More Information on English

Student Learning Objectives English

Bachelor of Arts

  • Students will develop sophisticated, disciplinary interpretive, analytical, and critical practices by:
    • Applying modes of close reading and textual analysis
    • Understanding and applying theoretical models when interpreting texts and distinguishing between different critical approaches to textual interpretation
    • Understanding and responding to scholarship published in this discipline
    • Understanding and describing characteristic features of literary-historical periods
  • Students will gain a proficiency in written and oral expression in disciplinary forms, as demonstrated by:
    • The ability to identify a pertinent issue and support an analytic argument about it amidst conflicting viewpoints
    • The ability to effectively revise drafts in response to constructive criticism
    • The ability to apply disciplinary genre conventions including argumentative strategies, organizational structures, citation practices, and acceptable forms of evidence
    • The ability to apply discipline-specific research strategies, including the use of library resources (i.e., electronic indexes), and the ability to evaluate appropriate sources (discerning primary from secondary sources, scholarly from popular, etc.
    • The ability to respond to and offer further oral interpretations of texts supported by textual evidence during group or class discussions

Master of Arts

  • Students will read broadly and deeply in the field, and learn to make critical arguments and/or creative interventions by:
    • Writing an argument or developing a research project that engages with one or more theoretical models that have been influential within English Studies
    • Reading a wide range of materials in a subfield of English studies and developing an argument or other research project based on this broad reading
    • Reading deeply in a narrowly focused critical debate or topic and developing an argument or other research project that draws upon this depth of reading
    • Producing and improving original creative work in light of peer and instructor feedback
  • Students will develop an original “capstone” project synthesizing and extending M.A. coursework:
    • Research, summarize, and articulate major arguments or characteristics of a sub-field of study within English Studies
    • Produce a substantial critical or creative work that makes an original intervention into a scholarly or creative tradition


  • Students will learn to make critical or theoretical arguments as demonstrated by:
    • The ability to make an original point about a topic or text, and describe accurately an argument’s relevance to published debates in the field.
    • The ability to research, summarize, and articulate major arguments of a field of study.
  • Students will learn to make oral presentations and evidenced by the ability to present literary, critical, or theoretical ideas and respond spontaneously to questions from peers and faculty instructors.
  • Students will develop effective pedagogical skills as demonstrated by:
    • The ability to design an effective introductory-level undergraduate course in literature or writing.
    • The ability to describe and position one’s pedagogical practice within larger disciplinary fields, theories, and approaches.
    • The development of effective course assignments, and the ability to evaluate and provide effective feedback on students’ work, design appropriate lesson plans, and lead effective class sessions.
  • Students taking writing workshops will develop proficiency in a writing genre as demonstrated by: 
    • The improvement of an original work in light of peer and instructor feedback, with a view toward possible publication or development into the dissertation project.
    • The ability to assess and propose improvements for other writers’ work by successfully taking the role of peer-as-instructor.
  • Students choosing the creative dissertation option will develop working knowledge of current excellence in the field as demonstrated by:
    • The ability to locate and assess current print and online resources related to writing and/or poetics.
    • The ability to read critically and evaluate current creative, literary, or media productions.
    • The ability to operate within a coherent critical or theoretical poetics based on a substantial intervention in the field.