Program Overview

Analytical Commentary Assessment Program


Throughout their studies in the major, students in the English Education Program are required to compose a series of commentaries on projects they have completed as part of their course work. These commentaries are designed to document their knowledge and skills in ten key areas of literary, linguistic, and rhetorical content in the program. These are the ten areas:

  1. Literature/Rhetoric (classic texts)
  2. Literature/Rhetoric (contemporary texts)
  3. Literature/Rhetoric (non-print, media)
  4. Literature/Rhetoric (historical traditions)
  5. Literature/Rhetoric (genre)
  6. Diversity (gender, ethnicity, class)
  7. Theory
  8. Rhetoric and Writing
  9. Language and Linguistics
  10. Adolescent reading and writing

Students are asked to complete one commentary for each 200- and 300-level course in the program (excluding the English Education courses). (There are 10 such courses.)

The commentary is based on a course assignment of the student’s choice. In some classes the instructor will guide or encourage students to write certain types of commentaries, but in all cases, it is the student’s choice as to which commentary will be completed in connection with which course. It is the student’s responsibility over the course of the program to ensure that all 10 commentaries are completed prior to student teaching.

Each of the ten areas has an assignment sheet and rubric to guide the student in writing the commentary.

The ideal commentary provides evidence that the writer is aware of basic literary/linguistic/rhetorical categories, terminology, and modes of discussion. As well, the ideal commentary will show a strong degree of self-awareness in one’s efforts to critique and categorize their own literary/rhetorical/linguistic writings that comprise the artifacts they review. Students are encouraged, to the extent possible, to connect knowledge and skills from their entire body of English coursework as they plan and complete all their commentary assignments.