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First year BA studies in English (2005)

Welcome! | The first-year programme of studies | BA first year autumn semester | BA first year spring semester | Summary of the first-year BA programme | Essays | Plagiarism | Looking ahead
 

Welcome!

The staff of the English section have pleasure in welcoming you to the University - and to the English section in particular. To help you get off to a good start, we provide you here with the information you will need in your first year. Please read it carefully, act on it now as necessary, and refer to it regularly.

The standards of the English section are high: to follow the courses and produce the required written work, you should already have reached upper-intermediate level in English (B2 on the Council of Europe common reference scale). To give you an idea of your current level, we ask you to take the Oxford Quick Placement Test in the language lab during the first week of the semester.

In the course of your first two years you should achieve advanced competence in written and oral English; by the time you collect your BA your command of English should be assured. Whenever we assess your work, we take account of your competence in English.

Courses in the English section are structured and progressive; to bene­fit from this - and gain your credits - you must attend them regularly.

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The first-year programme of studies

At Lausanne, the credit-based BA / MA system (known as the Bologna programme) is now in effect.

To see the plan d'études for the whole 70-credit programme in English, click here.

For an overview of the whole timetable for first year studies in English, see the link below. (Further down the page you will also find links to the timetables for individual classes.)

If you are a student in SSP taking English as your "mineure", you will follow the Discipline de base first year program described on this page, and will follow the English Discipline de base program throughout your BA. 

If you are a Discipline complémentaire student of English, you should follow all the instructions EXCEPT those relating to Introduction to English Language and Linguistics - you will take this course in your second year.

Overview of first year programme - autumn semester 2012

In the English section, the required courses for first-year students are divided into different groups, meeting at different times in the week. To gain your credits you must attend one group of each of the following course modules:

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BA first year autumn semester

BA/12-DB 01

English Composition (EC) 2h/week

Practice in the basics of planning, writing and revising academic essays.

Textbook: The English Department Guide to Essay-writing (EDGE)

Join one group for the semester (class times listed on timetable page).

 

BA/12-DB 02

Introduction to English Language and Linguistics (IELL)

 

2 parts:
• Course : IELL (1h / week)
• Workshop : IELL (1h every two weeks; choose one of the four groups offered in the timetable)

Textbook: Ralph W. Fasould amd Jeffrey Connor-Linton, Introduction to Language and Linguistics (Cambridge University Press, 2006).

You should attend both the course and one workshop group.

The Introduction à la linguistique générale lecture given by the linguistics section is not required for students doing English, but you are encouraged to attend it as a complement to IELL. You may in any case have to follow it for another section. For those that follow it, there is a test at the end of the summer semester.
IELL on timetable page

 

BA/12-DB 03

English Literature Survey (ELS) 1h/week


Covers the history of English literature, society and culture.


• Autumn Semester: origins to 1485


Textbook: The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. 1 (8th ed., 2006)

 

ELS on timetable page

 

Introduction to Literary Analysis (ILA) 2h/week

Methods of close reading and key approaches, aspects, problems and concepts in the analysis of literary texts.

Textbook: The Norton Anthology of English Literature (8th ed., 2006)

Join one group for the semester (class times listed on timetable page).

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BA first year spring semester

BA/12-DB 01 

English Composition (EC) 2h every 2 weeks

Essay-writing and oral presentation.

Textbook: The English Department Guide to Essay-writing (EDGE)

Join one group for the semester (not necessarily the same group as during the autumn).

EC on timetable page

 

BA/12-DB 02

Introduction to English Language and Linguistics (IELL)

2 parts:
• Course : IELL (1h / week)
• Workshop : IELL (1h every two weeks; choose one of the four groups offered in the timetable)

Textbook: Ralph W. Fasould amd Jeffrey Connor-Linton, Introduction to Language and Linguistics (Cambridge University Press, 2006).

You should attend both the course and one of the workshops.

IELL on timetable page

 

BA/12-DB 03

English Literature Survey (ELS) 1h/week

Covers the history of English literature, society and culture.

• Spring Semester: 1485- 1785

 

Textbook: The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. 1 (8th ed., 2006)

ELS on timetable page

 

Introduction to Literary Analysis 2 (ILA2) 2h/week

Prose and drama texts t.b.a.

