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Teaching and Instructor Training

Teaching and Instructor Training

Undergraduate teaching is a key part of professional development for students in all areas of specialization within the English graduate program. Our graduate students generally teach five courses during each four-semester period.* Every graduate instructor serves as the instructor of record for the course(s) that they teach within the English department’s Program in Writing and Rhetoric, or PWR. PWR oversees the design and implementation of Penn State’s university-wide writing curriculum, and it provides writing instructors with all necessary teaching materials and resources.

PWR holds a weekly one-credit practicum seminar for all instructors of writing courses. These practicums focus on course curriculum, lesson plan preparation, pedagogical theory and methods, and problem-solving within the classroom.

Graduate students who have passed their comprehensive exams may also apply to teach upper-level courses within the field of their own research, with guidance and support from faculty mentors.

In addition to teaching composition and literature courses in the English department, advanced students may apply to teach a multi-modal, year-long Rhetoric and Civic Life course in partnership with the Communication Arts and Sciences department, or a course in world literature through the Comparative Literature department.

* A research assistantship or an assignment in the tutoring center may sometimes be substituted for a course assignment.

Courses Recently Taught by Grad Students

  • English 15, Rhetoric and Composition
  • English 30, Honors Freshman Composition
  • English 50, Introduction to Creative Writing
  • English 129H, Shakespeare (for non-majors)
  • English 135, Alternative Voices in American Literature
  • English 140, Contemporary Literature
  • English 181A, Adventure Literature: Exploring the Chesapeake Bay
  • English 184, The Short Story
  • English 191, Science Fiction
  • English 192, The Literature of Fantasy
  • English 201, What is Literature?
  • English 202A, Effective Writing: Writing in the Social Sciences
  • English 202B, Effective Writing: Writing in the Humanities
  • English 202C, Effective Writing: Technical Writing
  • English 202D, Effective Writing: Business Writing
  • English 221, British Literature to 1798
  • English 231, American Literature to 1865
  • English 232, American Literature from 1865
  • English 245, Introduction to Lesbian and Gay Studies
  • English 262, Reading Fiction
  • English 297C, The Wilderness Literature Field Institute
  • English 402, Literature and Society
  • English 426, Chicana and Chicano Cultural Production: Literature, Film, Music
  • English 433, The American Novel: 1900-1945
  • English 435, The American Short Story
  • English 436, American Fiction Since 1945
  • English 444, Shakespeare
  • English 447, The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century
  • English 453, Victorian Novel