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  The Printing Press is the English Department Newsletter. Its purpose it to inform major and minors about programs and activities within the department. The Press will inform readers of activities and opportunities outside of Monmouth College. For any questions or submissions, contact or







Be Proactive About Your Portfolio

Anne Stone


          As the year comes to a close and summertime thoughts creep into every student’s mentality, most English majors are probably not worrying about their English department requirements, such as the English Studies Portfolio (ESP).  Some students may be thinking that the English Studies Portfolio will be an easy project to complete; placing old papers in a binder cannot be a difficult task.  However, the ESP has numerous requirements that entail critical thinking and synthesis about each year, which means procrastination cannot be part of the plan for completion.  While advisors do a tremendous job of informing students of the portfolio requirement and its contents, it is primarily the students’ responsibility to keep up with the work.  It is always a good idea to find the little black binder each English major receives as the portfolio after English 200, and to peruse through the contents.  If the only sight visible is black plastic, these requirements will give you a great place from which to begin your portfolio. 

            In order to graduate, each English major must have included in his/her portfolio an Education-in-Progress Report from Sophomore, Junior, and Senior year.  The Monmouth College English department website gives a few helpful hints as to what should be included in an EIP.  An EIP should consist of goals in English Studies; explained progress towards the achievement of those goals; challenges; strengths and weaknesses in speaking, reading, and writing; and how these things can be improved (  Furthermore, each year the EIP should become more extensive, with more specific materials.  The English department website lays out helpful hints:

▪ As a first year student, your EIP should include writing from English 110 and English 200.  Focus on rhetorical strategies, writing as a process, and thesis statements.  Also, critique your understanding and use of figurative language and literary devices.

▪ In sophomore year, elaborate on the same skills discussed in the first year, and discuss library resource skills.  Include analytical skills of reading, explicating, and writing.

▪ The junior year EIP will focus on specific skills learned from individual courses.  Describe improvements in all facets of writing, including grammar, figurative language use, theories, etc.

▪ As a senior, the portfolio becomes a cumulative assessment of progress in the major.  Discuss all aspects of writing and writing, and elaborate on history and traditions that you have studied.

            After the EIP is completed, the advisor will read the EIP and give feedback or ask further questions to which the student will write another paragraph to be added separately in the portfolio.  Along with the EIP requirement, students must also include graded work from English classes and other classes as well.  Planning ahead is the only way that this step can be completed successfully.  As a sophomore, the portfolio must include the EIP, and two graded essays; one must be from an English course, but the other may be from any course.  As a junior, the portfolio must add another EIP, and three more graded essays, two from English courses and another from a course of the student’s choice.  During senior year, the portfolio must gain the final EIP, a graded seminar thesis, and another graded essay from Issues and Ideas or the Honors course.  Creative writing, off-campus program information, internships, etc. should also be included in the year each one occurred.

            For more information on the English Studies Portfolio, reference the English department website at  Take a look at your portfolio this summer when there is some free-time, and continue to add a little at a time.  It is never too early to begin work on the ESP, but it can become too late.


The Writing Center

by Erik Davis

          If you are an English major and you haven’t heard about the Writing Center then listen up!  The Writing Center is a place where students from any major can go with a paper that they are working on and get a little help.  It is located on the 3rd floor of the Mellinger Learning Center, and is operated by tutors selected from students who have taken English 299.  Writing Fellows (English 299) is offered in the spring semester of each year.  This class teaches students what problems to look on the lookout for in papers, how to offer constructive criticism in a positive way, and also helps to make them comfortable in the role of a tutor. 

Writing tutors are in a delicate position when they are helping someone with a paper.  They are, at one level, assuming the role of a teacher, but at another level are very much equal with the student they are tutoring.  This balance can change multiple times in one tutoring session.  If a tutor is explaining the rules of comma usage to a student, the tutor is very much taking on the role of a teacher.  On the other hand, if the tutor is brainstorming with a student about the topic of their paper than the tutor is very much equal to the student.  The tutor must remain aware of this dynamic at all times.  Tutors at the Writing Center welcome papers at any stage of the writing process.  They are willing to work with students to help brainstorm ideas and concepts, refine thesis statements, polish a draft, or even help students to understand a teacher’s comments on a completed draft.  Tutors have worked with students with a wide array of papers and projects.  A writing tutor recently helped a student revise some poetry that the student was working on for creative writing.  Another example of the diversity of work that is brought to the writing center was when a tutor helped and international student write an application for a work permit.  Being a writing tutor is great experience for any English major and it looks great on a resume. 

