LITS3303 EXAM ADVICE,
1. Given that the term paper
examines your knowledge of Module One: Marxism, the final exam is based on
Two: Psychoanalysis and Module Three: Phenomenology / Existentialism /
Hermeneutics. Of course, some things discussed in Module One may
be relevant to what we did in Modules Two and Three, so it might be important to
bear some of those in mind as well. But your main focus should be on Modules Two and
2. There are SIX questions
in all to choose from. The exam is divided into THREE sections: Section A: General;
Section B: Psychoanalysis; and Section C: Phenomenology / Existentialism /
Hermeneutics. You are
required to answer TWO questions, each drawn from a different section.
Here are the instructions as they will appear on the exam:
- Answer TWO questions, each from a different section.
- In each answer, you should refer closely to the arguments advanced
by the theorists in question.
- Do not repeat substantially the same material in both answers.
3. Each question asks you to compare the views of at
least TWO theorists studied on one topic.
4. Section A: General
includes two questions, each on a topic of a general nature addressed in the
course as a whole and which you are asked to discuss with reference to
ONE Psychoanalytic and ONE Phenomenological / Existentialist /
Hermeneutical theorist studied this semester.
5. Section B:
Psychoanalysis includes two questions based on the following topics and
sub-topics addressed in the
course of Module Two:
6. Section C: Phenomenology /
Existentialism / Hermeneutics includes two questions based on the following
topics and sub-topics addressed in the course of Module Three :
7. I would advise you to
choose TWO of the sections described above and revise all the topics listed
familiarising yourself with the school of
thought studied in this module by
carefully, in the case of each theorist,
studying the primary sources in
question in conjunction with my own summaries / notes;
trying to recall the argument advanced in
consulting relevant secondary sources for the light that these
may shed on the views of the theorist in question (for suggested readings,
consult the relevant
comparing and contrasting the point of view of
Remember that the goal is not merely to
paraphrase the argument of a particular theorist but to marshall that
information in order to answer the particular question asked.
8. Some additional useful advice:
One way to get a handle on a particular theory is to consider the
implications of the argument in question for your own work as a theorist and
critic: how has it changed how you think about the nature of human identity,
or the nature of knowledge, or the criticism of literature,
etc.? How has it also accordingly changed what you do as a literary critic?
Another way to grasp a theory is to study a
practical application of it. For example, if you are trying to come to
grips with Freud's model of the psyche and the applicability of
psychoanalysis to literary criticism more generally, it might be
useful to read Marie Bonaparte's famous psychoanalytic study of Edgar Allan
Last but not least, remember that the secret in doing well in any exam is to
anticipate the kind of questions which may be asked. To this end,
thoroughly: study the PAST EXAM PAPERS
in this course and try, in the case of each topic and each theorist, to
recall my emphases (and even hints), to put your finger on the main issues at stake and, thus,
to figure out the kind of question which may be
asked of you.