Nov 27, 2021  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]


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Department Chair-Rybas
Professors-Dyck, Griffith, Summers
Associate Professor-Rybas
Assistant Professors-Gibson, Messinger, O’Laughlin



English majors are among the most interesting people on any campus. Why? They read. They think and write creatively. They know the difference between irony and sarcasm and what a dangling gerund is. They are genuine people concerned with what matters - life, love, learning - and not only with the vagaries of the “job market.” They also know that all employers value writing and creative thinking because so few students graduate knowing how to do those things well. The best preparation for an uncertain future is a liberal arts education.

The English faculty believe that good writers must also be good readers, and good readers must also learn to be good writers. Reading and writing are deeply humane activities that lead us to become people whose historical imaginations connect us with the past. The ability to draw on the wisdom and experiences of then and there is an essential skill for leaders who will wisely help us solve the problems of here and now. The study of language and literature is deeply invested in a partnership with the study of history, philosophy, world cultures, religion, and society.

The major in English - whether in Literature, Creative Writing, or Journalism / Professional Writing - is a powerful education for preparing the leaders, the thinkers, and the problem solvers of tomorrow.

English Department Mission Statement:

We help students majoring in English become excellent critical and creative thinkers, insightful readers, and effective writers.  We strive to provide appealing and relevant learning opportunities to non-majors as well, and to advocate for the importance of reading and effective written communication in our university and our community.

The English Department offers three majors:

Creative Writing

Journalism / Professional Writing


The requirements for these majors are listed below. The department requires all majors to take (or place out of) two semesters of one written world language.

The English Department also offers three minors:

Creative Writing 



Program Outcomes for All English Majors:

  1. Critical Reading:  English majors will develop excellent critical reading skills by reading and responding to complex texts in a variety of genres.
  2. Effective Writing:  English majors will develop the ability to compose effective written texts in modes and genre that are scholarly, creative and commercial.
  3. Linguistic Sophistication:  Through the study of the grammar and history of English, through the reading and composing of written texts, and through the study of a second language, English majors will develop an understanding of the complexity of language as a system of the social and cultural construction of meaning.
Outcomes for Literature:
  1. Literary History:  Demonstrate general acquaintance with literary history, including knowledge of chronology and periodization, knowledge of literary movements, and understanding of cultural and intellectual history.
  2. Textual Analysis:  Understand various strategies of analysis, including close reading of literary texts; recognize genres, forms, modes, various types of intertextuality and literary techniques; evaluate stylistic effectiveness. 
  3. Breadth:  Identify significant authors and texts, characters representative of a range of literary periods, and cultural and global perspectives.
  4. Theory:  Illustrate knowledge of the history of literary criticism and of contemporary theoretical approaches.
  5. Critical Writing:  Write properly documented analytical papers, making use of a wide range of appropriate print, electronic, and other sources.
Outcomes for Journalism and Professional Writing:
  1. Multi-Layered Insight: Demonstrate knowledge of rhetorical principles (e.g., purpose, audience, and context) when producing written/multimodal artifacts.
  2. Design:  Apply principles of effective/appropriate document design to a variety of written/multimodal artifacts.
  3. Critical Skills:  Demonstrate critical thinking, reading, and writing skills in addressing various communication tasks or problems.
  4. Analyze Sources:  Make use of credible, reliable, and relevant source material (both primary and secondary) in a manner that is appropriate for specific communication situations.
  5. Flexible Communication:  Present a variety of written/multimodal artifacts that effectively demonstrate grammatical, stylistic, and technical knowledge and underscore experience in the classroom and in the professional field.
  6. Technical Judgment:  Use an appropriate system/platform for presenting the written/multimodal artifacts that allows for an effective showcase of knowledge/professional accomplishments.
Outcomes for Creative Writing:
  1. Creative Writing:  Produce a portfolio containing 25-40 pages of fiction or creative non-fiction or 10-15 poems that would be acceptable to send to nationally recognized magazines and/or a graduate admissions committee when applying for an M.F.A. in creative writing.
  2. Critical Writing:  Produce a properly documented analytical paper of at least fifteen pages, making use of a wide range of appropriate print, electronic, and other sources.
  3. Theory:  Demonstrate written understanding of various strategies of literary criticism and analysis. 
  4. Editing:  Demonstrate the ability to write well-crafted prose that is mostly free of error. 
  5. Publishing:  Explain various strategies for publishing a work of creative writing. 





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