Literature in English Syllabus from JAMB

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Literature in English Syllabus from JAMB

The aim of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) 2022 syllabus in Literature in English is to prepare the candidates for the Board’s examination. It is designed to test their achievement of the course objectives, which are to:


stimulate and sustain their interest in Literature in English;

create an awareness of the general principles of Literature and functions of language;

appreciate literary works of all genres and across all cultures;

apply the knowledge of Literature in English to the analysis of social, political and economic events in the socieJAMB’s new literature text for 2022 UTME in Literature-in-English

1. Lion and the Jewel by Wole Soyinka


2. Look Back in Anger by John Osborne.


3. Second Class Citizen by Buchi Emecheta.


4. Unexpected Joy at Dawn by Alex Agyei Agyiri.


5. Wuthering Heights by Emile Bronte.











a. Types:

i. Tragedy

ii. Comedy

iii. Tragicomedy

iv. Melodrama

v. Farce

vi. Opera etc.


b. Dramatic Techniques


i. Characterization


ii. Dialogue


iii. Flashback


iv. Mime


v. Costume


vi. Music/Dance


vii. Décor/scenex. Figures of Speech etc


c. Interpretation of the Prescribed Texts

i. Theme

ii. Plot

iii. Socio-political context

iv. Setting






Candidates should be able to:

i. identify the various types of drama;

ii. analyse the contents of the various types of drama;

iii. compare and contrast the features of different dramatic types;

iv. demonstrate adequate knowledge of dramatic techniques used in each prescribed text;

v. differentiate between styles of selected playwrights;

vi. determine the theme of any prescribed text;

vii. identify the plot of the play;

viii. apply the lessons of the play to everyday living

ix. identify the spatial and temporal setting of the play.











a. Types:

i. Fiction

– Novel

– Novella/Novelette

– Short story

ii. Non-fiction

– Biography

– Autobiography

– Memoir

iii. Faction: a combination of fact and fiction


b. Narrative Techniques/Devices:

i. Point of view

– Omniscent/Third Person

– First Person

ii. Characterisation

– Round, flat, foil, hero, antihero, etc

iii. Language


c. Textual Analysis

i. Theme

ii. Plot

iii. Setting (Temporal/Spatial)

iv. Socio-political context






Candidates should be able to:

i. differentiate between types of prose;

ii. identify the category that each prescribed text belongs to;

iii. analyse the components of each type of prose;

iv. identify the narrative techniques used in each of the prescribed texts;

v. determine an author’s narrative style;

vi. distinguish between one type of character from another;

vii. determine the thematic pre-occupation of the author of the prescribed text;

viii. indicate the plot of the novel; identify the temporal and spatial setting of the novel.

ix. identify the temporal and spatial sett3. POETRY







a. Types:

i. Sonnet

ii. Ode

iii. Lyrics

iv. Elegy

v. Ballad

vi. Panegyric

vii. Epic

viii. Blank Verse, etc.


b. Poetic devices

i. Structure

ii. Imagery

iii. Sound(Rhyme/Rhythm, repetition, pun, onomatopoeia, etc.)

iv. Diction

v. Persona


c. Appreciation

i. Thematic preoccupation

ii. Socio-politObjectives:


Candidates should be able to:

i. identify different types of poetry;

ii. compare and contrast the features of different poetic types:

iii. determine the devices used by various poets;

iv. show how poetic devices are used for aesthetic effect in each poem;

v. deduce the poet’s preoccupation from the poem;

vi. appraise poetry as an art with moral values;

vii. apply the lessons from the poem to real-life situations.











a. Literary terms: foreshadowing, suspense, theatre, monologue, dialogue, soliloquy, symbolism, protagonist, antagonist, figures of speech, satire, stream of consciousness, etc., in addition to those listed above under the different genres.


b. Literary principles

i. Direct imitation in play;

ii. Versification in drama and poetry;

iii. Narration of people’s experiences;

iv. Achievement of aesthetic value, etc.


c. Relationship between literary terms and principles.






Candidates should be able to:

i. identify literary terms in drama, prose, and poetry;

ii. identify the general principles of Literature;

iii. differentiate between literary terms and principles;

iv. use literary terms appropriately.











Unseen passages/extracts from Drama, Prose, and Poetry.






Candidates should be able to:

i. determine literary devices used in a given passage/extract;

ii. provide a meaningful interpretation of the given passage/extrA LIST OF SELECTED AFRICAN AND NON-AFRICAN PLAYS, NOVELS, AND POEMS




i. Frank Ogodo Ogbeche: Harvest of Corruption



i. William Shakespeare: Othello





i. Amma Darko: Faceless




i. Richard Wright: Native Son





i. Birago Diop: Vanity

ii. Gbemisola Adeoti: Ambush

iii. Gabriel Okara : Piano and Drums

iv. Gbanabam Hallowell: The Dining Table

v. Lenrie Peter: The Panic of Growing Older

vi. Kofi Awoonor: The Anvil and the Hammer



i. Alfred Tennyson: Crossing the Bar

ii. George Herbert: The Pulley

iii. William Blake: The School Boy



Gbemisola, A. (2005) Naked Soles, Ibadan: Kraft

Hayward, J. (ed.) (1968) The Penguin Book of English Verse, London Penguin

Johnson, R. et al (eds.) (1996) New Poetry from Africa, Ibadan: UP Plc

Kermode, F. et al (1964) Oxford Anthology of English Literature, Vol. II, London: OUP

Nwoga D. (ed.) (1967) West African Verse, London: Longman

Senanu, K. E. and Vincent, T. (eds.) (1993) A Selection of African Poetry, Lagos: Longman

Soyinka, W. (ed.) (1987) Poems of Black Africa, Ibadan: Heinemann




Abrams, M. H. (1981) A Glossary of Literary Terms, (4th Edition) New York, Holt Rinehalt and Winston

Emeaba, O. E. (1982) A Dictionary of Literature, Aba: Inteks Press

Murphy, M. J. (1972) Understanding Unseen, An Introduction to English Poetry and English Novel for Overseas Students, George Allen and Unwin Ltd.

. William Morris: The Proud Kingact;

iii. relate the extract to true life experiences.


ical relevance

iii. of the novel

x. relate the prescribed text to real-life situationsry


viii. Acts/Scenes


ix. Soliloquy/asidety.


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