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Student Learning Outcomes

Students in the Department of Literature and Writing Studies develop critical reading and writing skills and learn to recognize that effective thinking and writing about texts must be informed by knowledge about relevant local, global, and disciplinary contexts. We have designed our departmental curriculum to help students develop and demonstrate the following abilities:

  1. Create clear and compelling communication in writing, speech, and other media;
  2. Closely analyze texts, applying critical and theoretical approaches;
  3. Identify and describe literary canons and alternative traditions and the process of their formation; and
  4. Distinguish the local and global contexts of multicultural and international texts and apply those contexts in textual analysis, utilizing relevant theoretical frameworks.

We recognize that a good reading knowledge of at least one language other than English is necessary for an advanced understanding of literature and writing, especially since the translation of texts from other languages changes their meaning.

Assessment of these learning outcomes occurs in a variety of ways: students are asked in our classes to complete many different kinds of writing assignments, including short essay exams, in-class responses, reading journals, research papers, thesis-driven essays, oral reports, and collaborative writing projects.