Join one group for the semester (not necessarily the same group as during the autumn)

ILA on timetable page

 

BA/12-DB 04

Discovery: Medieval English (IMLL1) 3h/week

1-hour lecture

2-hour workshop in smaller groups

 

Follow this course and one of the associated workshops (timetable below)

IMLL1 on timetable page (spring only)

 

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Summary of the first-year BA programme

To 'pass' your first year

To enter the second year of study, you must acquire 30 credits during your first year. The table below shows how these credits are distributed among the modules described above.

Each course is assessed and validated in a different way. Your teachers will inform you of how you should proceed to satisfy their requirements.

Autumn Spring Requirements Validation Credits
EC 1 EC 2 essays, literary analyses based on work submitted 10
         
         
IELL IELL active attendance, both parts of IELL tests throughout the year 5
         
ILA 1   active attendance, essay continuous + essay 10
  ILA 2 oral presentation; essay oral presentation + essay  
ELS ELS active attendance test each semester  
         
  IMLL 1 translation and commentary end of semester test 5

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Essays

The English section lays much emphasis on the writing of essays. The skill is practised on set topics throughout the first year in EC. In ILA you have a little more choice since you write on the literary texts studied in your group.

Paper copies of The English Department Guide to Essay-writing (EDGE) will be sold in the EC class (price 2CHF); it can also be downloaded (in pdf) here. You should consult it at every stage of the writing process throughout your time in the English section. The remarks that follow address a few of the basic principles - see EDGE for more detail.

Form

Handwritten essays are no longer accepted. It is to your advantage to use a computer for writing; it makes revision so easy. Always follow EDGE in questions of layout and form (quotations, references, bibliography, etc.).

First-year essays may be only 2-6 pages long; second-year essays are expected to be 5-to-10 pages, and third-year essays 8-to-12 pages.

Content

Writing is a medium for thinking creatively, not just for committing ideas to paper. Draft an outline before you start, formulating your ideas and establishing the connections between the steps of your argument. To achieve a structured essay, study chapter 2 of EDGE and be prepared to rewrite whole paragraphs as your ideas develop. Discard anything that is not relevant to your topic.

Writing an essay is an opportunity to develop your critical vocabulary, using the terms you have encountered in literature courses. Pay close attention to the words you write; check them frequently in an English-English dictionary. Beware of literary terms (like tragic and dramatic) that are used very loosely in everyday speech. When you know what a myth is, would you try to go to une salle de concert mythique?

Working with staff

Consult with your teacher about your choice of text(s), focus and topic before you start to write. You will find it helpful to discuss them with him or her both during and after writing.

An unsatisfactory essay must be rewritten. It is normal to rethink, revise, and rewrite; the process of rewriting is an important learning experience.

Identifying sources

Identify all information or ideas that you borrow. Use your own words whenever possible, rather than make long quotations from critics. At the end of your ILA essay, append a bibliography listing your primary text(s) and all the articles and books you read or consulted (secondary sources).

Deadlines

Every essay must be written while you are following the module it arises from. To gain the associated credit, it must be acceptable and accepted before the course ends. Teachers will specify the deadline for handing in essays in each course, allowing themselves time to read the work and you the time to revise it (if required). Generally speaking, the deadline will be at least one month before the end of the semester. (Individual teachers may shift this deadline as a function of their availability.)

Practicalities

Write your name, address, and email address at the top of the first page of your essay, and clearly identify the course or seminar that it relates to.

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Plagiarism

In courses and seminars, we are continually engaging with other people's ideas; we read them (in books, magazines, encyclopedias, and journals, on-line or otherwise), hear them in lectures, discuss them in class, and incorporate them in our own thinking. As a result, it is very important to give credit where it is due.

When you quote, translate or paraphrase, give the page number(s) of the original text; if you merely use a critic's general ideas, indicate chapters or sections. Unacknowledged use of someone else's ideas or phrasing and representing those ideas or phrasing as our own, either on purpose or through carelessness, is plagiarism - intellectual dishonesty - for which the penalties are severe (see below).

EDGE provides you with strategies for avoiding plagiarism. If you have any questions about the concept of plagiarism or methods of proper documentation, request assistance from your teacher.

