The Department of English empowers students “to seek, to know, to serve” by training them to better understand the world through insightful reading, and to better express themselves through incisive writing. While the department’s objectives target our majors and reflect our disciplines, our mission extends to the entire student body through the composition program, the University Studies courses we teach, and the Writing Center. Minors in English and drama provide an opportunity for students who major in other fields to pursue their interests in developing expertise in writing, literary studies, and the dramatic arts.
Students graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English should be able to:
- Read perceptively, with appreciation for both content and style;
- Write cleanly and clearly, building in deliberate organization, and demonstrating a habit of thoughtful revision;
- Discuss intelligently the major periods and authors of English and American literature;
- Employ fluently literary terms and other disciplinary conventions (e.g. MLA formatting, etc).
Further, students’ concentration in either literature or writing should be reflected in discipline specific outcomes. Students graduating with a literature emphasis in English should be able to:
- Evaluate literary texts, from a variety of perspectives: theoretical, historical, artistic, etc.;
- Form a defensible argument about a work of literature, which is supported by analytical argument, effective evidence, and appropriate documentation;
- Write analytically about literature, demonstrating knowledge of generic conventions and innovations.
Students graduating with a writing emphasis in English should be able to:
- Write in a variety of genres, including nonfiction, poetry, drama, short story, and novel;
- Employ a number of literary devices in their writing, such as dialogue, metaphor, characterization,alliteration, foreshadowing, plot, rhythm, point of view, voice, irony, simile, conflict, and setting;
- Reflect insightfully on the artistic process.