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Mansfield University... Developing Tomorrow's Leaders English - What Can I Study?


BA English Degree (Effective Fall 2015)


B.A. English Program Requirements

happy girlStudents majoring in English may choose one of two tracks: Literary and Cultural Analysis or Professional Writing. Both tracks share Core Requirements that afford students extensive exposure to the various forms of literary expression, the methods of literary interpretation, and the practice of writing for academic and professional contexts. Core courses emphasize research skills, critical thinking, and problem solving as essential parts of the composing and interpreting process. All English majors will also acquire beginning proficiency in a second language.

Students in the B.A. English/Literary and Cultural Analysis Track develop strong research and writing skills while mastering the techniques of textual analysis and interpretation. They receive training in literary analysis and are offered a broad background in the history of English and American literature and language. In addition, students study selected authors of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds and learn to situate literary works in their historical and cultural contexts, and to employ various critical methods when interpreting texts. This track is designed to afford students an extensive exposure to various forms of literary expression and the methods of literary interpretation.

Students in the job-focused B.A. English/Professional Writing Track study writing for professional contexts, concentrates on writing for professional contexts, including business writing, job searches and applications, interviewing skills, effective document design, copyediting, and authoring reports, grants, correspondence, websites, and social media. With its strong career orientation, this track is designed to prepare students for careers in a variety of professional fields.


Core Requirements for All Tracks: 21 Credits

All English B.A. majors must complete a 12-credit set of core ENG courses. The lower division core courses emphasize the foundational knowledge and skills essential to the field of English studies. The upper division core courses build on and further develop the knowledge and skills instilled in the lower-division foundational courses. Together, the core courses emphasize the importance of key influential texts (e.g., the Bible in ENG 1130 and Shakespearean drama in ENG 3352); writing as a process that includes attending to rhetorical conventions and contexts (ENG 1130, 3333, and 4401); the careful reading, productive research, and critical analysis of literature and non-print media (ENG 1130, 3333, 3352, and 4401); speaking and listening skills (ENG 4401); and the use of technology in literary studies (1130).

• ENG 1130:  Introduction to Literary Studies prepares students for the advanced literary analysis and interpretation that they will find in upper division content courses. Students become acquainted with literary genres and terms and learn strategies for reading and understanding literature. Offered in the fall semesters. No prerequisites.

• American Period Course:  Take one course of the following:

ENG 3362: American Romanticism is a study of American Romanticism and Transcendentalism, focusing on the work of such writers as Emerson, Thoreau, Fuller, Whitman, Melville, Hawthorne, and Poe. Prerequisite: ENG 1112.

ENG 3363: American Realism and Naturalism is a study of major American writers between the Civil War and World War I. Possible authors include Dickinson, Twain, James, Chopin, Crane, Chesnutt, Wharton, Dreiser, Wilkins Freeman, and Orne Jewett. Prerequisite: ENG 1112.

ENG 3364: Twentieth-Century American Literature is a study of major American writers since World War I, such as Wharton, Faulkner, Williams, Baldwin, Morrison, and Erdrich. Topics include modernism, postmodernism, race, and gender. Prerequisite: ENG 1112.

• British Period Course:  Take one course of the following:

ENG 3350: Old and Middle English Literature is a study of major British writers and works from the Anglo Saxon period to 1500. Selections may include Old English lyric and narrative poetry (Like Beowulf) in translation, and Middle English romances, allegories, bawdy tales, plays, songs, and mystical writings, some in the original language, some in translation. Authors may include Chaucer, Julian of Norwich, Langland, Malory, and that most prolific of medieval authors, Anonymous. Prerequisite: ENG 1112.

ENG 3351: English Renaissance Literature studies writers, ideas, and historical context of the period 1500 to 1660, the Reformation through the English Civil War. Authors include Sydney, Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne, Jonson, and Milton. Prerequisite: ENG 1112.

ENG 3356: Eighteenth-Century British Literature is a study of major British writers from 1660 to 1800. The course will include both primary texts and literary criticism addressing the literature of the period. Includes authors such as Behn, Defoe, Pope, Richardson, Fielding, Smith, and Radcliffe. Prerequisite: ENG 1112.

ENG 3359: Nineteenth-Century British Literature is a study of major British writers from the Romantic and Victorian eras. May include such authors as Burns, Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Shelley, Bronte, Carlyle, Dickens, Eliot, Hardy, and Wilde. Prerequisite: ENG 1112.

ENG 3360: Twentieth-Century British Literature is a study of major British writers of the 20th century, such as Yeats, Joyce, Woolf, Eliot, Beckett, Winterson, and Rushdie. Topics of study include modernism, postmodernism, literary responses to cultural upheaval such as World War II, and post-colonialism. Prerequisite: ENG 1112.

• ENG 3333: Advanced Writing for English Majors is designed to refine the writing skills of English majors, with an emphasis on critical analysis and the mechanics of writing. Students will read and write about a literary, rhetorical, or linguistic concept chosen by the instructor (irony in literature, for example) and revise at least one essay from their English portfolio. Offered fall semesters. Prerequisites: ENG 1130 and two upper division ENG classes.

