Department of English

arrow

Writers create worlds. The English Department offers students a chance to enter the worlds of the greatest storytellers in the history of the English language, as well as the opportunity to create their own worlds under the guidance of master writers. Undergraduates can choose concentrations in either literature or writing, and a minor in English is also available. Graduate students can take courses leading to a Master of Fine Arts in Creative & Professional Writing. A major or minor in English is also a great path to a career or to graduate or professional study. With its emphasis on close reading and writing skills and its training in critical thinking—skills that are crucial in today’s high-tech global economy—the English major will help you acquire the tools that will allow you to flourish in a wide variety of career paths in the private and public sectors, and will give you career flexibility in a constantly changing world. But don’t just take our word for it. Click on the “Why Major in English” link on the menu to your left and find out what others have to say about a degree in English.

Learn more about each of our programs:

  • BA in English
  • Minor in English
  • MA in English (currently not accepting new students)
  • MFA in Creative and Professional Writing

A William Paterson degree in English helps you acquire the tools that will enable you to flourish in a wide variety of career paths in the private and public sectors, and will give you career flexibility in a constantly changing world. Our graduate programs' rigorous course of study prepares students for a wide variety of careers, including secondary education and university-level teaching, book and magazine publishing and editing, journalism, copywriting, public relations, and professional writing. Teaching opportunities at William Paterson University are available to outstanding alumni.

English Undergraduate Mission Statement 

Our mission is to empower students in their pursuit of interests in such areas as creative writing, literature, professional writing, rhetoric, literacy, and linguistics as they prepare for their lives as informed citizens, ethical leaders, effective writers, and analytical thinkers for a world of diversity and innovation. 

 

English - UG Goals 

  1. Students will learn to engage in critical thinking, to articulate supported arguments, to synthesize information, and to express complex ideas 
  2. Students will understand and appreciate the creative and aesthetic aspects of literature, language, and writing in print, digital, and visual texts 
  3. Students will understand literary, creative, and rhetorical concepts and principles and be able to connect them to complex historical and cultural issues 
  4. Students will make connections between the knowledge and practices developed in their studies and its relevance to cultural, social, ethical, and professional opportunities and issues. 

 

English - UG Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will know how to conduct inquiry and articulate cohesive written and verbal analysis, using source material to support arguments and organizing and presenting information in various forms. 
  2. Students will demonstrate proficiency in written analysis and critical thinking. 
  3. Students will articulate analysis and appreciation of aesthetics, linguistics, and rhetorics in producing texts in various forms. 
  4. Students will evaluate and explain complex issues relevant to literary, creative, or rhetorical principles and their historical and cultural significance. 
  5. Students will articulate knowledge of diverse issues relevant to the humanities in society and communicate insights and problem-solving applications to address such issues.  

Writing Center Mission Statement  

The Writing Center serves all students across the university, both in-person and online, at all levels of academic study in any discipline. Our mission is to help students improve as writers through tutoring and coaching designed to fit each individual client’s needs. 

 

 Writing Center Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will be able to understand and communicate that writing is a collaborative process engaging various resources and approaches. 
  2. Students/tutors will be able to understand and communicate the writing center to be a space of open and just learning and collaboration. 
  3. Increase access for students seeking to improve writing knowledge and practices. 
  4. Demonstrate increased proficiency in tutoring using both face-to-face and digital approaches in supporting individual students across the university.


GRADUATE PROGRAMS

Creative & Professional Writing - MFA Mission Statement  

The M.F.A. in Creative and Professional Writing is a studio/research program of 41 credits designed to provide graduate students with the practical skills necessary to develop their own writing, evaluate and edit the writing of others, gain experience with methodologies of learning and teaching writing, and extend their knowledge of literature from various periods, genres, and major authors. Offering concentrations in four genres—poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and professional nonfiction—the program will help students attune their work to contemporary literary publishing standards, encourage them to explore both the process and the product of the writing craft, and foster their facility with a broad range of techniques relevant to the art of creative writing, to careers in editing and publishing, and to the competitive marketplace standards of professional prose.  

 

Creative & Professional Writing - MFA Goals 

  1. Students will learn to employ a wide variety of effective writing strategies and techniques, both in the production of work and in the revision of the project. 
  2. Students will situate and promote their writing in the contemporary milieu 
  3. Students will evaluate and edit their own work, as well as the work of others, for aesthetic and commercial purposes 
  4. Students will learn to employ a variety of effective teaching methods in writing and literature 

 

 Creative & Professional Writing - MFA Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate effective writing strategies and techniques for drafting, developing and producing creative written work. 
  2. Accurately evaluate and independently develop writing in at least one major genre (poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, professional nonfiction) 
  3. Develop strategies for marketing their writing in the publishing industry and related fields 
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of expectations for and the ability to evaluate and edit their own work and the work of others for aesthetic and commercial purposes 
  5. Develop strategies and techniques for classroom teaching in writing and literature courses and apply theories and practices of effective teaching methods in writing and literature. 

English - MA

The English MA program is currently on hiatus. Plans in progress.