The English Department at Black Hills State University delivers its writing program in two forms: (1) required courses within the University's General Education requirements and (2) elective courses offered as part of the professional degree program in writing and literature.
- Courses in written communication and literature within the General Education requirements include two semesters of written communication and one semester of an introductory literature course.
- The sequence of English 101 and 201 teaches writing as a process for discovering feelings and ideas and communicating them in essays with a clear and meaningful focus, appropriate structure, and logical development. Writers are expected to maintain a distinct voice and to follow the conventions of standard English. Although English 101 and 201 share similar concerns, English 201 focuses on expository writing to reinforce analytical and argumentative thinking, writing from sources, and engaging in a major research project.
- The introductory literature course is designed to help students develop an appreciation and understanding of literature. Through the study of short fiction, poetry, and drama, students are introduced to a variety of critical approaches. The writing intensive nature of the course manifests itself through inquiry into the nature and possibilities of the literary experience, made more personal and reflective by essay examinations and a major term paper.
- All elective courses in writing and literature are writing intensive. Writing is considered part of the critical process of understanding texts and their environment. Individual courses in advanced, imaginative, and technical writing serve to deepen this examination. The department's offerings in literature range from World, English, American, and Biblical literature to genre courses in poetry and drama, courses in literary criticism, Native American literature, and the non-Western novel. Types of writing required of students in these courses have their foundation in the English 101-201 sequence and in the English 210 course in introductory literature.