Program Goals for English Majors

As undergraduate English majors at Xavier, students will demonstrate competency as readers, writers, researchers, and thinkers.

As readers, students will demonstrate the ability to

  • read a wide range of texts critically and closely;
  • generate and defend their own interpretations of literature in the major genres: poetry, drama, fiction, and creative nonfiction

As writers, students will demonstrate the ability to

  • write effectively for audiences by using evidence in a variety of complex ways and displaying control over style and usage;
  • write essays of various lengths and for various purposes, including at least one substantial paper that represents an original contribution to scholarship.

As researchers and thinkers, students will demonstrate the ability to

  • conduct research, in literary criticism in particular, using both traditional and electronic resources effectively;
  • evaluate their research findings;
  • relate individual texts or literary works to broader historical, cultural, philosophical, and theoretical contexts;
  • present ideas orally and engage in informed discussions of texts and issues;
  • synthesize their reading and writing with material learned in other core courses, especially those in the E/RS focus.

Xavier English majors will also demonstrate knowledge of the following content:

  • broad developments in the history of British and American poetry;
  • an in-depth knowledge of at least one period or genre other than poetry in British literature and ways that period or genre interacts with others;
  • an in-depth knowledge of at least one period or genre other than poetry in American literature and ways that period or genre interacts with others;
  • broad developments in the workings and history of the English language;
  • broad developments in literary criticism and/or theory.