The tutors that work in the Writing Center come from a diverse background; not all of them are English majors.  However every writing tutor is skilled at writing andSteve Price revising essays.  Dr. Price said, “The Writing Center is a place for everybody from across disciplines.” The diversity that Dr. Price is encouraging in the Writing Center had lead to a great diversity in the papers that the tutors encounter in the Writing Center.  This prompted Dr. Price to make the tutors themselves more diverse.  This diversity amongst the writing tutors allows them to better meet the needs of the wide variety of students who come to the Writing Center looking for help.  A business major looking for help on a paper can schedule a time to meet with a writing tutor who is also a business major.  This allows students from a wide array of scholastic backgrounds to receive help on the content as well as the mechanics of their papers.

The Writing Center is headed by Professor Steve Price.  He took over the Writing Center when he came to Monmouth College in 2004.  Since he came here he has been working make the Writing Center better known to both students and faculty on campus.  Professors at Monmouth College are constantly encouraging their students to take their papers to the Writing Center which indicates that Dr. Price has done an excellent job of making the Writing Center better known around campus.  Professor Price has also worked to change the stigma associated with the Writing Center.  “We don’t want the writing center to be seen as a remedial place,” Dr. Price explains.  He has been trying to eliminate the sense amongst faculty and students that the writing center is for papers that require remedial work, or that it is only for students in English 110 or ILA.  The Writing Center is a place where a student can go at any stage in the writing process.  Dr. Price also wanted to stress that, “Writing is a form of communication and getting feedback from people helps you to see how people understand your written work.”  Writing is a process that requires much revision, and the more revision the better the paper.  The writing center is not just for underclassmen either; many students working on their senior projects from a variety of disciplines bring their work in for revision.

The writing center provides excellent experience for English majors who apply and get into English 299.  The Writing Center provides experience working with peers, improves your ability to revise your own work, builds up your resume, and also earns you a little extra cash.  The Writing Center is an excellent place for any student to get some help on their paper.  It looks good when a professor gets a note from the writing center telling them that a student took their paper to the Writing Center to get it revised.    This shows that professor that the student is trying and really cares about their work.


Senior Interviews

As a tribute to our seniors, we sent out a questionnaire asking them various questions about their plans for the future and their time at Monmouth College.  Best of luck to you all!

Michelle Anstett

What author or piece of literature that you studied in any English class do you despise the most?

Pretty much anything American. If it's not Fitzgerald, Salinger or Plath and it's on this side of the pond, I hate it.

What will you miss most about Monmouth College?

I will miss most of the people here, and I will miss being able to sit around and talk about books all day. It's hard to find a job that will let you do that.

What is your fondest memory of Monmouth College?

I'm not really sure... I've really enjoyed Senior Seminar, minus that whole thesis thing...

What won't you miss about Monmouth College?



Amanda Benham

No survey response received..







Chelsea Brandt

No survey response received.









Beth Brennen

What English class do you feel taught you the most?

 English 200

What author or piece of literature that you studied in any English class do you despise the most?

Walt Whitman’s "Leaves of Grass"

What made you want to become an English major?

 I had really enjoyed my AP English & Humanities courses in high school, and figured this would be a good option. I also at the time had wanted to teach high school English.

What final words would you like to say to any English major(s) on campus?

Good luck, and when applying for jobs/graduate school, make a big deal out of being an English major---they’re looking for your skill set!

.Casie Conaway

 What is your fondest memory of Monmouth College?

The English Department Parties.  Those are the best because everyone loosens up and really enjoys themselves.  Plus, every year at least one student gets really drunk and makes a fool of himself.

What has been the most challenging aspect of the English major?

The most challenging part of this major is realizing that everything we do for it will never be perfect.  In a math class there is always a definitive answer, but for us there never is, and we can always bring more to the table. 

What will you miss most about Monmouth College?

I will miss my random walk throughs of the English department the most.  Just stopping up there to see who is there and sitting down in an office to chat.  Once one professor kicks me out, I just move on to the next office making the rounds.  Some of the best conversations have happened on those days.

