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English lit first week already behind

hello guys :smile:

I am in the first week of English in my first year and I’ve never been so overwhelmed in my life. Our lecturers have only given out the reading list 3 days ago and from this very week we have 3 books we need to have read for each week (1 book per week per module). I really don’t know how this is feasible and I’m struggling to wrap my head around it I haven’t even been able to get the books yet and obviously the weeks already started and I’m already behind. I absolutely love English but I really need some advice on how to be able to have 3 books (some being large novels) read every week, I just feel like it’s a recipe for getting behind
Original post by yourlocalwasian
hello guys :smile:

I am in the first week of English in my first year and I’ve never been so overwhelmed in my life. Our lecturers have only given out the reading list 3 days ago and from this very week we have 3 books we need to have read for each week (1 book per week per module). I really don’t know how this is feasible and I’m struggling to wrap my head around it I haven’t even been able to get the books yet and obviously the weeks already started and I’m already behind. I absolutely love English but I really need some advice on how to be able to have 3 books (some being large novels) read every week, I just feel like it’s a recipe for getting behind


I don't think you need to be able to read all three books in 3 weeks. I'm a graduate of Film and English and yes I did read some of the novels on the course, but what I think is best is do research on them, find key quotes that are interesting and representative of the themes you're studying during the course. Just grab a highlighter pen and annotate, or if you don't want to annotate, get a big Word or Google doc and write out the quotes, what you've extracted from them, and the page numbers. This way instead of reading the books outright, you're studying and researching them and gaining many more insights than just plainly reading the texts. You could sit down with your lecturers to discuss your concerns, but I think it'd be easier on yourself if you do your best researching and finding out all you can about the books. I also think you should use Google Scholar and search for important quotes from each novel you're studying, this'll save you plenty of time as long as you can critique them and find your own interpretations of them you'll be just fine.
Original post by yourlocalwasian
hello guys :smile:

I am in the first week of English in my first year and I’ve never been so overwhelmed in my life. Our lecturers have only given out the reading list 3 days ago and from this very week we have 3 books we need to have read for each week (1 book per week per module). I really don’t know how this is feasible and I’m struggling to wrap my head around it I haven’t even been able to get the books yet and obviously the weeks already started and I’m already behind. I absolutely love English but I really need some advice on how to be able to have 3 books (some being large novels) read every week, I just feel like it’s a recipe for getting behind

Hey,

I hope you are enjoying university despite your concerns!

I studied English Literature myself and I felt the exact same as you when I first started. It is overwhelming, but gets easier with time as you find what works for you in terms of reading/prep/studying. As others have said, I would do as much secondary reading as possible. Doing this reading covers the key events, time periods, movements, etc. that will be valuable to your studies as lectures and seminars may cover this or use them as a starting point. Some university courses may differ, but I found that secondary reading was a big part of my modules and really gives you an advantage. JSTOR and Google Scholar are great. Make sure to also utilize your university's online library.

In general, reading summaries will help if you haven't managed to read the full text, but if you can manage to identify key passages/characters, then this should help you.

I hope this helps!

Estelle :smile:
Graduate Advocate
Reply 3
Original post by yourlocalwasian
hello guys :smile:

I am in the first week of English in my first year and I’ve never been so overwhelmed in my life. Our lecturers have only given out the reading list 3 days ago and from this very week we have 3 books we need to have read for each week (1 book per week per module). I really don’t know how this is feasible and I’m struggling to wrap my head around it I haven’t even been able to get the books yet and obviously the weeks already started and I’m already behind. I absolutely love English but I really need some advice on how to be able to have 3 books (some being large novels) read every week, I just feel like it’s a recipe for getting behind

You have to pick and choose what books to read, as I doubt your lecturers expect you read all of them - maybe just some key paragraphs etc. Pick which ones genuinely interest you and are crucial for coursework. Speak to your course leader if the issue persists.

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