CSULA Department of English | Mission Statement

The English Department’s mission is to
promote intellectual inquiry through the study of literature,
linguistics, composition and rhetoric, and creative writing; to
motivate students to strive for excellence in their reading and
writing abilities; to prepare students to succeed in graduate
study, the teaching profession, and other careers; and to
encourage personally meaningful engagement in English studies.

Therefore, our undergraduate and graduate
programs are designed to accomplish the following goals:

  • to
    help students develop an understanding and appreciation of the
    power and beauty of written expression through a broad knowledge
    of representative literary texts from diverse periods, genres, and

  • to
    enable students to practice with confidence and skill the basic
    techniques of textual analysis

  • to
    help students understand their own and other cultures, past and
    present, through the historically contextualized study of language
    and literature

  • to
    make students aware of the emerging roles of literature,
    aesthetics, and critical theory

  • to
    enrich the creative and analytical powers of students as writers,
    helping them to develop original perspectives with precision,
    express themselves with grace, and organize their ideas with
    clarity through a comprehensive mastery of divergent rhetorical

  • to
    teach students to use both reading and writing to develop an
    awareness of multiple perspectives and their own informed,
    responsible, and meaningful criteria for approaching language and

In order to pursue its mission effectively,
the department also commits itself to the following:

  • encouraging
    individual faculty members to utilize their particular strengths
    and rewarding their efforts so that the department as a whole will
    continue to demonstrate excellence in teaching, scholarship, and

  • utilizing,
    when appropriate, various pedagogies and emerging technologies to
    develop more effective teaching methods and to promote improved
    student learning

  • maintaining
    small class sizes to foster meaningful exchange among students and
    faculty members at every level of instruction, from lower division
    courses to graduate seminars, and providing individualized
    guidance through advising

  • supporting
    faculty members’ efforts to conduct authoritative scholarship in
    their respective fields

  • developing
    a significant presence within the university community and beyond
    by serving as the central authority on writing instruction and
    literary history and by advocating study of the humanities in