ENG4391 – Writing a Thesis on a Literary Topic

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course focuses on some of the main topics a student will need to know about when writing a thesis on academic topics in general and a literary topic in particular:

  • methods and practices in writing a thesis in literary studies,
  • building a bibliography,
  • principles of textual criticism, and
  • the ethics of literary research.

Learning outcome

After completing this course you will have:

  • learned to examine and evaluate basic prerequisites, ideals and conditions of literary research;
  • acquired knowledge of key methods and practices involved in the writing of your master thesis;
  • learned how to write a thesis proposal for your master thesis


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

Admission to the European and American Literature Studies program or LeP.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

The student must have been accepted into the master's degree program in literary studies. Admission to the course is required.

Recommended previous knowledge

No specific requirements. Normally graduate students in English-language literature will take this course in the same semester as the course "Introduction to Anglo-American Literary Theory," that is to say, in the first or second semester of their master's degree.

Overlapping courses

5 credits overlap with LIT4000 – Litteraturvitenskapelig forskningspraksis


Seminar, two hours per week for seven weeks in the second half of the semester.

Instruction in bibliographical searches is conducted in collaboration with the University Library (UB).

Attendance is obligatory at least 5 out of 7 seminars. Additional absences must be justified by documentation given to the exam coordinator.

Second part of the semester. Teaching starts after ENG4310 is finished.

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


Portfolio assessment: every student turns in a portfolio (“mappe”) that contains final versions of the three assignments handed in during the course period, plus portfolio assignment no. 4 that includes your thesis proposal (to be completed after the last meeting of the class). The portfolio is graded by the course instructor on a pass/fail basis. All four assignments have to be approved in order to pass the exam.

You must submit your paper in Fronter. Read more about submission procedures.

Language of examination


Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

The results will be found on the StudentWeb three weeks after the exam is completed.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

A term paper or equivalent that is passed may not be resubmitted in revised form.

If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


Feedback from our students is essential if we are to provide the best possible education. As a student at the University of Oslo you will be asked to participate in various types of evaluation of our courses. Every time a course is given, we ask students to participate in mid-term evaluations, and periodically we ask them to participate in periodic evaluation of the course.

Reports from periodic evaluations (in Norwegian)

Facts about this course






Every spring


Every spring

Teaching language