The penalties for plagiarism

The penalty for plagiarism involves failure for the essay and the corresponding module, which may threaten the completion of your studies. A student committing plagiarism will be required to write a replacement essay on another subject and thus take another module. In the event of a second offence, the student may be excluded from the section and even, depending on the gravity of the case, from the Faculty. Ignorance of the rules about plagiarism is no excuse, and carelessness is just as bad as purposeful violation.

Acknowledgement

The section on plagiarism was adapted from http://webster.commnet.edu/mla/plagiarism.shtml and http://www.indiana.edu/~wts/pamphlets/plagiarism.shtml, both last accessed 18 July 2007.

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Looking ahead

Epreuves

At the end of your second year, you will take a 2-hour written épreuve in the field of your choice:

  • medieval English literature, based on the IMLL2 lecture and workshop you will follow in your second year; or
  • an explication de textes from a work studied in an explication seminar that you attend in second year; or
  • English linguistics.

To obtain your BA at the end of your third year you need to take three Faculty exams (one 4-hour written paper and two orals) in at least two more fields of your choice among medieval literature, modern English literature, American literature, or English linguistics. In all, your four exams must have covered at least three of these fields.

Reading list

Throughout your studies in English you should read widely, in addition to the texts set for courses, and in the épreuves you will have to show that you have done this reading. Instructions for the English section's Reading List can be found in the pdf document below.

pdf   BAReadlst.pdf  (158 Kb)


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Important disclaimer

All information in this document, which reflects our understanding of the Faculty rules at the moment of writing, is offered on a 'best intentions' basis. Only documents issued by the administration of the Faculty of Letters can be considered as 'official'.

Abbreviations

Key to abbreviations used in these guides

Questions or problems

Questions concerning Faculty administration can be put to the secretary of the section, Eva Suarato Adams (office 5087)

Problems which cannot otherwise be dealt with should be adressed to the head of the section for the current year, MER Kirsten Sitrling (office 5065), preferably during her reception hours.

my.unil

Your personal electronic doorway to University courses and administration is MyUnil. In addition to listing your incoming email messages and linking to other parts of the UNIL site, it provides a window into your academic record.

When you have subscribed to a course you will see it listed on your personal MyUnil page along with a smaller window (called a 'portlet') containing 'documents de cours' which you can download and print out. These are generally course handouts (distributed in class) - but some teachers use this means to supply additional information (bibliographies, reference documents, etc.).

Study abroad

It is very important that you should spend time in English-speaking countries as a means of developing your proficiency in the language and gaining first-hand experience of English-speaking culture.

Summer schools

Universities in Britain and the United States provide a wide choice of summer courses - ideal for the holidays after your first year of study. Scholarships (restricted to Vaudois students, unfortunately) are available for language courses abroad. (If you are not Vaudois(e), check with the authorities in your home canton: they may have similar scholarships!)

Exchanges

The best time to spend a semester or an entire year in a British or American university is during your 3rd year (BA) or 4th year (MA). For Britain there is the Erasmus programme; for the United States, the Inter national Student Exchange Program (ISEP), etc. To participate in these, you will need to start planning 18 months ahead. Read the information about study abroad on the section website, and notices in the coeur de section before consulting Kirsten Stirling and Juliette Vuille (for Britain) or Prof. Soltysik (for the USA). There are also information sessions during the winter semester.

Abbreviations

Key to abbreviations used in these guides

Dictionaries

Occasionally, you will need a dictionary that translates to and from English into your native language. As a rule, use the largest and most recent edition you can lay hands on.

Sometimes you will need a dictionary specially written to help non-native speakers of English, such as the Collins Cobuild English Dictionary for Advanced Learners (available with a CD). Do not use the old Oxford Advanced Learner's
dictionary: it is too elementary for studies at Lausanne.

Most often you will need a medium-sized English dictionary like the Concise Oxford, the Collins English Dictionary, or the Oxford Dictionary of English. New ones of this type come with a cd for use on your computer. (Do not use mini-dictionaries for academic work; they are made to go in your pocket while travelling.)

Among medium-sized American dictionaries, avoid the ones with 'college' or 'collegiate' in the title: they are usually expurgated.

For explication de textes, particularly of pre-twentieth century authors, you will need a historical dictionary like the Shorter Oxford or of course the full Oxford English Dictionary.There is a paper copy of this in the coeur de section and you can consult it from any computer on the Unil intranet by typing www.oed.com into the browser.

The nearest American equivalent to the OED is Webster's 3rd New International dictionary.


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