Assessment for Concentration in Creative Writing
As an English major with a concentration in creative writing at Wilson College, you are required to assemble a writing portfolio. Its contents will address four general goals and thirteen sub-goals (see below) set by the department. In all, English majors with a concentration in creative writing will be:
Persuasive Expository Writers
Papers which meet this goal will show the student writer's awareness of
- Purpose in writing
- Use of supporting details
Accomplished Creative Writers
Papers which meet this goal will show the student writer’s awareness of
- A variety of creative genres
- A particular mastery of one genre of creative writing.
Familiar with the Literary Traditions of Britain, Europe, and the U.S.
Papers which meet this goal will show the student writer's knowledge of
- A literary school, movement, period, genre, or major author
- The debate over the literary canon
Skillful Interpreters of Literature
Papers which meet this goal will show the student writer's ability to
- Read literature closely and discuss narration, literary devices, or poetics
- Use evidence from the history of literature
- Situate literature in its socio-historical context
Effective Synthesizers of Ideas
Papers which meet this goal will show that the student writer can
- Compare and contrast themes across works of literature
- Apply theories of literature (e.g., feminism, historicism, psychoanalysis) to texts
- Use research to enter scholarly dialogue
Compiling the Student Portfolio
The first document in each English major's portfolio will be a lengthy essay (typically15-20 pages) that lists what is in the portfolio, names the course for which each item was produced, and explains the relevance of individual items to departmental goals. These materials may be creative fiction and onfiction, literary analyses and, less frequently, essay exams. Individual items may meet more than one goal. For instance, a paper written for ENG 108 College Writing might show a mastery of purpose, audience, role, tone, and supporting details—the sub-goals of the "persuasive expository writers" criterion. Similarly, a paper for an upper-division course in creative writing might demonstrate your knowledge of a creative genre or genres. Papers produced for upper-division courses in other departments may be applied to these criteria as well, so long as you provide a specific context for their inclusion. As a whole, the introductory essay will be a reasoned argument that treats the portfolio's materials as evidence of your development as a student.
Students will develop their portfolios during their senior year by enrolling in ENG 400 Assessment Portfolio, a one-half credit course required for graduation. Questions about portfolios should be directed to Professor Larry Shillock.
Wilson's English program has produced several prominent published authors. For a look at the some of the books written by Wilson alumnae and faculty, visit the Wilson College Author's Project page.