• ENG 3352: Shakespeare offers a study of selected plays of the author, with interpretation, evaluation and attention to his development as a dramatist and poet. Offered spring semesters. Prerequisites: ENG 1112 and ENG 1130 (non-English majors should take ENG 1115 or ENG 2207 or ENG 2209).

• ENG 3382: Contemporary Literary Theory and Criticism surveys recent approaches to literature, including formalist, structuralist, post-structuralist, reader-response, psychoanalytic, feminist, Marxist, new historical, and/or post-colonial literary criticism. Offered spring semesters. Prerequisites: ENG 1112 and ENG 1130.

• ENG 4401: Seminar in Literary Studies provides students with a sustained, in-depth study of literature which draws on the expertise developed in previous English courses. Topics vary, but each offering requires that students complete a seminar-length researched paper/project, culminating in the public presentation of that work. Offered spring semesters. Prerequisites: ENG 1112 and 75 earned credits.


Literary and Cultural Analysis Track: 18 Credits

• American Survey:  Take one course of the following:

ENG 3278: Survey of American Literature I covers major American literature from the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries. Offered fall semesters. Prerequisite: ENG 1112.

ENG 3280: Survey of American Literature II covers American literature from the late 19th through the present. Offered spring semesters. Prerequisite: ENG 1112.

• British Survey:  Take one course of the following:

ENG 3268: Survey of British Literature I covers British literature from Beowulf through the 18th Century. Offered fall semesters. Prerequisite: ENG 1112.

ENG 3269: Survey of British Literature II covers British literature from the late 18th Century through the present. Offered spring semesters. Prerequisite: ENG 1112.

• World/Minority Literature:  Take one course of the following:

ENG 3305: Comparative Literature examines major works in a genre or movement, comparing two or more national literatures. Prerequisite: ENG 1112

ENG 3307: Literature in English From Around the World is a study of literature outside of the United Kingdom and the United States. Prerequisite: ENG 1112

ENG 3326: Women's Literature offers a study of literature by and about women in its literary, cultural, and social contexts. The course may be topical, thematic, or period-based. May include such authors as Austen, Bronte, Chopin, Woolf, Emecheta, Morrison, and Tan. Prerequisite: ENG 1112

ENG 3327: African-American Literature studies a prominent dimension of African-American literature. Possible topics includes: specific genres, important time periods, major or minor authors, and comparative multicultural contexts. Students hone their critical reading and writing skills in this important and growing area of American literature. Prerequisite: ENG 1112

ENG 3328: Lesbian and Gay Literature focuses on literature by and about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. Literature includes studies of primary texts in conjunction with film, music, television, newspaper and magazine articles, art, and history. The course emphasizes active discussion and close scrutiny of the literature, our society, and ourselves. Prerequisite: ENG 1112

English students may also take any upper division French, German, or Spanish literature course toward the fulfillment of the World/Minority requirement.

• Major Genre or Author:  Take one course of the following:

ENG 3376:  Major Genre is a study of poetry, drama, the novel, short fiction, nonfiction prose, or film. Prerequisite: ENG 1112 and ENG 1130.

ENG 3385:  Major Author is a detailed study of a major author/auteur (or pair of authors/auteurs), such as Chaucer, Milton, Dickens, Brontë, Woolf, Faulkner, Morrison, or Hitchcock. Prerequisite: ENG 1112 and ENG 1130.

• English Electives:

Students choose two courses from among ENG 2225: English Grammar, ENG 2226: History of the English Language, and/or any 3000 or 4000 level ENG courses.


Professional Writing Track: 18 Credits

• ENG 3371: Professional Writing teaches students to write for various purposes in professional contexts. Particular attention will be paid to issues of audience awareness and style. Students will write texts for various contexts, including, but not limited to, letters, resumes, memos, press releases, reports, analyses, and grants. Prerequisite: ENG 1112.

• ENG 3400: The Editorial Process focuses on copyediting skills and application of editorial style in a variety of contexts, including print and electronic media. Prerequisite: ENG 1112.

• ENG 3404: Writing for the Web teaches students to analyze and compose informative, persuasive, and creative Web texts based on rhetorical principles and with user-experience design in mind. Prerequisite: ENG 1112.

• Professional Writing Electives:  Take three courses of the following:

ENG 2225: English Grammar is a systematic description of the rules of modern English grammar, making use of both traditional and contemporary grammatical theories.

ENG 3316: Creative Nonfiction Prose Writing focuses on reading and analysis of published nonfiction, including essays, magazines articles, and electronic media, and experiment with form and subject matter. Genres explored will include memoir, literary journalism, and socio-political commentary. Small group workshops will help students revise and edit their own and each other’s writing while learning a variety of editing skills. The emphasis of the class is on in-depth discussion of student work, the assigned readings, and the process of writing. Prerequisite: ENG 1112.

