In small classes, you will enjoy vibrant discussion, personal attention, and close working relationships with the English faculty, a community of scholars and writers dedicated to teaching. Special areas of study include Native American literature, the literature of war, medieval literature, women’s and gender studies, comics and graphic novels, Holocaust literature, postcolonial and francophone studies, and creative and technical writing. We are
always evolving, and so will you.
In the process of reading, writing about, and discussing great works, you will develop the skills of analysis, collaboration, critical reasoning, and written and oral communication. These are skills many employers now prefer to specific career preparation, especially with the growing global market and the rise of the internet. Moreover, these tools prepare you to be a conversant citizen of the world, and a connoisseur of literature.
The skills you will gain provide an outstanding foundation for graduate study or professional careers in teaching, journalism, publishing, and professional writing, as well as administration, business, government, and social services.
Why study literature and writing at UMA?
Learning to read and write literary analysis is excellent training for critical thinking in general. This includes newspapers and periodicals, web sites, political speeches, advertisements, corporate and business publications, and so on. In addition, the skills that you develop working with the written word transfer to non-textual works as well. If you can analyze a play or create a poem, for example, you can analyze or create a film, a television show, a music video, a concert or theater performance, a work of art, a graphic novel, an interactive web site. Learning to read and write in these very broad senses are basic life skills, applicable to virtually any college discipline or career.
Beyond that, literature (both reading it and creating it) pays great rewards in its own right. Careful, diligent, and committed students of literature live their lives broadly. Your education will provide multiple perspectives by placing you outside your own realm of experience. This is precisely what imaginative literature does. In walking in somebody else’s shoes for the duration of a poem, story, or play you will return to your own life with a larger experience of the world.
Our English majors have opportunities to present original scholarly work at our Annual Undergraduate English Conference each spring, as well as share creative work at our Plunkett Festival.
The English program at UMA is full of professors who are dedicated to the success and development of their students. Working with these faculty members has allowed me to explore my interests and discover new and exciting topics.
– Kim Carter, ’17
The English program is comprised of an amazing faculty, professors who have inspired, taught, and pushed me to becoming the writer I am today.
– Charlotte MacDonald, ’17
Careers You Can Seek
Our B.A. degree in English can serve as a foundation for many diverse career paths. The selected list below offers a few options that may be available to you.
Market research analysis
Special events marketer
Human resources manager
Web content developer/writer
* Graduate-level study is generally required for these occupations.
Literacy volunteer coordinator
Adult Education Director*
* Graduate-level study is generally required for these occupations.
Skills You’ll Acquire
English majors develop a wide variety of skills that are applicable to literally any field of study or career path, and many employers seek English majors for this very reason. In particular, English majors also excel at understanding, evaluating, and synthesizing various points of view, a must in a global, multicultural world.
Persuading and arguing
Giving directions and explaining processes
Analyzing and evaluating
Developing a sense of appropriate purpose, voice, and audience
Proofreading for clarity and consistency
Using grammar with proficiency
Defining a problem, issue, or topic
Finding and using resources
Synthesizing information from various sources
Evaluating and incorporating the work of others
Synthesizing sources into a coherent whole
Developing and testing hypotheses
Analyzing different points of view
Relating to people from different backgrounds and cultures
Immersing oneself in different and various time periods
Interpreting and evaluating the beliefs of others
Understanding audiences and anticipating their expectations
Developing a sense of authorial voice and purpose
Reading and reviewing each others’ work
Discussing various points of view and interpretation
Defending one’s own position
The English faculty delivering the Bachelor of Arts in English degree at the University of Maine at Augusta is committed to the development and enhancement of our students’ skills, abilities, and competencies and anticipates the following outcomes:
- think critically about oral, written, and visual texts
- write well developed expository, persuasive, and critical essays
- design documents to meet the needs of readers
- edit documents effectively
- understand and evaluate the rhetorical strategies writers use to achieve their purposes
- understand the components of poetry, fictions, and drama
- have knowledge of works from different periods and genres within the evolving canon of English language texts, including but not limited to texts of women, ethnic and racial minorities, Anglophone authors, and lesbian and gay authors
- understand the historical contexts of literature
- understand various critical and theoretical approaches to texts
- synthesize knowledge and practice through performances, presentations, projects, essays and research papers
- locate, evaluate and properly cite primary source material, literary criticism, theory, and other scholarly texts
During their first year, students typically take ENG 101: College Writing, designed to prepare students for a variety of academic writing. This is followed by ENG 102: Introduction to Literature, which introduces fundamentals of literary analysis through close reading of poetry, short fiction, and drama. These two courses show students writing as a process, introduce research methods, and model critical reading skills.
ENG 101: College Writing
ENG 102W: Introduction to Literature
In their second year, students should take a sequence of literature surveys (British literature I and II or American literature I and II.). These classes build on close reading skills and literary analysis, as well as introduce theoretical lenses for examining literature in a particular historical framework.
Students may also take upper-level ENG courses, such as a required Cultural Diversity Elective, or begin to focus on a concentration.
ENG 202W Survey of British Literature 1 or ENG 250W: Survey of American Literature 1
ENG 203W: Survey of British Literature II or ENG 251W: Survey of American Literature II
Students should take ENG 300W: Introduction to Literary Theory and Criticism after completing at least one survey sequence. This course deepens the conversation of literary theory and criticism, and literary research techniques. ENG 301W: History of the English language is also recommended in students’ third year, as it covers the development of English and its rise as an international world language.
Students may continue to choose upper-level English courses to satisfy requirements, or focus on a concentration.
ENG 300W: Introduction to Literary Criticism and Theory
ENG 301W: History of the English Language
ENG 3XXs: Upper Levels
In their fourth year, students may continue with upper-level courses for a concentration in cultural studies or writing, or complete upper-level English courses that coincide with specific interests, including Native-American Literature, Graphic Storytelling, or Shakespeare. During their final spring semester students must complete ENG 499: Senior Seminar. This capstone class gives English majors the opportunity to engage in rigorous research and discussion, culminating in a senior seminar paper. Students also plan and participate in our annual Undergraduate English Conference.
ENG 3XX or 4XX upper-level electives for BA in English OR
ENG 3XX or 4XX upper-level concentrations for Cultural Studies or Writing
ENG 499: Senior Seminar