Department of English at Winthrop - Goals for the Undergraduate Program


Goals for Undergraduate English Majors

Knowledge of Literature

Within the literature area majors will demonstrate knowledge of various forms of written texts, major periods in the history of English, American, and world literature, and standard terminology of literary analysis. English majors will demonstrate

1.1 knowledge of various forms of written texts (including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, essay, and other literary genres);

1.2 knowledge of male and female world, English, and American authors of recognized importance drawn from a variety of cultural, ethnic, and racial backgrounds;

1.3 knowledge of major periods in the history of English, American, and world literature in terms of cultural contexts, styles, dominant genres, language, and subject matter;

1.4 knowledge of major similarities and differences among English, American, and other national literatures

1.5 an understanding of the role that literature plays in the development and understanding of human cultures;

1.6 knowledge of the standard terminology of literary analysis as found in a glossary of literary terms or a handbook to literature

1.7 knowledge of standard reference tools, methods, and forms of documentation in scholarly research; and

1.8 the ability to read and interpret an unfamiliar literary text of average difficulty with comprehension of its content and relevant literary characteristics.

Knowledge of Language

Within the language knowledge area majors will comprehensively study the English language arts, including language development, the history of the English language, various approaches to grammar, dialects and levels of usage, and the purposes of language. Majors will understand the nature of the English language in all its dimensions and recognize and respect the varieties of that language. English majors will demonstrate

2.1 knowledge of the English language, including its structure, grammars, vocabulary, varieties, and historical development;

2.2 familiarity with the standards of grammar, mechanics, and usage generally accepted in the academic community and the social, cultural, and historical reasons why those standards have been adopted; and

2.3 an understanding of the nature of the English language in all its dimensions and recognize and respect the varieties of that language. 

Composing and Communications Skills

To develop advanced communication skills, majors will write thoughtful, well-organized essays conforming to standards of grammar, mechanics, and usage, including research papers on appropriate language and literature topics, that demonstrate correct use of standard reference tools and methods, and of primary and secondary sources and providing proper documentation of sources. Majors will construct persuasive arguments based on careful analysis and deliberation. English majors will

3.1 understand that composing is a practice that covers a wide range of processes, functions, purposes, rhetorical situations and strategies, and categories of discourse;

3.2 display a broad view of what constitutes texts, including both print and non-print media, and demonstrate an understanding that technological advancements can change both what is considered text and how text is prepared;

3.3 recognize such characteristics of good writing as substantial and relevant content, organization, clarity, appropriateness of tone, and correctness in mechanics and usage;

3.4 demonstrate a basic understanding of the processes appropriate to composing in a variety of forms and for a variety of audiences and purposes;

3.5 construct persuasive arguments based on careful analysis and deliberation and using a voice and format suitable for the intended audience;

3.6 write research papers on appropriate topics, demonstrating correct use of standard reference tools, methods, and technology and of primary and secondary sources and providing proper documentation of sources;

3.7 demonstrate average mastery of these characteristics and processes as measured by the English Department's Rubric for Writing/English Courses; and

3.8 demonstrate the ability to speak clearly, confidently, and in conformity with current standards of usage. 

Critical Analysis

Majors will critically analyze and interpret written and non-written texts (e.g. TV, film, and oral presentations) and demonstrate their ability to present coherent, defensible critical positions based on their analyses. English majors will

4.1 demonstrate familiarity with the concepts and pertinent applications of major critical theories and schools of criticism;

4.2 be able to analyze critically and interpret written and non-written texts in terms of historical period, national origin, content, cultural context, tone, implied meaning, humor, structure, style, language, themes, form and mode, and rhetorical strategies;

4.3 understand various means of presenting their analyses and interpretations, in both written and oral forms. 

Technology Skills

English majors in all tracks will demonstrate their ability to use technology in the study of language, literature, and communication by demonstrating effective use of existing technologies to research, prepare, and present information. At the 200-400 ENGL, ENGE, and WRIT course level, English majors, as appropriate to the course, will be able to

5.1 use technology to prepare documents (advanced word processing)

5.2. use technology to learn content (researching online, critically evaluating materials found on the Internet and in other electronic media, documenting material correctly)

5.3 use technology to collaborate with other writers (e.g., cooperative editing if appropriate)

5.4 use technology to communicate effectively with audiences (using such vehicles as web pages, e-mail, and/or discussion lists)

5.5 use technology to deliver information (using such vehicles as presentations, page design, and/or desktop publishing) in a rhetorically effective manner 

Additional Skills

In addition to the five main goals, teacher education majors will be able to

5.6 use technology (e.g., slide presentations, web pages, teaching materials, presentations software) to prepare classroom materials and deliver them in a pedagogically and rhetorically effective manner

5.7 use technology to improve instructional skills (e.g. videotaping)

5.8 use technology to deliver instruction and manage the classroom

In addition to the five main goals, professional communication and science communication majors will be able to

5.9 understand the roles technology plays in producing professional publications

5.10 use technology to integrate visual and textual information in a manner suited to professional publication in both print and electronic forms

5.11 use technology to facilitate editing and production of documents

At the 500- and 600-level, students should be able to meet the five basic undergraduate goals and also to

5.12 exploit existing technologies for literary study (e.g. making best use of online reference works, online text collections and archival materials, etc.)

5.13 incorporate technology into classroom presentations

5.14 consider alternative electronic means of presenting critical and creative viewpoints

5.15 understand the technological implications for publishing and presenting scholarly papers 

Last Updated: 8/1/19