To read well and to write well are fundamental tasks of the literate person. Since the founding of the University, the mission of the English Department has been to teach students those literary texts written or translated into English that express “the best that has been known and said.” The curriculum emphasizes literature because of its power “to teach and to delight” and its attention to truth and beauty. It stresses critical reading to develop analytical skills. The major in English develops language and writing skills because there is a fundamental relationship between accurate reading, clear thinking and well - organized oral and written expression. The ability to write and speak well are, moreover, good in and of themselves. The English major also recognizes the need to nurture the imagination both in its emphasis on the aesthetic values of literature and in its courses in creative writing. The English major prepares students for graduate work in departments of English and in other fields, as well as for careers in writing and in primary and secondary education; the major imparts knowledge, attitudes and skills appropriate for many types of professional careers.