Heidelberg's English department allows students to learn and practice various types of writing. While some students focus on either fiction or poetry, the curriculum provides a broad range of writing skills in academic, technical, and creative writing. Aside from general courses like Composition, Literary Genres, and Intermediate Writing, courses such as Introduction to Literary Theory, Technical Writing, Advanced Poetry Writing, Advanced Fiction Writing, Introduction to Linguistics, and Introduction to Journalism are offered. Many of these courses utilize a workshop approach through which students critique each other’s work and benefit from each other’s ideas.
Majors with junior or senior status may work with a faculty member individually through an independent study in order to focus on a specific type of writing—past topics have included short story seminars, writing for children, sports writing, magical realism, and poetry anthologies. The student and faculty member develop the course goals and learning outcomes together. Independent studies are intended to provide the student with a more challenging focus on an area of his or her interest.
The writing capstone for seniors emphasizes the necessity of being able to produce work in all of the genres that English courses cover. The students’ previously-written materials are workshopped and further revised in order to create a final portfolio that serves as a professional resume.