Student Learning Outcomes
STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES
STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES FOR THE ENGLISH MAJOR (B.A.)
English majors from all four options should be able to
- read a variety of texts critically and proficiently to demonstrate in writing or speech the comprehension, analysis, and interpretation of those texts;
- write a literary or expository text using the conventions of standard English as stylistically appropriate, while showing a nuanced use of language (producing such a text may include invention, workshopping, research, compiling bibliographies, drafting, peer responses, revising, and/or editing);
- demonstrate knowledge and comprehension of major texts and traditions of language and literature written in English as well as their social, cultural, theoretical, and historical contexts;
- analyze and interpret texts written in English, evaluating and assessing the results in written or oral arguments using appropriate support;
- and design and create texts for a variety of purposes and audiences, evaluating and assessing the effectiveness and meaning of such texts.
English majors taking the option in creative writing should be able to
- read with interpretive and analytical proficiency one or more creative literary form (poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction);
- write with proficiency in one or more creative literary form (poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction);
- respond to peers’ work in one or more creative literary form (poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction) with constructively critical proficiency;
- practice the process-oriented approach to writing (i.e., discovering one’s material; crafting that material into the most suitable form according to the intended emotional effect upon target audience; revising as often as necessary);
- incorporate useful critical responses to their work into subsequent revisions;
- demonstrate practical awareness of classic, contemporary, and avant-garde models of one or more creative literary form (poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction); and
- embrace the constant creative challenge of working through failure.
English majors taking the option in English education should be able to
- write a thesis-driven essay using the conventions of standard English (as stylistically appropriate) by following a process-oriented model of writing which may include invention, work-shopping, annotated bibliography, drafts, editing, peer responses, and/or revisions;
- demonstrate in written and/or oral form both the comprehension and the analysis of texts (literary, expository, fiction, non-fiction) in terms of their content, purpose, and form; and
- speak clearly, effectively, and appropriately in a public forum for a variety of audiences and purposes.
English majors taking the option in literature should be able to
- demonstrate knowledge of the major texts and traditions of literature written in English in their social, cultural and historical context;
- analyze instances of the variety of literary forms closely in terms of style, figurative language and convention;
- discover secondary source material of various kinds and evaluate and use such material in the interpretation of literary texts (as well as discover and/or explore directions for new scholarship); and
- apply concepts from literary theory and criticism in the analysis and interpretation of texts, explaining their interpretations in class discussion, response papers, reading secondary source material, and written examination answers and/or papers.
English majors taking the option in rhetoric and composition should be able to
- develop and innovate effective writing processes to compose texts for varied readers;
- recognize, explain, and apply various rhetorical modes in writing (persuasion, explanation, narration, analysis, contrast, process, classification and definition, analogy, illustration, summation with bases, abstraction);
- exhibit knowledge of digital technologies and discourse and produce writing for audiences of digital media;
- demonstrate an understanding of the ethical and political responsibilities inherent in producing, receiving, and assessing written discourse;
- demonstrate proficiency with standard documentation styles, i.e., MLA and APA;
- argue researched perspectives on issues of professional/personal/civic significance; and
- document how people write differently across varied social situations (workplace, academy, home, and media).
STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES FOR THE ENGLISH M.A.
By the end of their M.A. program, students should be able to engage effectively in the following tasks and activities:
- demonstrate familiarity with a wide range of representative literary and rhetorical texts, including influential criticism of and commentary on those texts;
- examine the theoretical premises underlying the critical analysis of literature, rhetoric and/or the teaching of reading and writing;
- analyze the functions of texts and their relations with historical, social and political contexts;
- analyze how purpose, style and genre function in texts to achieve particular literary, rhetorical and aesthetic effects;
- locate, evaluate and synthesize the available resources for researching a significant scholarly topic;
- write papers that construct logical and informed arguments; and
- prepare and deliver effective oral presentations and arguments acceptable within the English professions.
STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES FOR THE ENGLISH M.F.A.
By the end of their M.F.A. program, students should be able to engage effectively in the following tasks and activities:
- read fiction or poetry with graduate-level interpretive and analytical proficiency;
- write fiction or poetry of publishable quality;
- respond to peers’ work in fiction or poetry with constructively critical proficiency;
- incorporate useful critical responses to their work into subsequent revisions; and
- embrace the lifelong process of working through failure toward eventual success.