English / Literature

Why Writing?

Whether we tap out a text, a tweet, an essay, an application, a poem, or an email, we all write. Our goal is to convey a message - to be heard and understood. We've all had the terrible experience when our message is misunderstood. However, if we construct our message with our audience and purpose in mind, our words will communicate.

Knowing how to tailor and focus our message - choose our subjects, forms, and even words - grants us great power: the power to communicate effectively. Whether we want to motivate others to take action, inspire them with a beautiful poem, or simply make sure our family members attend certain events, we must often rely on our ability to communicate.

Why Literature?

Ever floated down the Mississippi River on a raft? Ever taken a late-night walk through the woods with the Devil himself? Reading literature allows us to become immersed in worlds beyond our own. As C.S. Lewis said, "In great literature, I become a thousand different men but still remain myself." As we explore the societies, values, and adventures of our literary counterparts, we find shared human experiences.

F. Scott Fitzgerald explained, "That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you're not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong." This belonging has a ripple-effect in that reading literature isn't an isolating experience; we can now discuss those texts with others. Whether we weep over the injustice in To Kill a Mockingbird or cheer for Pip, we will connect with another reader willing to share in our literary experiences.

woman writing


English Department Mission Statement

The English Department offers diverse, quality instruction in the writing process and the study of literature. Students gain essential skills in critical thinking, composing and reading from the developmental through advanced levels of college English. Core composition courses teach students to write with precision and purpose, to read attentively, and to communicate to different audiences. Literature courses teach about the human condition through the reading and discussing of various genres of written works.

Accuplacer Reading and Writing Placement Guidelines

The composition courses give practice and proficiency in the use of the English language, improve awareness of clear written communication, and aid in logical reasoning. The ability to write with clarity and precision furnishes students with a life-long tool for success. Students need adequate and consistent access to portable technological equipment (laptop or tablet), Internet, GCCC email,  and Canvas. Students need to save and print documents using MLA format and in a file type compatible with Microsoft Word. All students must take the Accuplacer test to determine placement in Basic English, Intermediate English, or English 101. Students scoring below the accepted levels in reading will not be allowed to enroll in English 101 until they have successfully completed the required reading courses.