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The Pequod
Dr Alistair Brown
Associate lecturer in English Literature; researching video games and literature

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Twitter @alibrown18

New Essay

Through exploring the psychopathology of Capgras syndrome, in which a patient mistakes a loved one for an imposter, The Echo Maker offers a sustained meditation on the ways in which we project our own problems onto other people. As a reflection on the mysteries of consciousness, the novel offers some interesting if not especially new insights into the fuzzy boundaries between scientific and literary interpretations of the mind. Read more


I currently teach within the Department of English Studies at Durham University, and within Arts at the Open University. I have previously taught at SIM University and the University of Sunderland. I am an associate of the Higher Education Academy.

Currently my main teaching role is as an Associate Lecturer at the Open University. Modules I currently teach on include:

For Singapore Institute of Management University I have written or developed three distance learning courses, textbooks and/or online lectures:

With a specialism in distance learning, I have particular skills in the use of live video conferencing tools for teaching, and as part of my HEA Fellowship am currently investigating the use of vidcasts to support distance learners.

Essay Writing

Essay Writing: Some Common Mistakes

This is my guide to writing essays in English Literature. Rather than being a "how to" manual for what to do, the guide focuses on the most common mistakes and issues I encounter as a marker, and shows how these mistakes can be avoided.

Plagiarism: What Is It and How to Avoid It

This article explains what plagiarism is, giving some real-life examples and stories of how plagiarists do get caught. More positively, though, it also suggests why correct referencing and citation can be helpful for your own work, rather than a chore.

University Issues

Tuition Fee and Contact Hours Calculator

A user-friendly spreadsheet to allow students to work out what proportion of their university tuition fees are spent on "contact hours" i.e. direct teaching time in lectures and seminars. A long accompanying article explains the limitations of using contact hours as the measure of the efficiency with which tuition fees are spent on Higher Education. However, it also carries out case studies of contact hours and tuition fee costs in various subjects, and considers how this might inform the future push towards higher tuition fees.

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This page was published on December 16, 2009 | Keywords: university, higher education, teaching, learning

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