What Should English Majors Know?
By the time of their graduation all majors in English language and literature should understand how literary scholars conduct research and how they then communicate the results of their work to colleagues. One way of describing this process is “information literacy” – i.e., the ability to conceptualize what literary information is needed combined with the skills necessary to locate, evaluate, and use this information effectively and ethically. (please refer to the final section of this page).
Writing Intensive Classes
Students who have taken writing intensive classes should already have learned at least the following skills:
Students should build upon and expand these skills:
|Call Number in Neilson|
|Oxford English Dictionary||click here|
|Dictionary of Literary Biography||click here|
|Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory & Criticism||click here|
|New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics||ref PN 1021 .N392 1996|
|Oxford Companion to English Literature||click here|
|Oxford Companion to American Literature||click here|
|Oxford Companion to African American Literature||ref PS 153 .N5 O96 1997|
|Resources||SCL Website Locations|
1. Quick Search on the libraries' homepage
|MLA Bibliography 1926+
JSTOR (mostly back issues with some current coverage)
Essay & General Literature Index
Literature Online (LION)
|1. English subject page: English / Articles
2. A-Z list: Research / Databases by Title
3. Libraries homepage Quick Search (type MLA Bibliography, JSTOR, etc.)
4. Research / Find Articles page (for JSTOR and other full-text article databases)
Advanced students should be able to:
In Which Classes Should Students Learn These Skills, and How Will They be Assessed?
Some lower-level English courses, for example ENG 170 and ENG 199, entail literary research, often including visits to the library and meetings with Reference Librarians. Some upper-level English courses require research, making use of the sources and skills outlined above.
Using someone else's words, ideas, or arguments without acknowledgment is plagiarism. This is a serious violation of the College's Honor Code. Students should learn to distinguish between "received knowledge" and original work, between ideas that have often been repeated and ideas that are new. They must always identify and acknowledge their sources for everything except "received knowledge," such as dates and facts found in many encyclopedias and dictionaries.
March 20, 2013