Assessment for Concentration in Literary StudiesIn class discussions and their assessment portfolios, students who are completing a major in English with a concentration in literary studies will demonstrate that they are
persuasive expository writers
Papers which meet this goal will show the student writer's awareness of
• purpose in writing,
• and use of supporting details.
familiar with the literary traditions of Britain, Europe, or 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,
• and 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,
• and 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 a theory of literature (e.g., feminism, psychoanalysis, historicism) to texts,
• and use research to enter scholarly dialogue.
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 specific departmental goals. These materials may be written papers and, less frequently, essay exams. For example, a paper written for ENG 108 College Writing would be expected to show a mastery of purpose, audience, role, tone, and supporting details—the sub-goals of the "persuasive expository writer" criterion. Similarly, a paper for an upper-division course might demonstrate your knowledge of "the literary traditions of Britain, Europe, and the U.S" as well as your ability to interpret literature. Papers produced for upper-division courses in other departments may be applied to these general 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.