Contemporary English studies courses offer broad, rich, and varied opportunities to learn about texts and languages. They can range from the traditional study of national literary traditions—British, postcolonial, American, transnational—to the study of writing—composition, rhetoric, professional and technical writing or creative writing, and beyond. Increasing numbers of English departments are bringing English studies into the 21st century with the study of new media, technology and computer-mediated communication. Courses in popular texts and popular culture, the study of film, or cultural approaches to composition are also part of what students and scholars of English study.
Engaging in the study of English means students will develop their ability to write clearly and persuasively, to read critically, to develop interpretations of imaginative texts, to analyze and make arguments, and build their knowledge of classic and contemporary examples of literary excellence. Whether pursuing English studies at the first-year or more advanced level, students will encounter new texts, pose and consider abiding questions about human experience, and develop critical reading and writing skills that will serve them in their future studies and into their lives outside the classroom.