources. Crucially, you will also think about how this data can be used to direct or support the close analysis of texts. This module has a largely practical focus, so in class you will be involved in testing and evaluating these methods and exploring your own and other people’s responses to texts. For your assessment, you will conduct a small-scale investigation of reader responses to a text of your choice. Upon completing the module, you will have an understanding of how to design, conduct and reflect upon your own stylistic investigation of real readers. To take this module, students will normally be expected to have completed 'Practical Stylistics' at Level 1.


1 lecture and 1 seminar per week Workshops every fortnight


1,500 word essay (30%) 2,500 word research report (70%)

Contact Details

Dr Sara Whiteley

Information last changed: Thursday 07th of April 2016 :: 01:17:11 PM (BST)

Please note: This module may or may not run in any individual session. Please check with the course convener.


The University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK