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Our curriculum is designed so that all students earning a BA  should achieve the following benchmarks.

#1 Writes coherently and effectively

Exceeds

  • Clearly writes to audience
  • Devises and controls a sophisticated, nuanced thesis
  • Organizes thoughts logically throughout papers with careful attention to the content
  • Recognizes and experiments with conventions of the discipline
  • Uses sophisticated, fluid sentence structure

Meets

  • Displays an awareness of audience
  • Devises and controls a thesis
  • Organizes thoughts logically throughout papers
  • Recognizes and uses conventions of the discipline
  • Uses appropriate, fluid sentence structure

Does Not Meet

  • Does not display an awareness of audience
  • Does not devise and control a thesis
  • Does not adequately organize thoughts logically throughout papers
  • Does not recognize and use conventions of the discipline
  • Does not use appropriate, fluid sentence structure

#2 Demonstrates a knowledge of at least one of the following bodies of theory: literary, rhetorical, or pedagogical

Exceeds

  • Demonstrates a critical understanding of a body of theory through its direct application

Meets

  • Demonstrates a basic understanding of a body of theory through its direct application

Does Not Meet

  • Does not demonstrate an understanding of a body of theory through its direct application

#3 Has experience in conducting scholarly research using a variety of search tools and media

Exceeds

  • Correctly adheres to a recognized professional citation style
  • Uses a variety of scholarly methods to obtain sources
  • Works with original sources such as primary documents and/or interviews
  • Determines credibility of sources
  • Covers a wide body of materials before choosing the most appropriate quotes for in-text citation
  • Integrates sources in a way that acknowledges a wider critical discussion and student’s place within it
  • Constructively balances one’s own voice with the voices of critics

Meets

  • Adheres to a recognized professional citation style
  • Uses appropriate methods to obtain sources
  • Works with multiple sources
  • Uses credible sources
  • Considers several sources before choosing those most appropriate for use
  • Integrates sources in a way that acknowledges a wider critical discussion
  • Balances one’s own voice with the voices of critics

Does Not Meet

  • Does not adhere to a recognized professional citation style
  • Does not use appropriate methods to obtain sources
  • Does not work with multiple sources
  • Does not recognize credibility of sources
  • Does not integrate sources in a way that acknowledges a wider critical discussion
  • Does not balance one’s own voice with the voices of critics

#4 Reads critically and with comprehension

Exceeds

  • Able to both frame analytical questions about reading and generate creative and productive answers.
  • Expands the close reading of symbols or ideas to build an argument about student's own observations
  • Demonstrates with examples how student's own reading ability has progressed

Meets

  • Able to frame analytical questions about reading
  • Close reads texts looking for symbols or ideas
  • Recognizes a progression in student's own reading ability

Does Not Meet

  • Unable to frame analytical questions about reading
  • Cannot close read texts looking for symbols or ideas
  • Does not recognize a progression in student's reading ability

#5 Situates literary analysis within wider social, political, and/or historical contexts

Exceeds

  • Critically explores the relationship between texts and their social, political, and/or historical contexts

Meets

  • Examines the relationship between texts and their social, political, and/or historical contexts

Does Not Meet

  • Does not examine the relationship between texts and their social, political, and/or historical contexts

#6 Develops creative and critical thinking skills

Exceeds

  • Able to generate original paper topics appropriate for the length and scope of an assignment
  • Articulates nuanced critical thinking in written and oral work
  • Actively listens to and creatively builds upon the ideas of group members

Meets

  • Able to generate paper topics appropriate for the length and scope of an assignment
  • Articulates critical thinking in both written and oral form
  • Listens to and builds upon the ideas of group members

Does Not Meet

  • Is not able to generate paper topics appropriate for the length and scope of an assignment
  • Does not articulate critical thinking in both written and oral form
  • Does not listen to others or participate in groups

#7 Displays good oral communication skills

Exceeds

  • Clearly speaks to audience
  • Presents and introduces new ideas in an organized, logical format
  • Engages and entertains audience despite anxiety
  • Participates actively and thoughtfully during class discussions
  • Displays a professional, inquisitive, civil attitude

Meets

  • Displays an awareness of audience
  • Presents ideas in an organized, logical format
  • Copes with performance anxiety
  • Participates often during class discussions
  • Displays a professional, civil attitude

Does Not Meet

  • Does not display an awareness of audience
  • Does not present ideas in an organized, logical format
  • Does not cope with performance anxiety
  • Does not participate often during class discussions
  • Does not display a professional, civil attitude

#8 Has a knowledge of the formation of literary movements and genres

Exceeds

  • Uses literary terminology inventively
  • Explicitly demonstrates understanding of basic generic conventions and how literature adapts and/or breaks from those conventions
  • Draws connections between texts and the wider literary movements and traditions of which they are a part

Meets

  • Uses literary terminology appropriately
  • Understands both basic generic conventions and how literature adapts and/or breaks from those conventions
  • Displays an awareness of the relationship between texts and the literary movements and traditions in which they participate

Does Not Meet

  • Does not use literary terminology appropriately
  • Does not understand basic generic conventions or how literature adapts and/or breaks from those conventions
  • Does not display an awareness of the relationship between texts and the wider literary movements and traditions of which they are a part

#9 Has gained awareness of English as a language system, including the development of its structures, functions, and uses

Exceeds

  • Articulately conveys the influence of linguistics course on development as an English major

Meets

  • Conveys the influence of linguistics course on development as an English major

Does Not Meet

  • Does not convey the influence of linguistics course on development as an English major
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