English 300

ENGL 300
Introduction to English Studies

Catalog Entry

ENGL 300. Introduction to English Studies (WI)
Three hours lecture (3).

Prerequisites: CORE 101 and CORE 102.

This writing-intensive course introduces students to fundamental skills of literary analysis, the conventions of different literary genres, the use of various literary practices, and research and writing in the discipline. The course also offers an overview of other aspects of the discipline—e.g., language and linguistics—with attention to possible career options.

Note(s): For students majoring in English, must be taken before student accumulates 90 credit hours.

Detailed Description of Content of Course

The course features several facets that together prepare students for serious and intensive academic work and life-long learning in English Studies. It reinforces students’ writing skills as it introduces them to writing in the discipline. Focusing on the conventions and techniques of poetry, fiction, and drama, the course deepens students’ awareness of how literary language works in each genre. To afford students an array of critical tools for analyzing and writing about literature, the course offers an overview of literary critical practices and reading strategies. The course also instructs students in the use of electronic and on-line research tools and the use of the library for research specific to the discipline of English. It also refines the skills involved in the process of writing and revising scholarly papers and the use of MLA documentation. To help students make informed choices about the upper-division work they will pursue, the course offers a brief overview of all aspects of the discipline and the career options afforded by each.

The first of the required writing-intensive courses in the major, ENGL 300 stresses writing in the discipline, with particular emphasis upon awareness of rhetorical context and effective writing for a specific audience and purpose. Much instructional time is devoted to reinforcing students’ writing skills so that they may address more sophisticated writing situations. Course instruction considers strategies such as focusing on a thesis in literary analysis; defining a specific audience and purpose; drafting and revision; and editing for clarity, coherence, and grace. The instructor will intervene at appropriate points in the students' writing process to offer substantive comments concerning drafting and revision.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

ENGL 300 uses a wide variety of instructional strategies which may include any number of the following: lecture; discussion; PowerPoint or web-enhanced instruction; collaborative group work; individual or group student reports; student PowerPoint or web-enhanced presentations; informal writing-to-learn activities including in-class focused writing, readers' logs, double-entry reading journals, or discussion questions; use of the McConnell Library or Walker Hall computer laboratories; library instructional workshops to reinforce students' information literacy and knowledge of resources available in the discipline; peer writing groups on drafts; individual or group conferences with the instructor on drafts. The writing component of the course reinforces students' mastery of their own writing process in increasingly complex writing situations. Instruction emphasizes finding an appropriate topic, drafting, revision, and editing. The instructor will intervene in the student's writing process to afford substantive comments so that students learn how to revise effectively with a specific thesis, audience, and purpose in mind.


Goals and Objectives of Course

Having successfully completed this course, the student will be able to:

  • demonstrate skill in literary analysis and knowledge of various interpretive strategies, including close reading of texts and other critical approaches;
  • understand how literary language and the conventions of literary genres work;
  • write effectively in the discipline of English Studies;
  • write persuasive literary analysis using primary literary texts for evidence;
  • write about literature with an awareness of one’s own literary critical approach;
  • write an effective critical analysis of literature, using some scholarly and critical sources and focused on a clear thesis that effectively addresses a particular audience for a specific purpose;
  • perform literary research in a sophisticated and up-to-date manner;
  • access, judge, and use electronic and printed sources pertinent to the study of literature and language;
  • use proper MLA documentation;
  • produce prose that is grammatically correct and stylistically effective;
  • assess the concentrations and modes of study that are part of the English major, and evaluate the career options each affords.


Assessment Measures

ENGL 300 uses a variety of assessment measures, which may include a number of the following:

  • informal writing-to-learn activities such as reader's logs, double-entry reading journals, discussion questions;
  • tests or quizzes on assigned readings;
  • in-class or take-home essay exams on assigned readings;
  • in-class writing exercises or formal essays to put various literary critical approaches into practice;
  • researched or non-researched essays on literature and/or language;
  • annotated or working bibliographies of research sources;
  • creative writing exercises based on what is studied;
  • in-class reports or presentations, possibly using Powerpoint and other instructional technology;
  • critical review essays of articles written by English professionals;
  • in-class writing exercises or formal essay reflecting on a choice of concentration within the major or a career choice.


Other Course Information

This course is an essential introduction to the English major, providing knowledge and skills that are central to the study of literature and language. Because the course provides knowledge that is useful in the teaching of English language arts on every level, we will encourage IDSE and IDSM majors with a concentration in English to include this course in their concentrations.


Review and Approval

October, 2009