The English department offers courses in literature, creative writing, composition and developmental English. The department also supports the Integrated Studies program and the Writing Center at Seattle Central. Strong reading and writing skills are invaluable as you continue your education and crucial to almost any career path you may be considering. The ability to write well remains a hallmark of higher education. Writing clearly and effectively continues to distinguish candidates for jobs and to contribute to democracy and the common good.

Some English courses transfer as specific English courses and some as general arts and humanities credits. Choose from classes in literature, film, composition, grammar, creative writing, technical writing, or integrated studies.


Studying literature is an excellent way to understand the world and the individual's relationship with it. There are many ways to deepen your appreciation of literature. Study a genre–fiction, poetry, or drama. Take a survey course covering a century or more of British, American, or World literature. Deepen your understanding of the literature of specific cultures–African American, Asian American, or more generally American culture. Study children's literature, literature by women, the great works of Shakespeare, or masterworks of U.S. culture. Explore the work of authors from around the world, past to present.

Earn a college transfer degree that includes English classes. Planning to Major in English? Download this handy guide (pdf).

Creative Writing

Whether you intend to develop a career such as journalism or communications which depends on the skills to be developed through creative writing or simply seek to improve your fiction, poetry, drama, and essays, you can take courses that will help you practice the elements of the craft. Read, analyze, and discuss others' work to help you create your own. Give and receive feedback to develop a stronger sense of a writing community and your ability to practice writing.

Composition & Developmental English

During their course of studies almost all students encounter the English department through composition courses. You'll be placed into the appropriate level English composition course by placement exam.

Supportive pre–college English classes provide skills in reading, writing, and grammar for those who need help in successfully transitioning to college–level work. Developmental or pre–college classes are usually offered as a 2–course/10–credit block to increase the amount of time students have to develop the strong writing and reading skills that are absolutely essential to student success.

English 101 is required for virtually every degree and certificate program. The study of English composition includes understanding and analyzing a variety of texts, demonstrating critical thinking through various forms of written expression, and writing for particular audiences and purposes.

English 101 also serves as a prerequisite for English 102, necessary to transfer for a four–year degree. In English 102 you learn to write from research, writing academic research essays that depend as much upon the sources you find and analyze as they do your own analytical skills.

Contact Advising for all equivalency, prerequisite, and transfer questions such as if a writing/English course taken at another college fulfills your English 101 course requirement or if you meet the prerequisites to take English 102.

See the Testing Center for all questions about placing into an English class, such as taking, retaking or challenging the placement exam, or using your ACT, SAT, TOEFL, Asset or Accuplacer scores instead of COMPASS scores.

Integrated Studies

Integrated studies include a variety of learning forms and courses and can be used to fulfill literature or composition requirements for your degree or program. These Integrated Studies can range from 10 or 15 credits for fully integrated combined courses called Coordinated Studies Programs to assignments that are shared or linked between two or more courses courses. Check in the course schedule under CSP.

The Bruce McKenna Writing Center

The Bruce McKenna Writing Center supports students and faculty by providing one–on–one tutoring in all phases and aspects of writing, including workshops on grammar, writing, and research, and help with personal statements and applications. Bring a hard copy of your work with you to the Center when you go. The Writing Center is located inside the library, in Classroom A.

English – Careers

  • Copywriter
  • News Reporter
  • Technical Writer
  • Print or Digital Content Manager
  • Public Relations
  • Blogger
  • Marketing Researcher
  • Sales
  • Lobbying
  • Communications Officer
  • Editor
  • Grant and Proposal Writer
  • Non–Profit Communications or Management
  • Advertising
  • Event Planner
  • Radio / TV / Film Writer
  • Law
  • Librarian
  • Human Resources
  • Teaching English as a Second Language
  • Fundraising
  • Publishing

English Faculty

Greg Bachar
University of California Los Angeles, B.A.
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, M.F.A. (Fiction)

Peggy Baldwin
San Francisco State University, B.A.
University of California, M.A.

Susan Casey
Florida State University, B.A.
University of Colorado, Boulder, M.A.

Doug Cole
San Diego State University, B.A. 
Western Washington University, M.A.

Paul Croon
University of Illinois–Chicago, M.A. 
University of Washington–Seattle, Ph.D. Candidate

Shelley Douma
Calvin College, B.A. (English and Theater)
Purdue University, M.A. (English)
University of Oregon, Ph.D. (Theatre Arts)

Michael Faucette
University of California, Berkeley, B.A. 
University of Washington, B.A., M.A., Ph.D.

