The chief goal of the English department is literacy, which means more than just the ability to read and write. It means being fully at home with language, being able to enter into critical dialogue with the writers we read, and being able to use our native language to organize and present our own thoughts and feelings.
Courses in the English department introduce students to a variety of the most excitingly literate men and women of the past and present. These courses aim to train the student to read accurately and imaginatively, to think critically, to write clearly and forcefully, and to enjoy the potential for creative play afforded by our rich and complex language. They cultivate the habits of critical inquiry, serious reflection, aesthetic appreciation, and considered response. Critical writing is a key component of every English course.