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EmilyBaldwin

Dr.Ellis
ENG100
SelfAssessment
26February2015
TheIllinoisStateAssessmentPlanfortheEnglishDepartmentcontainsthefour
goalsallEnglishmajorsareexpectedtocompleteupongraduatingfromtheprogram.
Thesefourgoalsincludetheabilitytocriticallyread,speak,write,andreviseacross
differenttextgenresandtechnologies,abilitytouseandapplyresearchmethodologies,
abilitytoevaluateandsynthesizeideasandinformationfromsources,andtodevelopan
understandingforthesocialandculturaleffectsoflanguageandrhetoric.Thesegoals
becomefeasiblethroughmanydifferentmanifestationsinclasswork,readings,
discussions,andassignments.Throughoutmyfiveyearsincollege,Ihavemetmanyof
theseexpectationsandamanexperiencedstudentinmanyregards.InareasthatIam
lacking,fulfillingmissingcourseswillfillmanyofthesescholarlyspaces.
Althoughthefirstgoaldealsgreatlyinseniorand300levelcourseexpertise
experience,IhavesampledmanyEnglishgenreandhistoricalperiodcoursesthat
contributetosomecompletionofthegoaltobeabletocriticallyread,speak,write,and
revise.IntheFall2014semesteralone,Icompleteda20thCenturyAmericanLiterature
courseaswellasaSurveyofBritishLiteraturecourse.InmyBritishLiteraturecourse,I
wasexpectedtoperformmanyclosereadingpapersaswellasfromatextsampleonthe
spot.InbothcoursesIwasfrequentlyrequiredtomakeconnectionstootherhistorical
eventsandevenmodernexamples.FormyBritishLiteraturefinalproject,Imadea
presentationabouthowthestoryofJudith,JohnDonnesSonnet14,andDoctorFaustus

allrelatedtothemoderncharacterofWalterWhiteinBreakingBadandevenBeatricein
KillBillallthroughthecommonthemeofredemption.Becauseofthesereasons,Ihave
hadexperiencewithmanyoftherequirementsofthisfirstgoal.Ihaveexhibitedan
awarenessofthehistoricalandgenericcontextsoftextsandtheirtraditions,abletoread
anddemonstratefamiliaritywithavarietyoftextsfromaculturallydiverserangeof
historicalperiods,abletoidentifyandanalyzethemesacrosstextsandgenres,andbeing
abletoperforminspokensituations.Ifeelconfidentthatmyworkhereservesasa
suitableexampleformycompetenceintheseaspects.
However,Idohavesomeweaknessesinthefirstgoalthatneedtobeaddressed.
Themosturgentaspectbeingmylackofexperiencesinrhetoricandrhetoricalcourses
thatisarequirementforgraduation.Eventhoughthisismyfirstyearasanofficial
Englishmajor,Ihaveyettotakeacourseonrhetoricinthedisciplineandhaveonly
takenphilosophycoursesthatdealwithrhetoricsecondhandedly.Thiscanberesolved
byfinallytakinganEnglishrhetoriccourse.Otherpoints,suchasbeingabletocritically
reflectuponmyreadings,requiresformetowritereflectionpaperswhichIhavenot
done.Theassessmentplanindicatesthatmany300levelcoursesrequirereflections
written,whichwillundoubtedlyhappenwhenIamasenior.Inaneffortto(somehow)be
evenmorecriticalofmywork,Ishouldtakeeveryopportunitypresentedtometorewrite
andrevisemyworkinordertoachievenotonlyabettergradebutalsoabetter
understandingofwhatwasbeingaskedofmeintheassignment.Lastly,thepointof
beingabletocomprehendtextswithculturalandhistoricalknowledgedemands
improvement.Thisisassessedthroughaportfolio,whichIdonthavebutamcurrently

workingonbuildingforinternshipapplications.Beyondclosereadingpapersand
discussionexperience,Ihaveyettoexpandonthis.Iplantofamiliarizemyselfbetter
withhistoryandbeingabletoidentifyhistoricalimplicationsintexts.Icandothisby
takingmorecoursesinhistoricalandculturalliterature.
Thesecondgoal,beingabletounderstandandapplyresearchmethodologies,has
manypointsmetjustbytakingthisEnglish100class.Whilewritingourargument
papers,theimportanceofacrediblesourcewasexplainedandIwasexpectedtoproduce
asourcethatwasrelevanttomyargumentbutalsocredible.IliketothinkthatIdidthat.
AnotherpointthatIhavetoucheduponistheabilitytowriteindifferentcitationstyles
(MLA,Chicago,andAPA)throughtakingcoursesinEnglishandHumanitiesandwriting
papersinthem.
Otherpoints,likebeingknowinghowdifferenttextsareproducedandbeingable
toproduceapositionabouteachoftheEnglishdisciplinesandtheirmethods,Ihaveno
experiencein.Learningaboutproductioncanbefulfilledbytakingacourseon
publicationorideally,workinginastudentrunpublication.ENG300issupposedtobea
fulfillmentforlearningaboutthephilosophicalvalueofresearchmethodologies,which
wouldtakecareofallthepointsforthesecondassessmentgoal.Thepointofbeingable
touselearnedresearchmethodologiesintheworkplacewillbemetwhenIhopefullyfind
ajobaftergraduating.
Thethirdgoal,beingabletouseideasandinformationproductively,Ihavemet
alloftheexpectedpoints.ExceptforthepointsdesignatedforEnglishEducationand
publishingsequencestudents,Ihavedealtwitheachpointexcessivelyandamconfident