Johnny Horton
The Evergreen State College, B.A.
Western Washington University, M.A.
University of Washington, M.F.A. (Poetry)

Phebe Jewell
Simon Fraser University, B.A. (English and French)
University of Washington, M.A., Ph.D. (Comparative Literature)

Barbara Kline
Sacramento City College, A.S. 
University of California, Santa Barbara, B.A. 
Sacramento State University, M.A.

Stacey Levine
University of Missouri, B.A. 
University of Washington, M.A.

Takami Nieda
Stanford University, B.A.
Georgetown University, M.A.

Nada Oakley
Western Washington University, B.A., M.A.

Helena Ribeiro
University of Arizona, B.A. 
The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, M.Phil.

Joel Shaver
University of Washington, B.A. 
University of Glasgow, M. Litt., Ph.D.

Desiree Simons
Syracuse University, B.S. (Broadcast Journalism)
Long Island University M.S. (Education)

Laura Anne Sinai
Grinnell College, B.A, 
Seattle University, M.I.T.

Larry Silverman
University of Washington, B.A., M.Ed.

Jeb Wyman
University of Wisconsin, B.A. 
Western Washington University, M.A.

Stephen Woods
University of Washington, Ph.D.

English Organizations

Association of Writers and Writing Programs - AWP provides support, advocacy, resources, and community to nearly 50,000 writers, 500 college and university creative writing programs, and 125 writers' conferences and centers.

Conference on College Composition and Communication - CCCC supports and promotes the teaching and study of college composition and communication.

Modern Language Association - MLA promotes the study and teaching of languages and literatures through its programs, publications, annual convention, and advocacy work.

National Council for Teachers of English - NCTE is devoted to improving the teaching and learning of English and the language arts at all levels of education.

English – Learning Outcomes

Students who complete English courses typically earn composition credit or credit in the Visual, Linguistic, and Performing Arts (VLPA) area of knowledge for the AA degree by

  • understanding language and languages as universal human phenomena and as tools of communication, persuasion, and self–expression
  • understanding the role of literature in expressing and reflecting aspects of human experience

Depending on the course taken, English courses meet communication, information literacy, and creative thinking outcomes for the AA degree, as students

  • explain meaning of written work, presentations, arts, and media in different contexts
  • present oral, signed, written, or other forms of expression to increase knowledge, foster understanding, or promote change in an audience
  • identify, locate, and evaluate needed information in a complex and changing environment
  • effectively and responsibly use information to develop ideas, address issues, and solve problems
  • synthesize existing ideas, images, or expertise in original ways

English 101

Students who successfully complete English 101 will be able to

  • Distinguish between claim and evidence.
  • Identify explicit and implicit main points.
  • Make inferences about a text.
  • Make the connection between purpose and audience.
  • Demonstrate rhetorical awareness in writing.
  • Paraphrase and Summarize.
  • Understand difference between summary and analysis.
  • Incorporate, control and use sources.
  • Recognize and avoid plagiarism.
  • Evaluate and synthesize multiple texts.
  • Demonstrate effective use of writing process.
  • Provide specific, informed and constructive feedback that has the power/potential to elicit revision.
  • Make effective use of feedback in revision.
  • Produce, support, and develop an arguable claim.
  • Identify, evaluate, and articulate own learning.
  • Recognize and use academic writing conventions.
  • Produce clear, logical, and effective essay structure.
  • Demonstrate clear, confident use of paragraphing.
  • Demonstrate clear and controlled organization with logical connections between paragraphs and ideas.
  • Write a variety of sentence structures–a blend of simple, compound, and complex sentences used to enhance meaning.
  • Recognize and participate in academic discourse.
  • Produce coherent and cohesive writing under time constraints.

English 102

Students who successfully complete English 102 will be able to

  • Develop an extensive research–based essay using the writing process learned in English 101.
  • Critically read and analyze a variety of complex texts.
  • Discuss the content of texts and the writing and research process in small and large groups by thinking critically and communicating clearly.
  • Analyze reading by summarizing, responding, and interpreting.
  • Quote, paraphrase and summarize from published print and electronic sources.
  • Evaluate primary and secondary print and electronic sources to be used in a documented essay.
  • Compose a research–based essay that supports a well–developed thesis.
  • Use MLA or APA citation format accurately.
  • Demonstrate academic integrity and avoid plagiarism.
  • Access and navigate technology associated with this course.


Students who successfully complete literature courses will be able to

  • Summarize, discuss, and analyze texts
  • Use the text as support for their arguments
  • Criticize literature using elements of the appropriate genre
  • Write responses to the readings which demonstrate language proficiency
  • Ask key literary questions that lead to larger questions about the human condition
  • Engage in collegial and collaborative literary analysis
  • Explain some of the different literary, critical methodologies/approaches