The Department of English offers excellent preparation for students interested in English for the sake of general humanities or as a tool for pre-professional preparation. Though the majority of our students are language arts teaching majors and English majors, an almost equal number are writing majors and minors. Most of our language arts teaching graduates have taught here in the United States while many others have taught abroad. Among those who have gone on to graduate school are Fulbright Scholars and published writers. Our majors include:

Introductory courses develop necessary skills for critical reading, analytical thinking, and literary interpretation. Literature courses—with a balance of American, British, and world offerings—develop a dialogue between the past and present across political, cultural, and ideological barriers. Literature, as it reflects human activity, helps us understand human values, motives, ourselves and society.

As an outgrowth of its courses in upper-division writing, the Department of English offers a major and a minor in writing, both of which are designed to complement any major on campus by offering the opportunity to pursue advanced training in expository, argumentative, non-fiction, and creative writing endeavors. The department also provides opportunities for students to participate in various publications and contests.

English Testimonial

Heike (Baird) Young BA ’10has proven that the career opportunities for English and writing majors are truly endless. In her position as Global Content Lead at Salesforce, she manages, organizes, and creates content marketing pieces, including E-books, blog posts, infographics, videos, global content, and bylined articles. She recently interviewed bestselling author John Green, has been quoted in Forbes magazine, has written articles for Venture Beat and Entrepreneur, and was featured on Heike attributes much of her success to her experiences at Anderson University, where she participated in the radio station, the Literary Arts Magazine, the Sigma Tau Delta honor society, a national conference through Alpha Chi, a Tri-S trip to London, an internship with FOX 59, and countless English classes where she was challenged to think critically, write clearly, and develop communication skills that have been instrumental to her success.

Getting Involved
  • Academic achievement among students majoring in English is recognized by membership in the local chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, a national English Honor Society.
  • The department annual sponsors the Campus Literary Arts Magazine, which publishes students' poetry, fiction, and artwork.
  • The Department of English sponsors the Syford Poetry Contest and the Genesis Contest for Short Prose.
  • The Department of English encourages faculty-student collegiality through social gatherings such as dinners and picnics, professional theatre attendance, and faculty-home study groups.
Internship Initiative

Internships and freelance work provide practical, hands-on experiences for our students. This benefits the students by:

  • providing opportunities to apply their skills
  • build their portfolios
  • develop a professional network
  • consider the full spectrum of career opportunities available upon graduation

These experiences are equally beneficial to the organizations who partner with us. They quickly discover the competence, innovative thinking, and quality work of our students, who are eager to demonstrate their skills and become an asset to their employers. This is because we have great students who come into the program with a desire to work hard and find meaningful ways to channel their enthusiasm and creativity. The training they receive in their coursework teaches them to think critically, communicate effectively across a number of platforms, and adhere to professional standards.

Types of projects suitable for our students could include (but are not limited to):

  • Developing content for marketing materials
  • Managing/writing for social media
  • Launching and helping maintain a social media presence
  • Managing/editing a print or web publication
  • Writing feature articles for a magazine, newsletter, website, or blog
  • Writing speeches
  • Writing grant proposals
  • Crafting letters or email messages to internal or external audiences
  • Copy editing
  • Conducting a variety of research projects -- possibly related to grants, marketing, internal processes, etc.

If you are an Anderson University student, you can access this internship database, which lists a variety of employers and job postings that would provide excellent internship experience.

If you have questions regarding this program, please contact Professor Cara Miller or Professor Elizabeth Ranfeld.

Journal of First-Year Writing

The Journal of First-Year Writing is an online journal intended to showcase quality writing from students in the First-Year Writing Program at Anderson University. The essays selected were written by students in response to a variety of essay prompts throughout the course of the semester. Effort has been made to select superior work that demonstrates original thought and effective communication geared toward a particular audience. Some are more formal arguments that rely heavily on research and persuasion. Others are more informal, written from a first-person perspective as the writer explores and reflects on a particular topic.

The online journal is dedicated as an online platform where our students can share their ideas and newfound perspectives, receive recognition for their work, and make a meaningful contribution to our academic community.