inmyskills.Thepointofbeingabletousesecondarysourceinformationinprojectsand
papersinawaythatsupportsmyworkIhavedoneeffectivelysincehighschool.Most
recentlyIhavewrittenapieceabouthowLostisaGilligansIslandremake,usingboth
seriesassourcesformycomparisonsandconclusions.Thelastpointofbeingableto
navigatethetechnologiesinvolvedinmakingandaccessingtextsIalsohavesome
familiaritywith.ProgramslikeMicrosoftWord,PowerPoint,andGoogleDocsIhave
workedwiththroughoutmyacademiccareer.Technologiesthatareexclusiveto
publishedworkIamnotasfamiliarwithbutagain,thatcanberevisedbytakinga
publicationcourse.
Thefinalgoal,beingabletounderstandsocialandculturaleffectsoflanguage
anduseoflanguagerhetorically,Ialsohavesomeexperiencein.Manyofthepointshave
beenmetbytakingcreativewritingcourses.Thepointofbeingabletocreatesensory
experiencesIhavedoneextensivelyasthecreativewritingcourseItooklastsemester
hadstudentscreatingascene,emotionalexperience,ornarrativeasawarmupinevery
class.IalsothinkIhaveexperiencewithclarity,anexamplebeingthesyllabiargument
paperIdidinthiscourse.Granted,IamnotasskilledinclarityasIwouldliketobebutI
stronglybelievethiscoursewillhelpwithconcentratingmywritingtomakeitas
minimalandpowerfulasitcouldbe.ThenextpointofexperiencewithproseIalsohave
metwithmycreativewritingcourses.Imcurrentlytryingtogetsomeprosepieces
publishedinliterarymagazines,manyofthesepieceshaveoriginatedorhavebeen
refinedinthecourses.

TheremainingpointsinthefinalgoalIhavelittletonoexperiencein.Points
dealingwithknowledgeoflinguisticconcepts,thecomplexityofgrammar,rhetorical
situation,andcivilityawarenessIhaveabsolutelynopartinbeyondtypicalhighschool
Englishclasswork.LinguisticconceptsappeartobetaughtintheENG341course
IntroductiontoDescriptiveLinguistics,whichIplantotake.IunderstandthatIhaveto
takeagrammarcourseduringmytimeatISUandbetweenthatandmyfriendswholove
nothingmorethancorrectingmeatanychanceIamsureIwillbecomemorefamiliar
withgrammar.Again,myexperiencewithrhetoricissomewhatindirectalthough
valuable.CourseslikeENG101CompositionsasCriticalInquirythatdealmore
intimatelywithwritingrhetoricforanaudienceandrefiningthoseworkswillgiveme
morevaluableexperiencewithrhetoricalsituation.Imnotsurewhattheassessment
meansbycivilityawareness,butImgatheringithassomethingtodowithappropriate
behaviorintheclassroom.Ifthatiscorrect,IamfairlyconfidentIamadecentcharacter
oratleastnotoneworthtargeting.
ReviewingtheassessmentplanwasadauntingtaskasIwasfairlyconfidentIwas
goingtobedisprovingmysuspicionsthatIamasexperiencedasmytimeandmoney
investedincollegeindicates.Instead,IlearnedthatIamjustifiedinmycomfortandthe
theoreticalacademicmountainIhavetoclimbdidnotincreasedramaticallyinsize.
Havingexperiencewithsomeofthesepoints,evenifitismarginal,preparesmeforany
challengingcoursesIhavelefttotakeandassuresthatIwontfeelblindsided.This
assessment,designedtoproducecapableandcompetentEnglishmajors,inspires
confidencethatIamontherightpath.

WorksCited
TheDepartmentofEnglish(2012).UndergraduateCurriculumAssessmentPlanand
Report.IllinoisStateUniversity.
Fall2014UndergraduateCourseOfferings.DepartmentofEnglish.IllinoisState
University,n.d.Web.20Feb.2015.