Department of English

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  Frequently Asked Questions 

What courses taken elsewhere may be used for the English major? 

Consult the catalog about minimum residency requirements. Courses that transfer as specific credit with ECSU numbers may, if applicable, be used for specific course requirements in the major and LAC. You should meet with your advisor or the department chair to confirm the courses in your English major. (The Advisement Center will assign your transfer credits to the relevant LAC.) For example, ENG 204 from "New Community College" may appear on your transcript as ECSU ENG 212, a survey course that could be applied to your major. If the number appears as ENG 2**, it means that we apparently have no matching course and you will receive only elective credit toward the major. However, if you believe this transfer course is the equivalent of one of the requirements for the major, bring a course description and/or syllabus to the department chair to learn if and how you may request approval for a substitution for a requirement in the major.

Is there a recommended sequence for taking courses in the major? 

During your freshman year, we recommend you take Introduction to English Studies (ENG 202), a gateway course which introduces beginning English majors to the different disciplines - literature, composition/rhetoric, linguistics, creative writing - that comprise the field of “English” and to the major issues, debates, and controversies that drive English study in the 21st century. You might also take Introduction to Literature (ENG 125), or some of the genre courses Fiction, Poetry, and Drama (ENG 225, 226, 227), which will introduce you to types and eras of literature. (Note: You should also take ENG 100 (or ENG 200 or HON 200 if placed in them), but these writing courses do not count towards the major.)

You should take Writing for English Majors (ENG 203) as soon as possible after you have declared your major and/or completed your freshman year. Writing for English Majors is a prerequisite for the Senior Seminar and introduces you to the kind of writing standards and demands that you will meet in junior and senior courses. It will also help confirm whether you have made the right decision in becoming an English major.

We recommend that you take a historical survey course in literature and other 200-level courses in your sophomore year. These surveys of periods, genres, issues, themes, and styles offer you perspectives that you will pursue more particularly in the specialized courses. When possible, meet the minority literatures and women's studies' requirements before your senior year, and plan ahead for electives that are not taught every semester.

In your third year, plan to take the 300-level courses. These include the period courses and the language studies courses.

You should plan to take your two-semester seminar during your senior year, unless you are applying for English Honors, in which case you should take your seminar in your junior year. (See English Honors.) These seminars in directed research and study culminate in a substantial scholarly essay.
(Note: Completing ENG 203 with a C or better is a prerequisite for taking the seminar.)

Are there possibilities for independent studies and internships? 

Yes! Please view our Policies on Internship and Independent Studies.

When and where can I find out who my advisor is? 

If you enter Eastern as a declared major, the Advisement Center will assign you an English department advisor and notify you and the department. To declare a major in English after you have entered Eastern, meet with the department chair, who will assign you an advisor when you fill out the Change of Major/Advisor form.

How can I meet with my advisor or my instructors? 

After the first week of each semester, stop by the department office and pick up a new copy of the faculty directory with office hours, extension numbers, and e-mail addresses. Each professor keeps a minimum of five office hours per week for student conferences and advising.

If listed hours are not suitable for you, make an appointment. Each professor makes her/his own appointments, so the department secretary cannot do this for you. However, you can speak with the professor by phone or leave a message on her/his voice mail or in the professor’s mailbox in Webb Hall 225. Also you may e-mail professors directly and ask for an appointment.

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