The mission of the English Department, therefore, is to guide its majors through a program that will prepare them to be flexible enough to handle life's vicissitudes and fickleness by teaching them to read widely and critically, to greet everything with a healthy humanistic skepticism, to identify and solve problems, to write and speak clearly and effectively, and to know and like themselves and to be empowered by confidence in their knowledge and abilities. The department must encourage students to become self-reliant learners with the ability to write creatively, to analyze critically, and to think independently about literature, the world, and themselves. The department will succeed in its mission if it graduates independent learners with broad research capabilities who can speak and write with facility about the historical, cultural, and theoretical questions they ask about texts and who can probe the connections between their questions and the questions asked by other disciplines and cultures.
In keeping with our mission, English majors will demonstrate the following:
the ability to discuss literature, including engaging in an exchange of ideas, and offering and supporting insights.
the capacity to sustain controlled, critical arguments that analyze and synthesize texts.
an understanding of the craft of writing, including concision, diction, grammar, and syntax.
the ability to produce creative writing that shows an awareness of language, freedom from cliche, and an understanding of genre, style, and topic.
the ability to identify and use a range of sources suitable to the scholarly conversation on a particular topic, to evaluate and integrate source material, and to document accurately.
an understanding of the literary tradition, the historical and cultural contexts of literature, and critical methods of reading
the ability to give well-planned, engaging presentations.