English Writing Program Highlights

Millikin's writing major emphasizes experiences in a variety of writing contexts including journalism, professional writing, academic writing, literary writing, editing, publishing, and personal creativity. By learning to shift between these multiple contexts, Millikin's writing majors are prepared for a wide range of professional and lifelong writing, editing and publishing opportunities.

The English Writing program emphasizes performance learning, providing opportunities for you to get involved with real-world publishing opportunities as soon as your first semester on campus. All students who major in English Writing gain a solid foundation in literature, rhetoric and composition, and writing theory, while also specializing in one of three areas:

  • Creative Writing
  • Journalism
  • Professional Writing

Small class sizes ensure personal mentoring experiences with professors who are also practicing creative writers, journalists, editors, and publishers.

Students in all of three writing specialties have the opportunity to get involved in our student-run publications (The Decaturian, BURST magazine, and Collage literary magazine) as writers, editors, designers, and more. Millikin’s English department is also home to student-run ventures including Bronze Man Books and Blue Satellite Press. Additionally, many students undertake professional writing internships during their time at Millikin. Learn more about how you can Get Published and Get Involved or Contact Us to get in touch directly with our Writing faculty today.

Departmental Course Offerings

Courses change each semester, so this list should not be considered a commitment to these individual topics. However, this does represent a list of many of our current and popular courses. The list is provided so that you can begin to imagine your academic career at Millikin in this major.

