JAMB Literature in English Syllabus 2021 and Recommended Texts : Current School News

JAMB Literature in English Syllabus 2021 and Recommended Texts for UTME

Filed in Exam, Jamb News by on June 1, 2021

JAMB Literature in English Syllabus 2021 – Will you be writing Literature in English in the upcoming 2021 JAMB Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME)? If yes, see JAMB Literature in English syllabus aimed at preparing candidates for the examination is now available online. Read on!

JAMB Literature in English Syllabus 2021

In the 2021 JAMB Literature in English Syllabus, its course objectives are as follows:

These course objectives are as follows:

1. Stimulate and sustain their interest in Literature in English;
2. Create an awareness of the general principles of Literature and functions of language;
3. Appreciate literary works of all genres and across all cultures;
4. Apply the knowledge of Literature in English to the analysis of social, political and economic events in the society.

Complete 2021 JAMB Literature in English Syllabus

– Drama


1. Types:

  • Tragedy
  • Comedy
  • Tragicomedy
  • Melodrama
  • Farce
  • Opera etc.

2. Dramatic Techniques

  • Characterisation
  • Dialogue
  • Flashback
  • Mime
  • Costume
  • Music/Dance
  • Decor/scenery
  • Acts/Scenes
  • Soliloquy/aside
  • Lighting etc.

3. Interpretation of the Prescribed Texts

  • Theme
  • Plot
  • Socio-political context
  • Setting


Candidates should be able to:

  • Identify the various types of drama;
  • Analyse the contents of the various types of drama;
  • Compare and contrast the features of different dramatic types;
  • Demonstrate adequate knowledge of dramatic techniques used in each prescribed text;
  • Differentiate between styles of selected playwrights;
  • Determine the theme of any prescribed text;
  • Identify the plot of the play;
  • Apply the lessons of the play to everyday living
  • Identify the spatial and temporal setting of the play.

– Prose


1. Types:

  •  Fiction
    – Novel
    – Novella/Novelette
    – Short story
  • Non-fiction
    – Biography
    – Autobiography
    – Memoir
  • Faction: a combination of fact and fiction

2. Narrative Techniques/Devices:

  • Point of view
    – Omniscient/Third Person
    – First Person
  • Characterisation
    – Round, flat, foil, hero, antihero, etc
  • Language

3. Textual Analysis

  • Theme
  • Plot
  • Setting (Temporal/Spatial)
  • Socio-political context


Candidates should be able to:

  • Differentiate between types of prose;
  • Identify the category that each prescribed text belongs to;
  • Analyse the components of each type of prose;
  • Identify the narrative techniques used in each of the prescribed texts;
  • Determine an author’s narrative style;
  • Distinguish between one type of character from another;
  • Determine the thematic pre-occupation of the author of the prescribed text;
  • Indicate the plot of the novel; identify the temporal and spatial setting of the novel.
  • Identify the temporal and spatial setting of the novel
  • Relate the prescribed text to real-life situations.

– Poetry



1. Types:

  • Sonnet
  • Ode
  • Lyrics
  • Elegy
  • Ballad
  • Panegyric
  • Epic
  • Blank Verse, etc.

2. Poetic devices

  • Structure
  • Imagery
  • Sound(Rhyme/Rhythm, repetition, pun, onomatopoeia, etc.)
  • Diction
  • Persona

3. Appreciation

  • Thematic preoccupation
  • Socio-political relevance
  • Style.


Candidates should be able to:

  • Identify different types of poetry;
  • Compare and contrast the features of different poetic types:
  • Determine the devices used by various poets;
  • Show how poetic devices are used for aesthetic effect in each poem;
  • Deduce the poet’s preoccupation from the poem;
  • appraise poetry as an art with moral values;
  • Apply the lessons from the poem to real-life situations.

– General Literary Principles


  • Literary terms:
    foreshadowing, suspense, theatre, monologue, dialogue, soliloquy, symbolism, protagonist, antagonist, figures of speech, satire, stream of consciousness, synecdoche, metonymy, etc, in addition to those listed above under the different genres.
  • 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.
  • Relationship between literary terms and principles.


Candidates should be able to:

  • Identify literary terms in drama, prose and poetry;
  • Identify the general principles of Literature;
  • Differentiate between literary terms and principles;
  • Use literary terms appropriately.

– Literary Appreciation


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


Candidates should be able to:

  • Determine literary devices used in a given passage/extract;
  • Provide a meaningful interpretation of the given passage/extract;
  • Relate the extract to true life experiences.

JAMB Literature in English Prescribed Textbooks

JAMB Literature in English Prescribed Textbooks

See selected African and Non-African plays, novels and poems.


1. African:

  •  Frank Ogodo Ogbeche: Harvest of Corruption

2. Non-African:

  • William Shakespeare: Othello


1. African:

  • Amma Darko: Faceless
  • Bayo Adebowale: Lonely Days

2. Non-African:

  • Richard Wright: Native Son



  • Birago Diop: Vanity
  • Gbemisola Adeoti: Ambush
  • Gabriel Okara: Piano and Drums
  •  Gbanabam Hallowell: The Dining Table
  • Lenrie Peter: The Panic of Growing Older
  • Kofi Awoonor: The Anvil and the Hammer

2. Non-African:

  • Alfred Tennyson: Crossing the Bar
  • George Herbert: The Pulley
  • William Blake: The School Boy
  • William Morris: The Proud King


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

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

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

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

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

6. Parker, E.W. (ed.) (1980) A Pageant of Longer Poems London: Longman

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

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

Critical Texts

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

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

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

4. Unwin Ltd. Jerry A. (2018) Sorters and Sortees Ibadan, Kraftgriots.

5. Jerry A. (2018) Specks In Our Eyes Ibadan, Kraftgriots.


FAQs on JAMB Literature in English Syllabus

FAQs on JAMB Literature in English Syllabus

1. What does the JAMB UTME test?

Ans = JAMB tests your knowledge of 4 subjects from the JAMB syllabus.

2. How much does it cost to take the JAMB examination?

Ans =  JAMB Registration costs N3,500. The recommended text costs N500 and the service fee is N700. That is a total of N4,700 only.

3. Where can I get the complete JAMB syllabus for all subject?

Ans = The complete syllabus is available online. Follow this link to see it.

4. Can I carry out my JAMB registration and write the examination in any cyber cafe?

Ans = No! Candidates are required to register for JAMB and take the examination only at accredited CBT centres.

We hope this article has been of help. Give us your opinion in the comment box below.

For more information on the 2021 JAMB Literature in English Syllabus, don’t hesitate to send us an email. Also, do well to share this article with your family and friends. Best of Luck.

CSN Team

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