The following information should be available to students as a part
of all syllabi for this course.
Catalog Name: Practical Criticism: Research and Methodology
Required texts and other readings/materials
- Selected Literary and /or film texts for analysis
- MLA Handbook for Writers (current edition)
- Selected readings on critical approaches (e.g. a critical handbook, a glossary of literary terms, selections on electronic reserve, or the Johns Hopkins Online Guide to Literary Theory).
- An introduction
to representative critical approaches in literary studies, with particular
attention to research and methodology. Required for the major in English
as a prerequisite to upper-division study. Prerequisites: ENGL
1101, ENGL 1102, Permission of Dept. Chair.
- A further specific
description pertaining to this section of the course may be added.
will cultivate skills in reading, writing, and critical analysis appropriate
for the advanced English major.
will understand major critical approaches that are employed in the
field of literary studies.
will be able to read, discuss, and analyze literary works using a
variety of critical perspectives.
will articulate how these perspectives both inform and direct our
understanding and appreciation of literature.
will develop competence in literary analysis from at least three different
will organize and complete a substantive research paper that demonstrates
the ability to engage effectively in critical research and writing.
will demonstrate in both oral and written work a discipline-specific
critical facility through convincing and well supported analysis of
will demonstrate their command of academic English and of the tenets
of sound composition by means of thesis-driven analytical prose.
topics and assignments appropriate to those topics
- Oral and written
communication will be characterized by clarity, critical analysis, logic,
coherence, persuasion, precision, and rhetorical awareness (Core
Curriculum learning outcomes I)
- Cultural and Social
Perspectives: Cultural and social perspective will be characterized
by cultural awareness and an understanding of the complexity and dynamic
nature of social/political/economic systems; human and institutional
behavior, values, and belief systems; historical and spatial relationship;
and, flexibility, open-mindedness, and tolerance. (Core
Curriculum learning outcomes III)
- Aesthetic Perspective:
Aesthetic perspective will be characterized by critical appreciation
of and ability to make informed aesthetic judgments about the arts of
various cultures as media for human expression (Core
Curriculum learning outcomes V)
- This course fulfills
an Area F requirement for English majors (all tracks) in the core.
- This course is
required for the major in English as a prerequisite to upper-division
study. It is designed to prepare students for their work in the major.
- This course will
contribute to the larger goal of equipping students with a foundation
in literary theory, research, and methods, with an emphasis on the issues
surrounding literary study in contemporary culture.
- Students will develop
the analytical, oral and written skills to pursue graduate study or
careers in teaching, writing, business and a variety of other fields.
- Students will be
able to define and pursue independent research agendas.
- This course contributes
to the program goal of equipping students with a foundation in literary
history and the issues surrounding literary study in contemporary culture.
- This course broadens
students' desire and ability to take pleasure in their encounter with
This course trains students in the fundamentals of literary interpretation, emphasizing practical strategies of both textual and contextual analysis. In addition, it offers instruction in literary research methods and provides basic introductions to at least three dominant reading approaches of the discipline (e.g., formalism, semiotics, reader-response, ethical criticism, historicism, psychoanalytic theory, structuralism, poststructuralism/deconstruction, Marxism, feminism and gender studies, cultural criticism, postcolonial theory, queer theory, and so on).
1. The number and kinds of writing assignments may vary (see below) according to the discretion of the professor, provided that each student produces
a) at least 3 formal papers (15-20 pages of formal graded prose) over the course of the term, and
b) at least one study that applies relevant scholarly research in a comprehensive and persuasive manner.
The following general objectives should apply with regard to writing assignments:
a. At least one of the papers should engage students in close textual analysis that may engage a theoretical model but should not draw on outside research materials.
b. One of these papers must be a research project. The final documented paper will demonstrate clear knowledge of and ability to use current MLA style.
c. In preparation for the research paper, individual instructors should design preliminary assignments, such as a prospectus, annotated bibliography, peer review discussion, oral presentation or article analysis, so as to help students define a topic and engage with the research in a meaningful way.
2. Individual instructors may also use quizzes and exams, oral presentations, and other assignments to assess students’ understanding of terms and theoretical frames and their ability to apply these tools.
- Other policy statements
specific to this class should be included on the syllabus.
- A detailed calendar
of readings and assignments should be made available to the class at
the first class meeting. A copy should be posted electronically and
kept on file in the English department office.
- Students should
be expected to come to class, prepared and able to participate.
- MLA style should
be emphasized and required on out of class essays.