2020-2021 Catalog 
    Nov 28, 2021  
2020-2021 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

English Major, Creative Writing Concentration

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Professors Caplan, DeMarco, Olmstead
Associate Professors Allison, Butcher, Comorau, Long
Professor Emeritus Musser
Part-Time Associate Professor Stephens
Part-Time Senior Lecturer Burns

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.


Creative Writing Concentration:

The Creative Writing Concentration is 10 units.

I. Foundation Course: ENG 150  - Introduction to Literary Study (1 unit)

II. Introductory Workshops (choose 2 units):

III. Advanced Workshops (choose 1 unit):

  • ENG 314  - Fiction II (prerequisite: ENG 200 3)
  • ENG 315  (prerequisite: ENG 215)
  • ENG 316  (prerequisite: ENG 216)

IV. Creative Writing Electives (choose 2 units):

  • ENG 318  - Playwriting
  • ENG 319  - Screenwriting
  • ENG 300 9  - Magazine Writing
  • ENG 496  - Literary Editing
  • ENG 314, 315, 316 (if not already taken to satisfy III)

V. Literature and/or Language courses in the following categories (at least 2 must be 250 or above):

  • British and Postcolonial Literature (choose 1 unit):
    • ENG 330  - Studies in Medieval Literature
    • ENG 334  - Chaucer and his Contemporaries
    • ENG 336  - Studies in Shakespeare
    • ENG 338  - Shakespeare: This Great Stage
    • ENG 340  - The Renaissance Author
    • ENG 342  - Drama and Theatre to 1700
    • ENG 344  - Drama, 1700-1900: The Development of “Realism”
    • ENG 346  - Studies in Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture
    • ENG 348  - The British Romantics
    • ENG 350  - The Victorians
    • ENG 352  - Modern British Literature
    • ENG 354  - Contemporary British Literature
    • ENG 356  - Race, Power, and Identity in Postcolonial Literature
  • American Literature (choose 1 unit):
    • ENG 268  - Black Women’s Literary Traditions
    • ENG 273  - Approaches to African American Literature
    • ENG 278  - Native American Literature
    • ENG 360  - Early American Literature
    • ENG 362  - Nineteenth-Century American Literature
    • ENG 369  - Genre Studies in African-American Literature
    • ENG 372  - Modern American Literature
    • ENG 374  - Contemporary American Literature
  • Literature Elective: Choose one literature course (ENG 145 - 228, 266 - 300 15, 330 - 380, 484, 486) or language course (ENG 391, 395) not already taken above

VI. Capstone Workshop: ENG 480  (1 unit)


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  does 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.

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