Tools for English Majors

English Major Worksheet

English Major and Communication Arts Literature Worksheet

How to Ask a Professor for a Letter of Recommendation

Research Skills Matrix

All English majors at St. Olaf College should complete their major with a basic competency in dealing with secondary sources on three levels.

Students should be able to:

  1. Evaluate resources (determine whether they are reliable)
  2. Analyze resources (engage with a critical argument)
  3. Incorporate resources (make them part of their ideas and arguments in a paper)

Students will complete assignments that address the Research Skills Matrix at Levels I, II and III of the English major:

  1. In English 185 at least one assignment will introduce students to skill levels 1 and 2 (above)
  2. Courses in the “Historical” and “Cross-Cultural” categories will re-visit skill levels 1 and 2 in the context of an assignment which leads to a paper
  3. Level III literature courses will utilize skills at all levels in a substantive paper-writing assignment


Assessment Rubric

Levels of Achievement
Excellent – exceeding our hopes

Acceptable – meeting our hopes

Disappointing – falling short of our hopes
Main idea is clearly introduced, interesting, and worthy of sustained attention.
Organization & structure of paper is clear and easy for the reader to follow.
Whether primary or secondary, evidence supports the main idea. Whether directly quoted, summarized, or paraphrased, that evidence presented with appropriate transitions and signal phrases.
Argument is well developed and demonstrates careful analysis; all its points are meaningfully related.
Style, including diction and tone, is appropriate and interesting.
Grammar & punctuation are correctly used.
The paper shows an appropriate choice of sources & clear documentation (whether in MLA style or another form).
Total Score