2019-2020 Catalog 
    Feb 28, 2020  
2019-2020 Catalog

English Major, Creative Writing Concentration

Professors Caplan, DeMarco, Hipsky, Olmstead
Associate Professors Allison, Comorau, Long, Poremski, Ryan
Assistant Professor Butcher
Part-time Associate Professor Stephens
Senior Lecturer Stull

English majors develop both reading and writing skills. They gain a wide knowledge of authors, of texts originally written in English, of the English language, and of interpretive approaches to literature. They read literary works and watch films selected to illustrate the linguistic connections among texts, historical perspectives, cultural contexts, the development of English as a language, and the canon, its critics, and its alternatives. The major and minor foster curiosity about language, and the conviction that literature and film enrich human experience.

In English courses, students develop close reading skills—heightening their awareness of the conventions of literary and cinematic form, structure, language, genre, and rhetoric—and are introduced to current critical methods. Throughout the major, students test and revise their notions of what makes literature literature. They cultivate sensitivity to language as a medium of thought and communication, and they learn to ask penetrating questions about texts and language.

English majors and minors become thoroughly acquainted with the writing process, sensitive to the rhetorical situation, and alert to the demands for correctness and precision. Creative Writing majors develop a sense of voice, style, and tone, and practice adapting the conventions of various literary genres.

The English department expects that its students will explore the relationship of language and literature to social and cultural issues. It hopes they will become habitual, morally engaged readers, appreciating literature’s function in developing an imaginative sensitivity to and disciplined regard for the relation between words and the world, the writer and the work, the representing self and the represented other.

The English major and minor also provide practical preparation for the world of work. They equip students to communicate clearly, to write effectively, and to read critically and accurately. These skills are fundamental for success in numerous professions and occupations, especially in the age of the Internet.

Many English courses do not carry prerequisites. In general, however, courses at the 100 and 200 levels are most appropriate for first-year students and sophomores, or for those students who have not previously taken a college literature course. Upper-level students and those who have previously taken a college literature course may take courses at all levels.

Learning Objectives


1. Read, interpret, and analyze a variety of canonical and contemporary creative writing texts across multiple genres, including literary fiction, nonfiction, poetry, screenwriting, and playwriting.

2.  Study and demonstrate understanding of various forms and structures of fiction, essay, playwriting, screenwriting, and poetry.Explore and engage critically with texts that represent a variety of perspectives and experiences.

3.   Identify and implement narrative strategies and techniques employed by contemporary publishing creative writers.

4.   Produce original creative writing in a variety of genres that evidences critical awareness of tradition, elements of craft, aesthetics, prosody, and narrative technique.

5.   Work collaboratively and constructively with a community of writers to further develop a personal voice, writing style, tone, and sense of literary citizenship.

6.   Develop the critical skills and vocabulary necessary to engage critically and effectively with peer manuscripts in a formal writing workshop environment.

7.   Employ critical feedback to carry manuscripts through a series of substantial revisions that strengthen plot, narrative structure, thematic cohesion, form, voice, and language.

8.   Produce a polished and cohesive body of work through a capstone creative writing course.

9.   Pursue opportunities to practice the professional habits of creative writers: revision, workshopping, public reading, and submission for publication.

10. Demonstrate substantial knowledge of editing and revision techniques, post-undergraduate opportunities in writing and publishing, and other career-related aspects

11. Develop and hone skills in creating, editing and revising in the student’s primary genre.

12. Demonstrate ability to read and respond thoughtfully and critically in both oral and written form to other student’s work.

Major Requirements

ENG 150  is required for all English majors, and prospective and declared majors are strongly encouraged to take ENG 150  in their first or second year, before enrolling in upper-level courses. However, if a Junior or Senior English major has not yet taken ENG 150  and has successfully completed several upper-level English courses, then the student may petition to the Department chair to substitute ENG 380  for ENG 150 . Unless this petition is approved by the chair, ENG 150  will be required to complete the major. Students are encouraged to plan ahead with regard to required seminars and advanced workshops.

Requirements for each concentration are:


Creative Writing Concentration:

  • ENG 150

Introductory Workshops (2 units):

  • ENG 200.3
  • ENG 215
  • ENG 216

Advanced Workshops (1 unit):

  • ENG 314 (prerequisite: ENG 200.3)
  • ENG 315 (prerequisite: ENG 215)
  • ENG 316 (prerequisite: ENG 216)

Creative Writing Electives (2 units):

  • ENG 318
  • ENG 319
  • ENG 300.9
  • ENG 496
  • ENG 314, 315, 316 (if not already taken to satisfy the Advanced Workshop requirement)

Literature and Language Courses (3 units; at least 2 units must be 250 or above):

  • One British and Postcolonial Literature course (ENG 330-356)
  • One American Literature course (ENG 268, ENG 273, ENG 278, ENG 360-374)
  • One literature course or language course (ENG 391, 395) not taken above

Capstone Workshop:

  • ENG 480

The Portfolio:

  • ENG 410



ENG 105  does not count toward the major. Apprenticeships, while encouraged, are viewed as an extension of the major, not as a substitute for a regular course. ENG 495  and ENG 496  do not count toward the major.

A course taken credit/no entry may not be counted toward the major. At least seven courses must be taken at Ohio Wesleyan.