Goals for Undergraduate English Majors

The student who majors in English studies at Winthrop University will develop familiarity with a broad range of texts, understanding of critical and analytical strategies, skill in critical thinking, and ability to write well. To these ends, we offer a wide range of courses dealing with content in literature, writing, and theory. The recently redesigned major allows students to apply their textual analysis and written communication skills in a global economy that is dynamic, information based, communication focused, and technologically driven.

English majors analyze and synthesize various forms of traditional, digital, and non-print texts.

Our students read the works of authors from a broad range of cultural, ethnic, racial, and gendered backgrounds, and they develop a nuanced understanding of how historical and cultural context affect literary/textual production. Majors learn to engage in literary and rhetorical analysis, as well as demonstrate knowledge of theory, criticism, research methods, and documentation techniques.

English majors compose carefully crafted texts and construct persuasive arguments based on analysis and deliberation.

Their writings may take the form of critical essays, fictional or poetic works, and professional documents. All majors learn to write sustained texts that contain the following: researched material; appropriate awareness of audience and purpose; and mastery of grammar, mechanics, and usage. Students provide proper documentation of primary and secondary sources and demonstrate effective use of existing technologies to research, prepare, and present information.

English majors gain knowledge of the English language arts.

Majors explore topics such as the teaching of literature and the structure and historical development of the English language. They become familiar with various approaches to grammar, gaining recognition of dialects and patterns of usage, the digital humanities, and the purposes of language from theoretical and technological approaches.

In short, our major produces competent and skilled citizen-scholars who are well equipped in critical thinking, verbal and written communication, and analytical reasoning.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

SLO 1: English majors demonstrate critical thinking by reading and analyzing a variety of texts. As they read, they evaluate and use evidence. They seek out and assess relevant information from multiple viewpoints to form well-reasoned conclusions.
SLO 2: English majors demonstrate knowledge of a variety of research methods and strategies. They also demonstrate well-developed skills in ethical research practices, including introducing, integrating, interpreting and correctly citing borrowed information.
SLO 3: English majors synthesize connections from historical and cultural contexts. They analyze how these contexts affect the production and/or reception of texts.
SLO 4: English majors write coherently and effectively in various genres for multiple audiences and purposes, employing contemporary methods in the discipline.