2023-2024 Catalog 
    Jul 21, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

English Major, Creative Writing Concentration

Professors Allison, DeMarco
Associate Professors Butcher, Comorau, Long, Merkel
Professors Emeriti Musser, Olmstead
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 250  is required for all English majors, and prospective and declared majors are strongly encouraged to take ENG 250  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 250  and has successfully completed several upper-level English courses, then the student may petition to the Department chair to substitute ENG 380  for ENG 250 . Unless this petition is approved by the chair, ENG 250  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 Courses (2 units):

II. Craft-of-Genre Courses (choose 3 units):

III. Advanced Genre Workshops (choose 1 unit):

IV. Literary Editing (1 unit):​

V. Literature and/or Language Courses (choose 3 units):


ENG 105  does not count toward the major. Internships and 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.