About the Department of English

The English Department at Elon offers students a diverse array of courses and opportunities. Two majors are housed in the department: English, and Professional Writing and Rhetoric.

English

In the English Major, in addition to studying British and American literature, students may take courses in Latin American, Asian, African and Native American literature. Some classes focus on the environment, crime, film or gender, while others focus on Shakespeare or classical literature. Core courses for the English major include writing (above the first-year level), literature, and English language study. Students in the English Major may specialize in one of three concentrations — Creative Writing, Literature, and English Teacher Licensure. A double concentration in the English major allows students to combine elements of two concentrations while obtaining their English degree.

After graduation, our majors are employed as credit analysts, marketing associates, librarians, graphic artists, ministers, web writers, lawyers, Geographic Information Systems specialists, flight attendants, Peace Corps volunteers, editors, technical writers, mental health counselors, high school teachers, journalists and occupational therapists. For others, graduate school has provided opportunity for advanced degrees for graduates in literature, creative writing, rhetoric, teaching and the study of law.

Many students in the English Department complete internships with local corporations, nonprofit agencies and children’s magazines; others serve as a teaching assistants in upper-level courses.

Professional Writing and Rhetoric (PWR)

The Bachelor of Arts major in Professional Writing and Rhetoric (PWR) reflects a national trend in higher education, as well as a long tradition within the discipline of rhetoric, to more clearly connect the liberal arts to worlds beyond the walls of academia. Though distinctly not a pre-professional program, PWR prepares students to be successful communicators in their daily lives and, primarily, workplace and or civic contexts. Majors connect course content to hands-on practice in internships, undergraduate research, and a capstone project, and they showcase their developing professional identity in an ePortfolio.

Internships are a integral part of the PWR Major. PWR students have interned in a wide variety of organizational settings across the country and abroad, such as Computer and High-Tech Firms, Advertising Agencies, Non-Profit Organizations, Publishing Companies, Law Firms, Political Offices etc.

PWR Alumni pursue careers as writers, editors, and information designers in the non-profit and government sectors, publishing, science writing, law, marketing, and many other industries.

At Elon, English and PWR majors can do the following:

  • write for our award-winning literary magazine Colonnades
  • tutor in the Writing Center
  • chat with visiting writers and scholars
  • earn undergraduate research grants
  • present their work at local and national student research forums
  • become members of Sigma Tau Delta (the international English honor society)
  • earn internship credit by working at area, state, or national magazines.

A Note On The General Studies Literature Course Requirement

With the exception of film studies courses, ENG 200 and ENG courses in the 220-279 and 320-379 ranges normally fulfill the General Studies literature requirement in Studies in Arts and Sciences.

English department courses in the 200-219 and 300-319 ranges (i.e., courses in language study, writing, and creative writing) do NOT normally fulfill that requirement.

Faculty

Our faculty members are active in Elon’s international studies program and have taught study abroad courses around the world. Five department members are proud recipients of Elon’s top teaching honor, the Daniels-Danieley Award for Excellence in Teaching, and one department member has been named Elon’s Distinguished Scholar. Our faculty are practitioners, writers and researchers in addition to outstanding mentors for our students, who stay in touch with us long after their Commencement.