Learning Goals & Mission

The English Department's Mission

In all its courses, the English Department aims to:

  • Enhance writing, speaking, critical and analytical skills
  • Engage students in the creative processes of reading and writing
  • Encourage an appreciation of literary art and the way it enriches personal and public life
  • Help students understand how language and literature both express and shape culture & identity
  • Enable students to listen to a rich diversity of human voices

In addition, the department serves its majors by preparing them for:

  • Lifelong enjoyment of reading and writing
  • Continued use of critical reading, writing, and analytical skills gained through practice
  • Careers or graduate programs in which the broad skills of communication and interpretations are essential, such as law, communications, or public relations
  • Careers or graduate programs that demand specific knowledge of literature or writing, such as journalism, publishing, and teaching


Learning Outcomes

The English Department has designed a sequence of courses as requirements for majors that should allow them to:

  • Write and speak effectively in a variety of forms and for diverse audiences and purposes
  • Apply skills of close reading and analysis to a variety of texts and, in the process, articulate some of the complex ways meaning is made
  • Describe and demonstrate a variety of interpretive strategies through which readers may approach a text, and, in so doing, become aware of their own interpretive strategies
  • Trace genealogies within and between literary periods across a range of Anglophone traditions
  • Demonstrate how literary texts both shape and are shaped by their historical and cultural contexts
  • Conduct independent literary research, using appropriate resources and technologies
  • Describe how their own work demonstrates each of the skills listed above
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