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Course Descriptions - Major & Minor Requirements

110. Fundamental English (3) offers a study of grammar, punctuation, mechanics and usage. Writing from the sentence to the paragraph level and short essays. Does not count in the major, minor, education concentration, or gen ed. Prerequisite: placement. Offered every fall.

121. Composition (3) requires students to write between five and six thousand words, applying rhetorical principles of literate discourse--principles as demonstrated in samples of effective writing by writers of diverse backgrounds. Includes grammar, levels of usage, the purposes of language, writing for different purposes and audiences. Does not satisfy hours for the major or minor. Prerequisite: placement or completion of 110. English 121 is a prerequisite for all English courses except 110, 213, and 217. Offered every semester.

123. Introduction to Literature (3) explores common topics and themes as expressed in various literary genres. Students read, respond to, and analzye works of literature, and learn how to find connections between literature, our culture, ourselves, and the human condition. Emphasis is on the western tradition of literature. Either 123 or 124 may be used to count toward the English major/minor, but not both.

124. World Literature (3) explores common topics and themes as expressed in notable works of literature from around the world. Students read, respond to, and analzye works of literature, and learn how to find connections between literature, various cultures, ourselves, and the human condition. Emphasis is on the non-western tradition of literature. Either 123 or 124 may be used to count toward the English major/minor, but not both.

201. Advanced Writing (3) includes study and practice in the methods of organization and use of evidence to help students write more effectively and persuasively. Students read essays by writers of diverse backgrounds and learn to write for different purposes and audiences. Offered every fall.

202. Business Writing (3) concentrates on clarity and orderliness in preparing business correspondence, studies, reports and proposals. Offered in rotation.

207. Print Reporting & Writing (3) provides an introduction to the principles and concepts of writing and reporting for print media and the web. It involves reporting, interviewing, doing background research, writing, and analyzing news stories, and introduces students to journalistic ethics and codes of conduct. Cross-listed as JOURN 207. Offered every spring.

231. British Literature to 1800 (3) studies the major literary movements and figures of British culture from Anglo-Saxon writings through the Neo-Classic Period. Offered every fall.

232. British Literature after 1800 (3) examines the development of poetry and prose in Britain from the Romantic writers to the present. The political and intellectual contexts, as well as the subjects and styles of selected authors of both genders are studied. Offered every spring.

233. American Literature to 1865 (3) surveys American literature from the Colonial Era through the age of Romanticism. Genres include essays, Native American legends, captivity narratives, slave narratives, short fiction, the novel, and lyric poetry. Intellectual and history contexts, as well as key authors, are covered. Offered every fall.

234. American Literature after 1865 (3) surveys American literature from the Age of Realism to the present day. Genres include essays, short fiction, drama, poetry, and the novel. Intellectual and historical contexts, as well as key authors, are covered. Offered every spring.

235. African-American Literature (3) examines the major trends in African-American literature, using historical, political, and social contexts. Genres include poetry, fiction, the slave narrative, and drama. Offered in rotation.

250. Topics in Literature, Film, and Culture (3) provides for study of a certain topic through works of literature, supplemented by film or other art forms. Possible topics include fantasy literature, science fiction, or something more broad such as war, love, or the family. May be repeated with topic change. Offered in rotation.

260. Introduction to Creative Writing (3) explores various genres and helps students to develop their individual perspectives and voices. The course involves writing exercises and prompts, group discussions of creative work, and many opportunities for feedback and revision. Enrollment preference to sophomores and above. Offered every semester.

311. Adolescent and Young Adult Literature (3) is a critical study of literature intended for adolescent and pre-adolescent readers. Themes include coming of age, formation of identity, community and society, the journey, and other common themes in YA literature. Students will become familiar with a variety of YA genres, which may include dystopian fiction, sci-fi and fantasy literature, contemporary realistic fiction, non-fiction, and multimodal texts. Attention will be given to issues of censorship of YA literature and pedagogical resources for the use of YA literature in the classroom and how the identity formation process is affected when adolescents encounter people from different gender, racial, ethnic, cultural, religious, and/or economic backgrounds. Offered in rotation.

316. Public Relations Writing (3) is a study of the current methods of writing copy for agencies, corporations, and not-for-profit organizations. Focuses on the writing of press releases, with an analysis of their purpose, value, and content. Offered in rotation.

