Guidelines for English Major Literature Courses


The department has policies requiring or suggesting items to be included in greensheets. (See relevant section of the Department Policy Manual.) Each greensheet should include the language required by the University.

Course Goals

As part of their Capstone seminar, all English majors are required to review the work they have done in previous major courses with reference to specific Program Learning Outcomes. It would be a good idea for instructors to list in course materials the ways the course will help students meet some or all of these goals. (It would also be a good idea periodically to remind students of their need to meet these goals and of the need to save syllabi, papers, exams, and course notes in anticipation of this final review.)

Written Work

Lower-division literature courses should require a minimum of 3000 words of graded in-class and out-of-class writing. Upper-division literature courses should require a minimum of 5000 words of graded in-class and out-of-class writing including at least one paper informed by significant library research.

Lower-Division Survey Courses

These are foundation courses for all English major work. They will be for many students their first introduction to some of the chief writings of British and American literature and for all students the basis for their later, deeper study in particular periods and authors. These courses, then, should stress primary texts and concentrate on major figures, genres, and movements through the entire time span allotted to each course. These are intensive reading courses, but students should also write essays that require them to synthesize knowledge and to interpret literary texts.

Course Files

The department keeps copies of greensheets for all courses recently offered. It would be a good idea if instructors, especially those new to a particular course, would consult these files to see what other teachers do.