Intro to Millikin English Studies This one-credit roundtable, required of all English majors or minors and open to any students interested in exploring the English majors, introduces students to the learning opportunities and experiences available through English Studies at Millikin University.  Content includes an introduction to typical learning communities in English Education, English Writing and English Literature majors.  Students will examine the curriculum requirements and opportunities for study in each major, including possible career choices.  Exposure to "doing" English Studies is emphasized, with presentations on the Writing Center, Bronze Man Books, the Decaturian, the Collage Literary Magazine.  Expectations include attendance at campus events and activities that are English Studies-related. (EN105)
ESL: Tutoring Roundtable This Tutoring roundtable provides those interested in tutoring with an understanding of the ESL student writing experience, the kinds of writing that might be generated and why, and offers insight into the needs and concerns of these writers.  Students in this class will have the opportunity to learn about and apply useful and effective tutoring strategies and tools for working with ESL students.  Upon completion of this course, students will have developed an understanding of the background of the ESL writer and ESL writing issues, be able to identify common as well as some of the unique challenges ESL students may have with writing and communicating, and will have developed, practiced, and demonstrated a repertoire of strategies and tools for addressing ESL student writing needs. (EN110)
ESL: Intermediate Reading& Writing This three-credit course is required of all ESL students with below-standard TOEFL scores and open to all ESL students.  This course facilitates a transition for ESL students into mainstream academic learning environment by focusing on reading and writing strategies at an intermediate level.  Students will learn various reading strategies through intensive reading, extensive reading, and timed reading practices.  Students will practice effective writing skills and diverse rhetorical strategies.  Students will learn research strategies and practice documentation. (EN113)
Approaches to Literature An introduction to literature and to basic methods of literary analysis and interpretation. Includes reading of short fiction, novels, poetry, and drama. Recommended as a General Education course. (EN120)
English Lang Arts Education This roundtable offers students the opportunity to become involved in professional organizations in English language arts education.  The course may focus on a professional conference (which students will attend) or on a professional organization (which students will join).  Students will become familiar with the goals and activities of these organizations. (EN175)
Intro to Tutoring Roundtable The course aims to provide students with theoretical and experiential grounding in peer tutoring of writing, allowing them to move from the traditional role of instructed subjects to more dynamic role as peer tutors and collaborators.  Throughout the course our concerns will be practical as well as pedagogical.  We begin by examining the philosophy of the Writing Center and how that fits into the theoretical/pedagogical approaches to peer tutoring, and move into practice, focusing on interpersonal dynamics, audience adaptation, and collaborative learning.  Students will engage in active sharing and development of tutoring styles, skills, and strategies, investigate writing in the disciplines, and engage in self-reflection concerning the practice of peer tutoring.  This course will be combination of discussion, lecture, reflection, group work, and tutor presentations which will allow us the opportunities to share, analyze and critique as well as connect theory and pedagogy to real world tutoring experiences. (EN180)
Writing Seminar A course in non-fictional prose, emphasizing clarity of style, audience and development of ideas. Content will vary semester to semester. Representative topics include persuasion and argument, the variety of non-fiction, writing in academic disciplines, research and extended essays. Pre-requisite: sophomore standing or consent of Department Chair. (EN200)
Intro to Creative Writing An introduction to writing in three genres: fiction, poetry, and drama. Special attention given to techniques of characterization, dialogue, diction, phrasing, plotting, narration, description and prosody. Includes a writing project designed by each student. (EN201)
Writing about Literature This is an entry level course to learn to write about literature, with special emphasis on literary criticism and critical approaches. The course begins with forms of writing about literature for the general public, such as book and film reviews, personal essays, diaries and journals. The course then moves to careful reading and close textual analysis, with written forms to include explication and interpretation based on primary texts from a variety of authors and genres. Finally the course includes basic critical approaches to reading literature, such as feminist, formal, cultural studies, biographical, and psychological. Students compile a portfolio of writing by the end of the course. Required of all lit. majors, and fulfills one of the advanced writing requirements for all English majors. Usually taken in the sophomore year. Does not fulfill the A&S Literature requirement. Pre-requisite:  IN 151 or consent. (EN202)
English as Discipline/Profession This is a course for the beginning English major and for the potential major, designed to introduce the areas of English as a discipline, to introduce basic scholarly and critical tools, and to discuss, using guest lecturers and field experiences, career possibilities for the English major. (EN211)
Journalism: Newswriting I Introduction to basic methods of news reporting and writing. Students learn Associated Press style basics and an introduction to journalism ethics while writing the basic types of news stories: obituaries, advances, follow-ups, breaking news, controversy and research-based. Focuses on print journalism, but also addresses broadcast newswriting. (EN215)
Literary Topics Readings in literature that focus on a particular topic. Offerings vary semester to semester and include such topics as gender roles in literature, death and dying, the Holocaust, ethnic voices in America, the Nobel Prize in literature, and science fiction. Recommended as a general education course. (EN220)
Contemporary Adolescent Literature Students read and study a large variety of adolescent literature generally taught in middle and high school classes, examining issues related to the reading and teaching of adolescent literature, including the relationship of adolescent literature to ?classic? literature. Students explore the depiction of ?young adulthood? in these texts and the relation of ?young adults? to other groups, the differences among young adults, and the role of family, education, media and other social institutions in young adult life. Recommended for all Education majors, especially English Education majors. (EN222)