All essays submitted for an English 1100, 1110, or 1120 course at Anderson University are eligible for publication in the Journal of First-Year Writing. The best will be selected for publication online in the upcoming issue. Please note that we will not be able to publish essays that include survey or interview data, unless accompanied by an approval or exemption from Anderson University's Human Research Participants Committee. 

To submit: Email a copy of your essay to Elizabeth Imafuji, director of the Writing Program, with the subject "journal submission." 

English 1100, 1110, and 1120 Grading Rubric

The following grading rubric is organized according to the following four major criteria, any of which the instructor may choose to emphasize according to the nature of the writing assignment: 1) content and reasoning, 2) organization, 3) sentence structure and diction, 4) mechanics (usage, punctuation, spelling). In interpreting the rubric, the student should realize that a significant variation from any one of the criteria may lower or raise the grade that the essay receives.


  1. The central idea is significant and/or insightful, clearly defined, and supported by concrete and consistently relevant examples. Reasoning is persuasive and valid and demonstrates an awareness of the complexities of the subject. If secondary sources are used, they are integrated into the essay effectively.
  2. The essay’s organization is well chosen and consistently fulfilled. Paragraphs are unified, coherent, and well developed. Transitions are smooth, precise, logical, and appropriate.
  3. Sentences are syntactically superior, demonstrating an awareness of stylistic variations and sophistication. Diction is not only precise and idiomatic, but it is also fresh, original, engaging, and thought-provoking.
  4. Mechanically, the essay is almost free of errors in usage, punctuation, and spelling. Documentation, if used, is correct.


  1. The central idea is clearly defined and supported by appropriate and adequate details and examples. Reasoning is valid and consistent. If secondary sources are used, they are integrated into the essay effectively.
  2. The essay’s organization is clear and controlled. Paragraphs are unified and coherent, though perhaps slightly underdeveloped. Transitions are effective, but some may be weak or mechanical.
  3. Sentences are well constructed, demonstrating some awareness of stylistic variations and sophistication. Diction is precise, idiomatic, and occasionally advanced in its range.
  4. Mechanically, the essay contains some errors in usage, punctuation, and/or spelling, but it contains few (if any) errors that obscure communication or weaken clarity. Documentation, if used, is correct.


  1. The central idea is apparent, but it may be trivial or too general. Support for the central idea is adequate but occasionally repetitious, vague, or sketchy. The reasoning is valid, though perhaps containing a minor flaw in logic. If secondary sources are used, some may be inappropriately used or ineffectively integrated into the essay.
  2. The essay’s organization is appropriately chosen though not consistently fulfilled. Paragraphs are unified and coherent, though occasionally underdeveloped. Transitions are clear but perhaps mechanical or monotonous.
  3. Sentences are generally lacking in variety and/or conciseness, demonstrating little awareness of stylistic options. Diction is generally idiomatic and clear, though occasionally imprecise.
  4. Mechanically, the essay is generally correct, though it may contain some errors in usage, punctuation, and/or spelling. Documentation, if used, is generally correct, containing only a few minor errors.


  1. The central idea is confusing, contradictory, and/or unclear. Support for the central idea is underdeveloped, irrelevant, or redundant. Reasoning is flawed. If secondary sources are used, they are poorly documented and ineffectively or illogically placed within the essay.
  2. The essay’s organization is inconsistent or illogical. Paragraphs are incoherent and/or underdeveloped. Transitions are ineffective and/or unclear.
  3. Sentences are incoherent, incomplete, or monotonous, demonstrating a very limited range of stylistic options. Diction is inappropriate and vague.
  4. The essay contains numerous errors in usage, punctuation, and/or spelling. Documentation, if used, contains several errors.


  1. The central idea is unclear or not apparent. Support for the central idea is seriously underdeveloped, irrelevant, or entirely absent. Reasoning is deeply flawed. If secondary sources are to be used, they are absent, misused, or plagiarized.
  2. The essay’s organization is confusing or unintentionally chaotic. Paragraphs are seriously underdeveloped and/or transitions nonexistent.
  3. Sentences are seriously flawed, muddled and/or incomplete. Diction is inappropriate and/or vague, often obscuring clear communication.
  4. The number and seriousness of errors in usage, punctuation, spelling, diction, syntax, and/or documentation are highly distracting, obstructing communication.


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