ENG 3332: Nature Writing focuses on student writing creative non-fiction prose about nature and discuss each other’s work. The course will deal with such issues as the importance of place, the role of science in personal responses to nature, the nature of Nature, and the meaning of “nonfiction” in nature writing. Prerequisite: ENG 1112.

COM 3320: Public Relations Writing familiarizes students with various forms of public relations writing and enhance their skills in written communication. Students will produce public relations material for both traditional and digital media outlets. Emphasis is placed on message design, strategy, audience analysis, and communication channels. Prerequisite: COM 2210.

JN 1100: Journalism introduces the nature and practice of newsgathering, reporting, writing, editing, and professionalism. Students acquire basic skills by covering textbook examples and off-campus breaking stories.

JN 3310: Specialized News and Feature Writing develops the journalism craft beyond routine coverage practices. Field assignments and classroom workshops offer practical experience in non-fiction depth/feature writing styles, interviewing techniques, and story marketing. Prerequisite: JN 1100.

JN 3320: Magazine Writing and Production explores advanced non-fiction feature article writing and literary journalism, with an emphasis on magazine writing, design, and production. Students create the annual edition of Crossroads magazine published in May since 1990. Prerequisites: JN 1100, JN 3310 or permission of instructor.

JN 3340: Online Journalism includes information on such emerging media themes as the ethical and legal implications of publishing online in a 24/7 environment; the characteristics that distinguish news Web sites and their stories from their print and broadcast counterparts; guidelines for doing research on the Internet; and the impact of blogs, wikis and other citizen journalism on mainstream media. Prerequisite: JN 1100 or permission of instructor.

ENG 4495: English Internship offers practical work experience and the opportunity to apply and further develop skills such as writing and editing in a variety of professional settings. May be taken for six through twelve credits. No more than six credits count toward the major. Prerequisite: Permission of the department chairperson and supervising faculty member.


Foreign Language Requirement: 6 Credits Through 1102 Level

Additionally, students in the BA program must fulfill a Foreign Language Requirement, which consists of course work through the 1102 level. Students must then either complete an additional 6 credits through the 2202 level OR declare a minor.

FR 1101, 1102: Introductory French I and II; Intermediate French I and II.

GER 1101, 1102: Introductory German I and II; Intermediate German I and II.

SPA 1101, 1102: Introductory Spanish I and II; Intermediate Spanish I and II.


English Program Assessment Portfolio

smiling manAll English degree program students must compile a program assessment portfolio. The completed portfolios are to be used as a tool to track each student's performance across a range of assessment tasks within the degree program, and to assess the extent to which the program itself is meeting its designated expectations and outcomes. 

The portfolios will be evaluated by the English Curriculum Committee on a regular basis using the criteria listed on the evaluation rubric. Students should submit electronic copies of their portfolio essays to the department chair. The portfolios-in-progress will be kept on file electronically in the department office. The completed portfolio will consist of the following items:

The Final Research Essay from ENG 1130: Introduction to Literary Studies. This assessment is a research project conducted at the conclusion of the students' second semester. Students are expected to demonstrate the ability to analyze a text closely, to utilize secondary source material (both print and electronic) productively, to be conversant with key terms from literary history and criticism, to situate a text within its historical, literary, and/or cultural context, and to conform to the rules of standard written English.

Two essays from upper-division ENG courses (these essays should not be from the same course). These assessments are critical essays and may be drawn from the American and British Survey courses, the American and British period courses, Shakespeare, the World/Minority literature courses, the Major Genre course, the Major Author course, Intro to Linguistics, Regional Literature, or the Special Topics course. Students are expected to demonstrate the ability to analyze a text closely, to utilize secondary source material (both print and electronic) productively, to be conversant with key terms from literary history and criticism, to situate a text within its historical, literary, and/or cultural context, and to conform to the rules of standard written English. These assessments may be drawn from coursework in the sophomore, junior, and/or senior years.

The Major Revision Essay from ENG 3333: Advanced Writing for English Majors, including the original, unrevised version (the unrevised version may be the essay from ENG 1130 or one of the upper division essays already included in the portfolio). This assessment requires students to revise an essay completed for a previous ENG course, and focuses on the students' ability to revise an essay effectively, to analyze a text closely, to utilize secondary source material (both print and electronic) productively, to be conversant with key terms from literary history and criticism, to situate a text within its historical, literary, and/or cultural context, and to conform to the rules of standard written English. The resulting essay should be suitable for submission to an undergraduate-level journal and/or adaptable for submission to an undergraduate-level conference.

The Research Project from ENG 4401: Seminar in Literary Studies. A substantial inquiry into a specific topic within the field of literary studies, this assessment focuses on the students' ability to analyze a text (or texts) closely; to demonstrate a thorough understanding of the available secondary source material (both print and electronic) on the topic; to incorporate key terms, theories and approaches from literary history and criticism effectively; to situate a text (or texts) within its historical, literary, and/or cultural context; and to conform to the rules of standard written English. The final project should contribute to the critical conversation on the chosen topic. The project culminates in a public oral presentation of each student's research before a university-wide audience of students and faculty.