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ENL2003 The Art of Storytelling

Semester 2, 2011 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Arts
School or Department : School of Humanities and Communication

Contents on this page


Examiner: Lawrence Johnson
Moderator: Brian Musgrove


Pre-requisite: ENL1000 or ENL1001


Storytelling is considered to be a universal cultural practice. The study of narrative forms and structures thus contributes to a general understanding of how people make sense of themselves and their world. This course enables students to expand on concepts and skills from introductory English courses, providing more detailed strategies for analysing narratives in a variety of different textual forms, including novels, films and new media. Analyses of texts will be organised around key concepts of Narrative Time and Narrative Distance, enabling students to identify structural commonalities across the different types of narrative texts and to pinpoint specific characteristics of each form. Consideration will also be given in each case to historical and cultural contexts, to highlight the relationship between text and context, but also to demonstrate the more general validity of narrative analysis


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. Comprehend and apply an advanced vocabulary of critical narratology in identifying structural
    commonalities among narratives in novels, films and new media;
  2. Demonstrate further academic and professional literacy by critiquing a critical argument;
  3. Employ intermediate written communication skills in writing essays to different academic purposes;
  4. Effectively use cultural literacy in examining the relationship between a narrative text and the cultural and historical contexts in which it is produced and received
  5. Exercise problem-solving skills in addressing both basic and complex issues related to adaptation of narratives between different media;
  6. Successfully adapt the knowledge acquired from objectives 1 to 5 to a creative storytelling exercise.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Critical Approaches: Narrative Time and Distance 20.00
2. Narratology and the Novel 40.00
3. New Narrative Forms 40.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Conrad, Joseph 1988, Heart of darkness, 4th edn, Norton, New York.
    (Norton Critical Edition, edited by Armstrong, Paul B.)
  • Faulkner, William 2009, As I lay dying, Norton.
    (Norton Critical Edition, edited by Michael Gorra.)
  • H.Porter Abbott 2008, The Cambridge Introduction to Narrative, 2nd edn, Cambridge UP, Cambridge.
  • James, Henry 1999, The turn of the screw, 2nd edn, Norton, New York.
    (Norton Critical Edition, edited by Esch, Deborah & Warren, Jonathan.)
  • DVD, "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind", 2004, Michel Gondry (dir.), Roadshow Entertainment. Film, "Groundhog Day", 1993, Harold Ramis (dir.), Columbia Tristar. Film, "The Others", 2001, Alejandro Amenabar (dir.), Cruise/Wagner Productions. Film, "The Usual Suspects", 1995, Bryan Singer (dir.), PlyGram Filmed Entertainment. Multimedia, "Afternoon, A Story", Michael Joyce, Eastgate Systems Inc.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Corrigan, Timothy 1999, Film and literature: an introduction and reader, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.
  • Herman, D, Jahn, M & Ryan, M (eds.) 2005, Routledge encyclopedia of narrative theory, Routledge, New York.
  • Herman, David 1999, Narratologies: new perspectives on narrative analysis, Ohio State University Press, Columbus, OH.
  • Kindt, Tom & Muller, Hans-Harald 2003, What is narratology?: questions and answers regarding the status of a theory, Walter de Gruyter, New York.
  • Lothe, Jakob 2000, Narrative in fiction and film, Oxford University Press, New York.
  • Milner, Andrew 2002, Contemporary cultural theory: an introduction, 3rd edn, Routledge, New York.
  • Monaco, James 2000, How to read a film, 3rd edn, Oxford University Press, New York.
  • Murray, Janet 1998, Hamlet on the holodeck: the future of narrative in cyberspace, MIT Press, Cambridge, MASS.
  • Prince, Gerald 2003, A dictionary of narratology (Rev. ed), University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln.
  • Punday, Daniel 2003, Narrative bodies: toward a corporeal narratology, Palgrave MacMillan, New York.
  • Ryan, Marie-Laure 2001, Narrative as virtual reality, John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
    (Electronic version also.)
  • Wolf, Mark & Perron, Bernard (eds.) 2004, The video game theory reader, Routledge, New York.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Examinations 2.00
Lectures 13.00
Private Study 122.00
Tutorials 26.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Objectives assessed Graduate skill Level assessed Notes
ESSAY 1 (1500 WORDS) 100 30 02 Sep 2011 1,2,3,4 U1,U2,U4 2,2,2 (see note 1)
ESSAY 2 (2000 WORDS) 100 30 28 Oct 2011 1,3,4,5,6 U1,U2,U3,U4,U5 2,2,2,2,2 (see note 2)
TUTORIAL PARTICIPATION 100 10 11 Nov 2011 1,3,5,6 U1,U3,U4,U5 2,2,2,2 (see note 3)
EXAMINATION (2 HOUR) 100 30 End S2 1,2,4,5 U1,U3,U4 2,2,2 (see note 4)

  1. This assessment is aligned with Objectives 1 - 4.
  2. This assessment is aligned with Objectives 1 - 4.
  3. Tutorial participation is graded according to the quality and frequency of contribution to tutorial discussion and evidence of preparation throughout the semester.
  4. Studens will be advised of the exam date when the timetable has been finalised.

Graduate qualities and skills

Elements of the following USQ Graduate Skills are associated with the sucessful completion of this course.
Problem solving (U2)Intermediate (Level 2)
Academic, professional and digital literacy (U3)Intermediate (Level 2)
Written and oral communication (U4)Intermediate (Level 2)
Cultural literacy (U7)Intermediate (Level 2)
Creativity, initiative and enterprise (U9)Intermediate (Level 2)

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the student's responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration. For this course, normal class attendance consists of one 1 hour lecture and one 2 hour tutorial per week.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To successfully complete an individual assessment item, a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C-. This statement must be read in conjunction with Statement 4 below.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without extenuating circumstances and without prior approval, then a penalty of a maximum of 5% of the assigned mark may apply for each working day late, up to a maximum of 10 working days, at which time a mark of zero can be recorded for that assignment.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    The exam for this course is a CLOSED EXAMINATION, and candidates are allowed to bring only writing and drawing instruments into the examination.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any deferred or supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. (a) The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must lodge the assignment at the USQ. (b) All Faculty of Arts assignments must be lodged in the Faculty Assessment Centre on the Ground Floor of Q Block no later than 12 noon on the due date. (c) In the event that a due date for an assignment falls on a local public holiday in their area, such as a Show holiday, the due date for the assignment will be the next day. Students are to note on the assignment cover the date of the public holiday for the examiner's convenience. (d). Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to USQ within 24 hours if requested by the Examiner. (e) In accordance with University's Assignment Extension Policy (Regulation 5.6.1), the examiner of a course may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances such as documented ill-health. (f) Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in the course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of the course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded the temporary grade: IM (Incomplete-Makeup). An IM grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non-directed personal study. (g) Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or sit for an examination at the scheduled time, may apply to defer an assessment in the course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded: IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination; IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  2. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in the course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect to achieve the same grades as those students who do possess them.