University of Maine at Farmington 2016-2017 Catalog
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Degree Earned
Bachelor of Arts: English

The English program offers students an opportunity to study literature (principally English and American) intensively and to develop their abilities to read and interpret literary and cultural materials. The program features small, discussion-oriented classes, in which students engage with significant literary texts, learn to read with care and sensitivity, and develop important skills in writing, critical thinking, and detailed textual analysis.

Learning Goals:

  • Students will be able to engage with significant works of literature and make rich sense of them by employing the fundamental techniques of literary analysis.
  • Students will be able to explain the history of English and American literature in general and several periods, genres, or movements in more detail.
  • Students will be able to write articulate and well-organized essays about literature and culture.

Assessment Criteria:

Analysis and Interpretation

  • Students will be able to pay close attention to significant textual details, listen to the suggestions and implications of words, and understand figurative language, thereby producing interpretations that are grounded in the text. 
  • Students will be able to explain how historical, literary, and cultural contexts inform their understanding of individual texts.
  • Students will be able to acknowledge the underlying assumptions of their interpretations and to identify developments in literary theory that have shaped these assumptions.

Literary History

  • Students will be able to identify representative texts and authors from at least four standard periods in British literary history and to explain their significance in relation to the social, intellectual, and literary aspects of the periods. 
  • Students will be able to identify American texts and authors and to explain their significance in relation to pertinent literary, historical, and cultural contexts, including contexts that highlight the cultural, racial, and ethnic diversity of America.
  • Students will be able to explain the significance of works by Shakespeare, including their relation to the social, intellectual, and literary aspects of the period.


  • Students will be able to write in a prose style that is clearer and more graceful than when they entered the program. 
  • Students will be able to manage complex critical and interpretive arguments.
  • Students will be able to frame, quote, summarize, and respond to other critical voices as they develop their arguments.


ENG 181 Literary Analysis and Interpretation                     4
ENG 121H Introduction to Linguistics  
ENG 123H Grammar: A Linguistic Approach (or another linguistics course) 4
ENG 300 Critical Concepts 4
Two 200-level ENG literature courses 8
Two 300-level ENG literature courses 8
Two 400-level ENG literature seminars  
One 400-level ENG literature seminar and one ENG 491 8
    (Capstone Seminar in English)  
Two additional courses in English (or related fields, if part of concentration) 8


Distribution Requirements:

Of the eight ENG literature courses, there must be at least one in each of the following fields (double-counting not allowed):

  • American Literature
  • British Literature
  • Pre-1800 Literature
  • Post-1800 Literature



Completion of an approved concentration: As part of ENG 300, students will complete a statement defining an area of concentration within the major. That concentration statement will explain how a minimum of four of the eight ENG literature courses form an interrelated series.  At least two of those courses must be at the 300 level or above. Students may, if they wish, include one or two courses outside the English major (e.g., creative writing, art history, etc.).  If appropriate to the area of study defined by the concentration, students may also count directed studies or internships (up to 8 hours) as part of the concentration.

Intermediate Proficiency in a Foreign Language                              12


For specific information about general education requirements and expectations, see the General Education Requirements in the Academic Programs section of this catalog.


An additional requirement of the major is completion of assessment activities in ENG 181, 400-level ENG literature courses, and annual reflections that students compose in their sophomore and subsequent years. These activities are crucial in students' attainment of a well-rounded and complete education because they help faculty to plan courses that meet the educational needs of students, help advisors to guide students in the selection of courses, and help students to play an active role in developing their knowledge of literature.

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