The College of New Jersey Logo

Apply     Visit     Give     |     Alumni     Parents     Offices     TCNJ Today     Three Bar Menu

English Major Goals

Upon completion of the English Liberal Arts major,

1.      students will be able to demonstrate familiarity with a range of critical, generic, and literary traditions (including recent theoretical approaches) that shape – and are shaped by – literary discourses and texts of particular periods or movements.
key concepts/skills:
a.      range/breadth of reading,
b.      literary history,
c.      genre.

2.      students will be able to describe the effects of social constructions of identity on a particular literary text and on current debates over aesthetic value, universality, and canonicity.
key concepts/skills:
a.      constructions of canonicity,
b.      categories of difference,
c.      disciplinary politics.

3.      students will be able to identify historically specific elements relevant to a particular text.
key concepts/skills:
a.      historicism
b.      cultural studies.

4.      students will be able to read a literary work and characterize its main aesthetic, structural, and rhetorical strategies in an argumentative, thesis-driven essay or in a writing workshop.
key concepts/skills:
a.      close reading,
b.      literary interpretation/analysis,
c.      thesis-driven writing or workshopping.

5.      students will be able to write a substantial essay of literary scholarship that is theoretically informed and engages with current research and criticism in relevant fields of study, asserting their own critical voice in ongoing dialogues and debates.
key concepts/skills:
a.      theory/methodology,
b.      research,
c.      integration of secondary sources,
d.      depth/scope of writing/analysis,
e.      intellectual independence.

6. students will be able to write in multiple modalities (e.g., academic papers, social media, newspapers, business communications), in different genres (e.g., scholarly essay, blog, press release, readers’ report, book review, business memo), for different audiences (e.g., scholarly, general, business).

a. writing modalities,

b. genre,

c. audience.

In addition, upon completion of the double/dual English and Education Majors,

7. students will be able to analyze a written or spoken text linguistically and describe its use of language.
key concepts/skills:
a.   English language conventions and grammar systems,
b.   language acquisition,
c.   English language history,
d.   socio-linguistics (dialect, discourse analysis, etc.).