American Lit through Twain Study of major American writers from beginnings to 1900, including Bradstreet, Franklin, Poe, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Melville, Douglass, Stowe, Whitman, Dickinson and Twain. Examines these writers in cultural, intellectual and historical context. (EN231)
Traditions in African American Lit From Phillis Wheatley to Edward P. Jones, from spirituals to folk tales, from slave narratives to postmodern novels, students study major African American authors, literary forms, and themes in their social, historical, and cultural contexts. Topics and authors may vary from semester to semester. Fulfills College of Arts and Sciences literature requirement and university culture track requirement; if cross-listed, fulfills U.S. Studies requirement. Pre-requisite: Interdisciplinary 150 and 151. (EN233)
Amer. Multicultural Literature An introduction to American writers from diverse cultural backgrounds. The course will examine culturally specific questions, as well as cross-cultural issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality. Topics and authors may vary from semester to semester. Course may include authors such as Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston, Sandra Cisneros, Julia Alvarez, Sherman Alexie, Audre Lorde, Richard Rodriguez, Philip Roth, Maxine Hong Kingston, and/or N. Scott Momaday. Fulfills College of Arts and Sciences literature requirement and university culture track; if cross-listed, fulfills U.S. Studies requirement. Pre-requisite: Interdisciplinary 150 and 151. (EN234)
Methods of 2nd Lang. Arts Introduction to methods and materials for teaching listening, speaking, reading, and writing with an emphasis on language development across the curriculum. Helps students combine theory, research and practice into sound strategies for teaching English in middle, junior, and senior high schools. Students begin to develop a philosophy of secondary Language Arts teaching and learn how to plan instruction that is consistent with that philosophy and with various national, state, and school district standards and guidelines. The English segments of the Education Portfolio will also be initiated. (EN235)
Western Class Traditions: Literature/Rhetoric/Cult Examines the role of literature and rhetoric in society. The course examines the tension between oral traditions and the emergence of a radical new technology called `writing? through close reading of primary texts such as The Odyssey, Greek drama, Aristotle's Rhetoric and Poetics, Plato's Phaedrus and Gorgias, and Longinus ?On the Sublime?. (EN241)
Major World Authors Introduction to selected European and American literary masterpieces. Writers and works will be studied in their various contexts, the key literary periods and movements of the last four centuries: the Enlightenment, Romanticism, Realism, Naturalism and Modernism. Representative authors include Moliere, Swift, Goethe, Wordsworth, Dickinson, Flaubert, Ibsen, Yeats, Eliot, Woolf, Borges, Ellison, and Marquez. Recommended as a general education course. (EN242)
Introduction to Film Introduction to viewing film as an art form, with some emphasis on technique, the history of film, and the relation between film and literature. Includes such films as Chaplin's The Gold Rush, Keaton's The General, Citizen Kane, The African Queen, Psycho, Cat Ballou, and 2001: A Space Odyssey. (EN250)
Computer-Aided Publishing An introduction to computer-aided publishing for print-media production. A workshop of simple to more complex publication projects that develop three essential roles: (1) the user of computer-aided publishing technology, (2) the publication designer, and (3) the manager of the publishing process. Pre-requisite: Interdisciplinary 150 and 151, or consent of instructor. (EN270)
Modern English :Varieties/Structures This course provides an introduction to the linguistic study of modern American English.  Major topics include varieties of modern English in the US, the phonology of English and its relationship to spelling, and the syntax and morphology of modern English. (EN275)
Sophomore Writing Portfolio English 290, Sophomore Writing Portfolio, is a one-credit workshop required of all sophomore-level writing majors (including transfers).  The primary goal of the course is to provide an opportunity for sophomores to review and reflect on their writing, editing, and publishing projects completed in their first two years of study.  Over the course of the semester, students will work to discover their writing identities in relation to various audiences and to develop a strong sense of the expectations of the writing major and Millikin’s writing concentrations.  Students will develop a preliminary personal writing theory.  Then, by the end of the course, each student will design, prepare and present a professional writing portfolio that demonstrates the knowledge they have acquired about what constitutes quality performance at Millikin and in the broader field. (EN290)
Advanced Writing Specialized topics in writing at the advanced level, including such representative areas as the contemporary essay, manuscript editing and publishing, public relations writing, web publishing, technical writing, grant writing, and report writing. Includes an extended writing project. (EN300)
Methods for Teaching Literacy This course is required for all K-12 and secondary content area majors. It supports the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards (IPTS) as well as the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in literacy for History /Social Science, Science & Technical Subjects such as Art, P.E. and Music.  Course Content focuses on the preparation of the teacher candidates for the responsibility of integrating reading, writing, listening and speaking instruction into their content area curriculum.   Topics of study will include, but are not limited to:  language acquisition and development; instructional design and literacy assessment; English language learners and students with special needs; differentiation an RTI; and college & career readiness. (EN302)
Web Publishing This course is an introduction to writing, editing and publishing websites for a variety of rhetorical purposes.  Students examine the history of publishing technology and the remediation of print media conventions into web publications.  Major topics include the integration of visual and verbal elements including writing, graphics, photographs, video, audio elements into rhetorically effective new hypertext media.  As a workshop students learn to use the latest professional web design technologies for campus and off-campus clients. (EN305)
Applying Writing Theory An introduction to contemporary writing theories with an emphasis on applying these theories to the student's own writing processes and strategies. Also examines the history and application of writing theory to the teaching of writing. Includes an overview of invention strategies, the role of audience, the aims of discourse, approaches to style and methods of arrangement in writing and the formal study of grammar. Pre-requisite: an advanced writing course. (EN310)
