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English Studies Goals and Objectives


Goal: Become a reader. Study canonical and contemporary works of literature; gain facility in reading with both greater attention and pleasure. Learn to value literary and intellectual history and to attune yourself to truthfulness in everything you read.

Objectives: As readers, we aim to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of a broad cross-section of British, American and non-Western literature and the interplay between form, history & culture, authorial innovation, and literary tradition at work in the creation of literary works as well as the modes of critique we use to assess and understand them.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with a variety of ways of responding to written texts—literary texts, literary criticism and theory, as well as your work and the work of your peers—that reveal the collaborative nature of meaning. Recognize how this process can yield critical insight, ideas for revision, and spawn your own inquiry or creative work.



Goal: Become a writer. Gain confidence in your ability to marshal language that achieves your purpose with cogency, force and precision. Know how to write for exploration, for artistic as well as practical ends. Experience the creative process, and come to enjoy the difficulty and reward of writing well.

Objectives: As writers, we aim to:

  • Cultivate competence in multiple discourses—critical, exploratory, professional, and creative—with an ability to blend approaches for rhetorical effect and effectiveness.
  • Demonstrate the skills of an independent writer who engages multiple voices, generate ideas, organizes research, experiments with form and style, and revises with a knowledge of audience.



Goal: Become a more thoughtful person. Strive to better understand, to ask good questions with openness to and respect for divergent points of view. Desire to be a person who seeks—through study and meditation, through conversation and action—to challenge the self and know the world.

Objectives: As thoughtful people, we aim to:

  • Assess one’s own growth as a reader and writer, reflecting upon classroom experiences, personal reading, extracurricular and professional activities, and how these experiences are shaping the person you are and the person you wish to become.
  • Demonstrate progress in exploring complex issues with maturity and clarity, integrating theoretical and critical perspectives into one’s own thinking, both in classroom discussion and writing.



Goal: Be a person of commitment. Practice intelligent belief, and discover how the liberal arts can inform, widen, and strengthen your faith. Live and work with integrity.

Objectives:  As persons of commitment, we aim to: 

  • Develop a niche within the department and/or campus community, and reflect upon the ways this work, service, and play intersects your coursework and contributes to your overall education.
  • Document and collect experiences—both curricular and co-curricular—where one’s faith has been challenged, informed, or tested in ways ultimately fruitful. Consider how these have added to both your conceptual understanding of the Christian faith as well as affected your practice of it.