Post UTME Syllabus in Literature-in-English

This is complete Post UTME Syllabus in Literature-in-English for candidates who are writing post utme exam this year in various universities. So, if you are preparing for post utme exam, it’s important that you follow this syllabus while you are reading. Try as much as possible to cover it with text books and post utme past questions.

Post UTME Syllabus in Literature-in-English Objectives

This syllabus assumes that students are already familiar with the basic forms of literary expression. Poetry. Drama and Narrative Prose. It also assumes that they can recognize the various sub-forms of each: the lyric: narrative poetry; comedy, tragedy, the novel, short story, novella, etc. Spread over two contact periods, this syllabus therefore introduces the students to the following basic elements of literary criticism in the three major forms:

i) what to look for when reading any literary work;

ii) the proper language of literary criticism and how to use it;

iii)   how to begin to appreciate that literature uses words artistically; and

iv) above all, how to develop a critical attitude.

See: Post UTME Syllabus in English Language

Post UTME Syllabus in Literature-in-English Contents


A. Introduction and Scope

  1. Meaning of Literature
  2. Scope of Literature
  3. Functions of Literature
  4. Characteristics of Literature
  5. Elements of Literature
  6. Figures of Speech
  7. Relationship between principles

B. The Three Genres of Literature

  1. Drama
  2. Poetry
  3. Prose fiction

C. Drama

  1. Distinguishing features
  2. Types Forms
  3. Functions
  4. Technical properties
  5. Elements of Drama
  6. Literary interpretation o JAMB recommended play texts

D. Poetry

  1. Basic forms
  2. Fundamental features
  3. Functions
  4. Poetic devices
  5. Elements of Poetry
  1. Verse forms
  2. Literary appreciation of JAMB recommended poems

E. Prose Fiction

  1. Basic types
  2. Features of Prose fiction
  3. Functions
  1. Narrative Techniques
  2. Elements of Fictions
  3. Textual analysis of JAMB recommended prose narratives


F. Drama, Poetry and Prose Differences and Similarities

G. Basic Literary Forms

  1. Allegory
  2. Epic
  3. Romance
  4. Satire
  5. Didactic Writing, etc.

H. Critical Analysis of Sample Prose Texts

The students will be introduced to the themes, subject matters, setting, plot, techniques, point of view, diction and general artistic devices of selected prose texts. The selection will cover the following forms of prose narratives:

  1. Short Stories
  2. Novella

See Also: Post UTME Syllabus in Christian Religious Knowledge

I. Critical Analysis of Sample Poems

The students will be introduced to the rudiments of analyzing poems. This will cover such areas as themes, subject matters, poetic devices, metre, verse forms, tone, nood, syllable, rhyme and rhythm, etc. The selection will cut across the four regions of Africa. The following forms of African poetry will be considered:

  1. Lyrics
  2. Ode
  3. Ballad
  4. Sonnet
  5. Elegy
  6. Dirge
  7. Narrative
  8. Descriptive
  9. Lullaby
  10. Pastoral etc

J. Literary appreciation of Unseen passages/extracts from Drama. Prose and Poetry.



  1. Introduction to African Literature:

–     From orality to written texts

–     Western influences

–     Language issues

–     Historical and political issues

See Also: Post UTME Syllabus in Government

  1. Shared Antecedents, Thematic Preoccupations and Stylistic Features of African Drama – A General Survey.
  2. African Drama and Regional Diversities.
  3. Major Motifs in African Drama: Realism pre-colonial experience, colonial experience and post/neo-colonial experience. The common recurring issues include post-colonial disillusionment, betrayal of trust, frustration, decadence, misrule, anarchy, etc.
  4. Critical interpretations of selected plays across the continent:
  5. Wole Soyinka’s The Trials of Brother Jero
  6. Athol Fugard’s Sizwe Bansi is Dead
  7. Al-Hakim’s The Fate of a Cockroach.
  8. Ngugi and Mugo’s The Trial of Dedan Kimathi.
  9. Non-African Drama Themes, motifs, techniques, major practitioners.
  10. Critical analysis of selected non-African plays. Among the playwrights to be considered are William Shakespeare, G.B. Shaw, T. S. Eliot, LeRoi Jones, Harold Pinter, etc.
  11. Introduction to the English novel major periods, major practitioners, major themes, techniques, etc.
  12. Critical analysis of selected English novels:
  13. William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.
  14. Thomas Hardy’s The Mayor of Casterbridge, etc.
  15. Non-African Poetry Themes, motifs, major practitioners, techniques, etc.
  16. Critical analysis of selected non-African poems:
  17. T.S. Eliot’s poems
  18. Claude Mckay’s poems
  19. Jonne Donne’s poems
  20. S.T. Coleridge’s poems. etc.
  21. Oral literature in Africa
  22. Forms. Functions and Regional samples.
  23. Oral poetry elegy, ballad, lyrics, lullaby, dirge, epic, etc.
  24. Oral narratives myths, legends, folktales, riddles, proverbs, etc.
  25. Festival institutions indigenous African drama (performance).

See: Recommended List of Books and Materials to Read for Your Post UTME Exam

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