ENGL301 - Critical Methods in the Study of Literature

English 301, the introductory course to the major, has four goals: to help you learn how to explicate texts and how to recognize and analyze various aspects of literary form; to help you understand the central features of your discipline (what is literature? what is an author? how is an interpretation valid? how are canons formed?); to help you acquire the necessary skills for writing about literature (how to invent and pursue a thesis, what constitute the grounds for argument, documentation); and to learn what is required of you and what your options are as an English major at the University of Maryland. In this section we will approach these goals by doing lots of writing, by having you teach each other for large parts of the course, and by working together on close reading of poetry, rhetorical analysis of nonfiction, theory-based examination of narrative (Frankenstein), and historical interpretation of drama (Othello) and poetry. Class will be almost entirely discussion, with student reports and panels, and frequent work in small groups. Requirements include midterm and final in-class examinations, 3 papers (4-5 pages each), and class participation (discussion, panel, report, and attendance). Each of these five areas (3 papers, 2 exams, participation) are worth 17% of the grade. The first paper includes a required revision for a higher grade.


For English or English Education Majors, or English Minors.