English Studies


The Department of English Studies offers courses in writing as part of the General Education curriculum, as well as courses designed for students interested in further developing writing skills and an understanding of and appreciation for literature. The department also offers coursework for the English major and minor interested in an extensive study of language, literature, and writing.

The University’s General Education Writing Curriculum

The General Education Writing Curriculum at Lewis University is designed to prepare students to develop the critical skills necessary to create effective prose used in both college-level coursework and professional life. The subject of the program’s writing courses (College Writing 1, College Writing 2, and Advanced Writing) is composition; by examining the writing process and the choices that writers make as they move from prewriting and drafting through revision and editing, students develop an understanding of the many uses of writing as a means of communication, but also as a form of thinking and knowing, especially about the self.

Through the examination of the works of professional writers, students will be asked to read critically, to analyze and synthesize information, and to present their findings in a manner that is consistent with current standards of usage and documentation. Students will also be asked to generate a variety of rhetorical modes, allowing them to consider certain forms and styles. Further, they will be asked to consider issues of audience, purpose, tone, and diction. One important goal of the composition program is for students to begin to understand the choices they make as writers and to develop a self-awareness of their own strengths and needs as writers. In addition, the courses develop “evidenced reasoning” by insisting that students support their own opinions through the use of secondary sources appropriate to disciplinary practice. Another goal of the program is for students to use electronic environments in drafting, reviewing, revising, editing, and sharing texts. Courses employ research skills from both traditional and electronic sources. Courses also examine catalogs, periodical indexes, databases, and other bibliographic tools commonly used in college-level writing.

The English Major

An English major has a choice of three concentrations:

(1) ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS FOR TEACHERS. This concentration is designed primarily for the student who intends to teach English at the secondary level.  The concentration is approved by the State Educator Preparation and Licensure Board in conjunction with the Illinois State Board of Education and leads to a Professional Educator License with an English Language Arts Endorsement.  Students in this concentration must double major in English and in Secondary Education.  These majors must consult with both English Studies and Department of Education advisors before registering for courses.

(2) LITERATURE AND LANGUAGE. This concentration is designed primarily for the student who wants to develop an individualized program of study in language and literature and/or is preparing for further graduate studies in English or related disciplines requiring analytical skills, such as law, management, administration, and research in humanities.  An English minor is offered in Literature and Language.  English majors in Concentrations One, Two, and Three may not minor in Literature and Language.

(3) WRITING. This concentration focuses on writing and emphasizes three dimensions of writing as a profession and discipline: the creative, the professional, and the theoretical. Students complete the core curriculum and then, depending on particular interests and talents, choose to specialize in Creative Writing, Professional Writing, or pursue a more individualized course of study in General Writing.  English minors are offered in these three areas.

English majors in concentrations 1 and 2 (but not 3) may minor in Creative Writing or Professional Writing or General Writing provided that 9 credit hours (including 6 hours of upper-division coursework and 3 additional hours) are not applied to any other English Department program. English majors may not minor in more than one writing minor.

English majors and minors are encouraged to minor in Film Studies provided that 9 credit hours (including 6 hours of upper-division coursework and 3 additional hours) are not applied to any other major or minor offered at Lewis University, including the English major or minor.

Certificate in Professional Writing

The Certificate in Professional Writing enables students in any major to develop the writing knowledge and skills expected in the workplace.  After completing the Certificate, students will be well equipped to write for audiences within and outside their own professions and to communicate in both print and multimedia.  The Certificate will help prepare students for any careers requiring effective writing, including those in business, law enforcement, education, healthcare, media, government, and not-for-profit organizations.  ENGL 11200 College Writing 2 is the prerequisite for all courses in the Certificate program.