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Taking your first steps into higher education
Taking your first steps into higher education

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Week 2: Introducing the arts and humanities through literature


In the following video, Weeks 2 and 3 author, John Butcher introduces this week’s study. While watching, think about your experience of studying poetry at school, and of any preconceptions you may bring with you.

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You will now focus on what it’s like to learn in academic subjects that might broadly fit under the description of arts and humanities. If you already think you know you might choose to study in a different area from the arts and humanities, these two weeks will provide an interesting insight into some of the key academic skills vital to success across the disciplines – and we believe, from experience, it is worth knowing what the prevailing approaches to study in the arts are: all students might learn something new.

This week you will:

  • identify the higher education subjects grouped as arts/humanities
  • use personal response and critical reading as learning approaches in the arts
  • discover a range of poetic techniques – rhyme, repetition, surprising language (e.g. imagery using metaphors and similes)
  • explore some of the elements found in the sonnet form
  • apply the study diamond to analyse effects, techniques, context and meaning in in poetry
  • develop your study skills.

Remember that you will need your notebook to hand to record your response to the activities in this week of the course.