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Core Courses

English 281: Introduction to English Studies

Course Description:

 An introduction to the many facets of English study, including literary theory, multicultural literature, and approaches to reading and writing about a variety of texts--fiction, poetry, essays, film, and so forth. Required for all English majors and minors; recommended for students contemplating an English major or minor.


1. Introduce students to the many facets of the English program (rhetoric, creative writing, literature, linguistics, popular culture, film, etc.) This will be accomplished through class presentations by other members of the department, who will introduce students to the central concepts and issues in their specialties.
2. Introduce students to various approaches to reading and writing about texts, and to the idea that there is no single "right way" to interpret a text.
3. Introduce students to the various schools of literary theory (Marxism, New Historicism, etc.) through secondary sources, such as Lynn's Texts and Contexts.
4. Introduce students to certain key terms and concepts (e.g., representation, authorial intention, genre, reading as a participatory act, multiculturalism, race and gender, etc.).
5. Require substantial writing, which should include at least three different kinds of writing assignments.
6. Introduce students to bibliographic methods and MLA bibliographic style. (Students should buy the MLA Handbook.)
7. Introduce students to the major portfolio, and have students keep a reading journal, which will be placed in the portfolio.


Eng 381: Foundations of Literary Criticism

Course Description:

An analysis of critical theories and their influence from the Greeks and Romans to the present; application of these theories to selected literary texts.


1. Study of a range of theoretical texts.
2. Reinforcement of the concepts in these theories by having students apply them to texts.
3. Demonstration of students' ability to bring various theoretical positions into dialogue with each other.
4. Exploration of the theoretical and historical movements that have led up to the current configuration of ideas in literary studies.
5. Reinforcement of bibliographic methods.
6. Continuation of English Department Assessment Program (Portfolios).


Eng 481: Seminar in English Studies

Course Description:

An intensive capstone seminar in the study of literature; creative writing; linguistics, language or rhetoric; or cultural, critical, or interdisciplinary studies, emphasizing synthesis and evaluation of work completed in the English major. Seminar paper and portfolio self-assessment required.


1. Students will read about and discuss a single, focused topic or author in the instructor's area. The readings should include theoretical and/or critical works, as well as texts to be analyzed.
2. Students will research, write, and share a substantial seminar paper or creative project.
3. Students will compile a selective assessment file for their major portfolio.
4. Students will write a self-review of the major portfolio, synthesizing and evaluating the work they have completed through their course of study.

481 is a Writing Emphasis course and must therefore fulfill the requirements of the COLS Writing Emphasis program:

1. A significant amount of writing is required.
2. Students are given feedback on their writing during the course of the semester, and allowed to revise their work after receiving feedback.
3. At least 30% of the course grade is based on written assignments (not including
4. essay exams).
5. Writing assignments are adequately explained and discussed.

In order to fulfill the spirit of the Writing Emphasis program, activities should be built into the course that support the writing process. These activities may include:

  • Having students work in writing groups.
  • Requiring students to hand in a proposal for the seminar paper and having their topic approved.
  • Requiring students to hand in an annotated bibliography on the seminar topic.
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by bushna27 last modified Jun 09, 2011 02:05 PM