317. Journalism Ethics (3) studies ethical problems and issues in mass communication with a framework of basic theories and social roles of mass media. Surveys the major ethical issues that concern journalism. Describes ethical dilemmas that confront broadcast and print journalists. Matters of journalistic morality, codes of ethics, codes of conduct, taste, libel, shield laws, photo guidelines are covered. Offered in rotation.

319. Topics in Creative Nonfiction Writing (3) provides students the opportunity to explore the principles and practice of creative nonfiction writing. Topics might include memoir, personal essay, travel, food, humor, science, or others. May be repeated once with topic change. Offered in rotation.

320. Principles of Literary Study (3) explores the theoretical principles and the critical viewpoints based on them which underlie the thoughtful, purposeful study of literature and applies these principles to key literary works. Offered every spring.

323. Shakespeare (3) is an intensive study of Shakespeare's writings, including selected sonnets, comedies, histories, tragedies, and romances, with special attention to the major themes and to the Elizabethan and Jacobean contexts of his plays. The course covers the practices and conventions of theatrical performance in Shakespeare's time and his development as a dramatist. Offered every odd fall.

329. Romantic and Victorian Literature (3) explores the relation of nature to culture in major Romantic and Victorian poetry and representative prose sections; the position of art, the process of myth and metaphor in nature/culture relations. Offered every even fall.

331. History of the British Novel (3) studies the novel as an important literary and social development in Britain and follows some of the important changes in the structure, purpose and audience of the novel through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. (Included: Defoe, Austen, Dickens, Eliot, and Hardy). Offered every odd spring.

333. Modern and Contemporary British Fiction (3) examines the directions British fiction has taken in response to a changing social and literary scene: two world wars, the decline of the British Empire, the rise of working class, women and minority writers. The course considers experimental and traditional writers from Joyce to the present, including Joyce, Woolf, Lawrence, Forster. Offered every even fall.

341. Nineteenth Century American Fiction (3) studies the works of the American romantics, then moves to the realism, regionalism, and naturalism of the later part of the century. Authors studied may include Irving, Hawthorne, Melville, Twain, Chopin, Chesnutt, Crane, and Jewett. Offered every odd spring.

343. Modern and Contemporary American Fiction (3) studies the variety and richness of American fiction since the turn of the century, from the novelists of the 1920s through post-World War II writing and the contemporary novel. Topics include the 1920s novel, the war novel and women and minority writers. (Included: Wharton, Hemingway, Faulkner, Vonnegut, and Morrison). Offered every even spring.

351. Modern and Contemporary American Poetry (3) studies the life of poetry in recent American culture, from the early twentieth century through today. The course attempts to answer the question, “Why does poetry matter?” The emphasis will be on close reading along with an exploration of diverse methods of literary criticism, such as historical and biographical. Poets will be looked at in context (eg. the celebrity of Frost and Hughes; the notoriety of Ginsberg; posthumous responses to Plath), and poetic form will be considered as well, from iambic pentameter to spoken word and Slam. Offered in rotation.

361. Language: Structure and Usage (3) studies the theoretical views and methodological tools for an accurate understanding of language, its structure and usage. Emphasis is on the English language, covering topics such as language acquisition and development, the history of the English language, grammar, dialects and levels of usage. Offered in rotation.

385. Topics in Literature (3) provides for the study of significant writers, genres, and themes. Possible subjects include Chaucer, Poe, Gender and Film, and Postmodernism, as well as other topics devised by faculty or requested by students. May be repeated with topic change. Offered in rotation.

386. Topics in Literature and Film (3) explores specific topics in film and literature. Students view selected films, read selected texts, and apply theoretical approaches, close reading, and film analysis techniques. Topics may include cinematic adaptations of authors (e.g., Shakespeare, Dickens, Austen), genres (e.g., anime, comedy, sci-fi), or themes (e.g., gender in film and literature, dystopias in film and literature, sports in film and literature). May be repeated with topic change. Offered in rotation.

387. Topics in Literature and Gender (3) gives students the opportunity to explore literary texts through the lens of gender. Students learn principles of gender theory and analysis, and also how to use these principles to understand and interpret texts. Topics might include LGBT literature, women’s literature, the literature of masculinity, marriage in the 19th-century novel, sexuality in science fiction, or others according to instructor interest and research area. May be repeated with topic change. Offered in rotation.