Journalism: Newswriting II Expands on principles covered in EN 215 Newswriting I. Students identify a specific ?beat? (i.e. covering a particular sport, news beat, organization's activities) and develop expertise and source building by covering the same beat for the semester. Pre-requisite: EN 215 Newswriting I. (EN315)
Journalism: Feature Writing An advanced journalism course focusing on feature writing. Students analyze award-winning feature stories and research and write their own in-depth newspaper/magazine style features. The course also covers editorials and reviews. Pre-requisite: English 215 or consent of instructor. (EN316)
Major English Authors I Reading and analysis of major writers of English literature from the beginnings to the end of the 18th century. In a typical semester, students will read such works as Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, selections from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, the sonnets and at least one major play of Shakespeare, Marlowe's Dr. Faustus, Milton's Paradise Lost, Swifts Gulliver's Travels and Boswells Life of Johnson. Students will also trace the evolution of the English language and the major cultural and political events of each period. (EN321)
Major English Authors II Reading and analysis of major writers of English literature from latter part of the 18th century to the present. Includes writers of the Romantic period (Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Byron, Austen, and the Shelleys), Victorian period (Tennyson, Browning, Dickens, the Rosettis, Eliot, Hardy), and Modern period (Yeats, Joyce, Woolf, Conrad, Lawrence, Auden and others). (EN322)
International Literature This course emphasizes an in-depth comparative study of texts, themes, genres, and authors from literatures of the world, representing one or more of the following areas: Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, India, Latin America, and the Middle East. (EN335)
Studies in Poetry Readings in special areas of poetry, including a single major writer, period, form or theme. Content will vary from semester to semester. Representative topics include Chaucer, Renaissance love poetry, the sonnet, the Romantic poets, Pound and Eliot, and Contemporary Poetry. Pre-requisite: One course in literature. (EN340)
Studies in Drama Specialized topics in drama at the advanced level. Content varies from semester to semester. Representative topics include Elizabethan and Jacobean tragedy, Greek and Roman drama, African-American performance literature, modern and contemporary plays. Pre-requisite: One course in literature. (EN350)
Studies in Fiction Specialized approaches to short fiction and novels at an advanced level. Topics and readings vary from semester to semester. Representative topics include major women writers, fiction into film, the post-modern novel, and the classic English novel. Pre-requisite: One course in literature. (EN360)
Studies in Literary History Advanced study of literature in historical, intellectual and cultural context. Offerings vary semester to semester and include medieval, Renaissance, 18th century, romantic, Victorian, modern, and contemporary. Pre-requisite: one course in literature. (EN366)
Studies in English Language Students will examine the major periods in the development of the English language, study contemporary linguistic analyses of English, and explore how the use of language varies according to region, gender and social status. (EN370)
The English Language In this course students will examine the conventions of English language as they relate to various rhetorical situations (grammar, usage, and mechanics); understand the concept of dialect and become familiar with relevant grammar systems (e.g., descriptive and prescriptive); understand principles of language acquisition; recognize the influence of English language history on ELA content; and understand the impact of language on society. (EN375)
Studies in Journalism Specialized topics in journalism at the advanced level. Content varies from semester to semester. Representative topics include investigative reporting, advanced feature writing, review/editorial writing, history of journalism, editing and newspaper publication design. Pre-requisite: EN 215 Newswriting 1. (EN380)
Art of Publishing: Bronze Man Art of Publishing is a performance learning practicum in book publishing. Students learn by working as an editor or designer carrying out specific responsibilities for Bronze Man Books, Millikin University’s student-run book publishing company. Possible student positions include: editor, acquisitions editor, assistant editor, legal research editor, production manager, art director, designer, sales manager, marketing manager, marketing research, publicist, and advertising manager. For questions, contact either one of the co-teachers: Dr. Randy Brooks or Ed Walker. (EN384)
Blue Satellite Press Art of Publishing is a performance learning practicum in book publishing. Students learn by working as an editor or designer carrying out specific responsibilities for Bronze Man Books, Millikin University’s student-run book publishing company. Possible student positions include: editor, acquisitions editor, assistant editor, legal research editor, production manager, art director, designer, sales manager, marketing manager, marketing research, publicist, and advertising manager. For questions, contact either one of the co-teachers: Dr. Randy Brooks or Ed Walker. (EN386)
Publishing Roundtable The Publishing Roundtable broaches relevant subjects in the field of publishing and editing. Offered on a rotating basis, roundtable topics can include freelancing, fine art, journalism, comic book production, and game design. (EN388)
Writing Portfolio Senior writing majors and other highly qualified students develop a professional writing portfolio. Also includes preparation for careers and professions in writing. Offered only in the fall. Pre-requisite: senior writing major or consent of instructor. (EN410)
Seminar in Literature Advanced seminar in which students complete a major project in literary study or writing. Emphasis and topic vary semester to semester. Representative topics include recent trends in literary criticism, autobiography, American Romanticism, Poe, Twain and the Beat Generation. (EN420)
Advanced Methods-Teaching Lang Arts This two-credit course continues the teaching of specific methods of English Language Arts instruction in secondary schools and is a follow-up to the EN 235 Methods course. The course’s specific focus in on planning and organizing a multi-part unit of instruction for implementation during student teaching. Also included are research opportunities for identifying instructional resources along with peer critiques of specific lessons designed within the unit plan. (EN425)
Internship: Teaching Writing Students work with a faculty member teaching Interdisciplinary 150 helping to design assignments, tutor students, and read about and discuss various composition theories. This course is required for English education majors and encouraged for all English majors planning to attend graduate school. (EN470)