A course designed for and required of all prospective English majors. Emphasis is on close reading, literary interpretation, and critical writing. Attention is paid to the major genres (poetry, drama, and fiction) across a range of historical periods.
Spring 2020 (two sections will be offered)
ENGL 200: Gateways to Literary Study*
This critical reading and writing course serves as an introduction to and the development of the study of literature. We begin with poetry, then move to drama before taking on, for the balance of the course, various examples of prose --all intended to develop your understanding of human works of literature. In addition to emphasizing major genres of literature across a range of historical periods and geographies, we focus on formal and analytical principles of literature through methods of close reading. Students learn about the structures, forms, and aesthetics related to specific genres, and how the set of critical tools and vocabularies we use to talk about poetry, for instance, differs from tools used to talk about the novel. We also attend to critical writing and strategies of argumentation in literary criticism as well as in students’ essays. Distinguishing between analysis and plot summary as well as identifying weak versus strong arguments are important critical writing skills students will develop.
Each semester, English 200 assigns common texts across the sections offered. Group sessions allow us as to address the texts together and to build a sense of cohesion and shared knowledge for our majors. This course is designed for and required of all prospective English majors.
* this course is approved for D1 credit