390. Advanced Creative Writing (3) provides students with practice in a variety of forms, increasing in complexity. Individual style and voice in students' work as well as in contemporary authors are explored. Prerequisite: 306. Offered every spring.

394. Classical Mythology (3) focuses on Greek and Roman mythology and its influence on English and American writers. Various examples of Greek and Roman literature are read in translation. Offered every spring.

495. Seminar (3) is the capstone course for English majors; students share in intensive study of a major literary work and write a paper of suitable length, applying the theoretical principles of literary criticism to that work. Discussions focus on analyzing literature, critical reading, and research methods. Students are expected to make a brief oral presentation at the end of the semester, summarizing their work. Offered each semester on a subject selected by the instructor. Prerequisite or co-requisite: English 320, and senior status or permission of department chair. Offered every semester.

Major Requirements

The following 12 hours are required: English 231 British Literature to 1800 OR 232 British Literature after 1800; English 233 American Literature to 1865 OR 234 American Literature after 1865; English 320 Principles of Literary Study; English 495 Seminar. Any combination of English courses for the remaining 18 hours is allowed, with the requirement that at least 12 of those hours are at the 300-level.

Minor Requirements

The student must take 15 hours of English offerings, excluding English 121, with the requirement that at least 3 hours must be at the 300-level.

Teacher Licensure

Integrated language arts, grades 7-12, includes an English major. Contact the Education Department for a specific list of course requirements.


Every Semester

ENGL 121 Composition
ENGL 123 Introduction to Literature
ENGL 260 Introduction to Creative Writing
ENGL 495 Seminar

Every Fall

ENGL 110 Fundamentals of English
ENGL 201 Advanced Writing
ENGL 231 British Literature to 1800
ENGL 232 American Literature to 1865
ENGL 311 Adolescent and Young Adult Literature
ENGL 361 Language, Structure and Usage

Every Spring

ENGL 124 World Literature
ENGL 207 Print Writing & Reporting [Journ 207]
ENGL 232 British Literature after 1800
ENGL 233 American Literature after 1865
ENGL 320 Principles of Literary Study
ENGL 390 Advanced Creative Writing
ENGL 394 Classical Mythology

Every Odd Fall

ENGL 323 Shakespeare and the Renaissance

Every Even Fall

ENGL 329 Romantic and Victorian Literature
ENGL 333 Modern and Contemporary British Fiction

Every Odd Spring

ENGL 331 History of the British Novel
ENGL 341 Nineteenth Century American Fiction

Every Even Spring

ENGL 343 Modern and Contemporary American Fiction

In Rotation

ENGL 202 Business Writing
ENGL 250 Topics in Literature, Film, & Culture
ENGL 235 African-American Literature
ENGL 316 Public Relations Writing
ENGL 317 Journalistic Ethics
ENGL 319 Topics in Creative Nonfiction Writing
ENGL 351 Modern and Contemporary American Poetry
ENGL 385 Topics in Literature
ENGL 386 Topics in Literature & Film
ENGL 387 Topics in Literature & Gender


The following are possible four-year plans for students, but they are by no means the required plan. Each student should speak with his/her advisor to decide on the best possible plan for his/her unique situation.

English Major

English majors take or test out of English 121 (a prerequisite for most English classes) in the freshman year.  We strongly recommend senior status for English 495.

Sophomore Fall Sophomore Spring
231 or 232
(either 231 or 232 required)
2xx elective 233
Junior Fall Junior Spring
3xx elective 320
3xx elective  3xx elective
Senior Fall Senior Spring
3xx elective 495
3xx elective  
Sometimes course offerings/semesters change. Consult pamphlets in the English Department.


Middle School Language Arts Major

Freshman Fall Freshman Spring
121 124
Sophomore Fall Sophomore Spring
201 233
3xx elective  3xx elective
Junior Year Junior Year
311 361
Sometimes course offerings/semesters change. Consult pamphlets in the English Department.

Adolescent/Young Adult Requirements

Freshman Fall Freshman Spring
121 124
Sophomore Fall Sophomore Spring
201 232
231 3xx elective
Junior Year Junior Year
311 320
3xx elective 3xx elective
Senior Fall or Senior Spring


Sometimes course offerings/semesters change. Consult pamphlets in the English Department.