Learning Goals

Based on our review of the oral and written work in the capstone, our students are able to perform a number of important intellectual tasks at graduation.

Our graduating majors are able to develop and synthesize arguments about literature in relationship to a range of critical methodologies and successfully engage in close analyses of literary texts to develop their arguments. They are able to edit and improve their work through revision and display self-consciousness about the strengths and limitations of the writing they produce. At their best, they demonstrate the capacity to take intellectual and creative risks, developing original approaches in their creative and their critical endeavors. We believe the potential for growth and independence our students display, combined with their analytical skills, will serve them well in any profession they choose to enter after graduation.


Goal I:   Discusses his or her own work productively with others, including faculty, classroom peers, and the larger intellectual community at Ursinus and beyond.

Possible outcomes:

i. Performs speaking skills, i.e. leading and participating in discussion and formal presentations.

ii. Demonstrates active and reflective listening.

iii. Incorporates feedback from peers and professors.


Goal II:   Writes thoughtfully and persuasively about a topic of his or her choosing in literary, cultural, and/or media studies, working toward developing extended arguments that are effectively situated within the discipline.

Possible outcomes:

i. Demonstrates use of secondary sources, including effective selection, evaluation, and integration.

ii. Demonstrates an ability to generate and address a critical question and interpret relevant textual evidence to support that question.

iii. Explains the significance of her interpretation in a relevant historical, cultural, or aesthetic context.


Goal III:   Engages with multiple critical approaches for studying, reading, and writing about texts. 

Possible outcomes:

i. Recognizes the multiple viewpoints of literary criticism.

ii. Develops an awareness of the cultural and historical contexts covering a range of critical practices.

iii. Self-consciously deploys critical methodologies in the service of putting forth an argument.

iv. Demonstrates familiarity with narratives of literary history.


Goal IV:   Thinks critically, creatively, and independently about a variety of texts.

Possible outcomes:

i. Demonstrates intellectual risk-taking that commingles the critical and the creative voice.