What final words would you like to say to any English major(s) on campus?

I leave with a Watson quote that he said to my class sophomore year.  "Be child-like not childish."

Chadd Kaiser

What made you want to become an English major?
English was what I was best at in high school. I figured teaching it would've been a good idea at the time. Then I got here and realized they were the funnest classes.

What has been the most challenging aspect of the English major?
Papers, Reading, or listening to a drunken Mike Seufert sing at Mark's house. The papers are difficult, at least in the regards that they are so ingrained and weighted into your major. That is, you have to put a lot of time into them because you're expected to have them be perfect. If they're anything less than that you either feel guilty or look stupid and unprepared.

What author or piece of literature that you studied in any English class do you despise the most?
I had to read Virginia Wolf, who I occasionally dislike, but she's done well. I'd compose a list, but I think that would be rude. I'll say that my least favorite was The Pioneers  by James Fenimore Cooper. I just couldn't get into it or attach myself to the characters.

What are your plans after college?
After college I'm living at home while I pay off my loans. I've got a job lined up doing PR, marketing, and grant writing work for non-profit organizations. I'm also looking into writing (for fun and submitting) or getting another job to help pay the bills faster.


Mallory Mulvhill

No survey response received.









Kacie Parge (No photo available)

What English class do you feel taught you the most?

British Survey 1 and 2.  I came in hating British literature, and now I really enjoy it.

What author or piece of literature that you studied in any English class do you despise the most?

Sylvia Plath.  I get what she was trying to do; I just can’t stand it.

What are your plans after college?

Hopefully find a job teaching middle school or high school English.

What has been the most challenging aspect of the English major?

Staying in to read and write papers while my P.E. major friends went out and had fun. 


Mike Seufert

No survey response received.









John Skidmore

What has been the most challenging aspect of the English major?

Being stuck inside writing while all of the Physical Education and CATA majors run amuck, without a care in the world.

What is your fondest memory of Monmouth College?

The late nights with friends and the sleeplessness of summer.

What are your plans after college?

I'm moving to Chicago to pursue a couple of publication/editing jobs at first, after that - who knows.

What final words would you like to say to any English major(s) on campus?

Get your act together.  Stop slacking.  Chin up.  Do your mother proud.  Read more graphic novels. 


Survey Says:

What are your summer plans?


"I will be working in a dentist’s office and perhaps for the Sun Times again." - Maddy Ethington

 "I plan on becoming a bridezilla, training my new puppy and finding out how much an English/Philosophy major can make in tips while waitressing." - Cassie Conaway

I plan on traveling to Europe for a bit, pretending I have a real job by working at a bank back home, and reading as much of the three summer reading lists I can that I have graciously been given as a reward for being an English major." - Paige Halpin

"I will be working at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio as a lifeguard in the water park." - Laura Miller

"I am taking Biology at the community college by my house because there is no way...I'm ever taking another science class here.  I'm also working as a bartender at the bowling alley by my house." - Sarah Sherry

"Crunkin' it up ol' skool wit sum literary jems." - Kelsey Cole


Student Writing

A Reaction to the Death of the Thirty-Three

Robert Grafsgaard

Throw apart the blinding curtains,

Take me by my timid hand,

Show me for I am uncertain:

What moves man to murder man?

I shall not with proud persistence,

Bless the heroes, mourn the dead,

For I know not what it is

     To lay my so long loved to rest.

I’ll not blaspheme streets gone silent,

Spout forth words of time-lost praise,

Sermon over fastened caskets,

Weep at mouths of opened graves;

All I ask to understand 

     Is what moves man to murder man.


From Dr. Watson:

It’s “that time of the year” for the English department party.  Faculty and students will honor and salute graduating seniors, swear in new members of the Sigma Tau Delta international English fraternity, and celebrate the end of classes.

All those who are majoring or concentrating in English Studies (first-year to seniors) are invited to my home, then, on May 9th (Wednesday) from 4:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M.   No formal dress required.   Food, beverages, long-winded toasts are likely.   Garden tour, weather permitting.

My address is 925 East First Avenue (corner of 9th Street and First Avenue), a mere block south of the college.  Look for the horse-head hitching posts street-side in front of the house. 

On behalf of the department, I hope to see you there.



Writing Labs 3:00-5:00 pm Monday - Thursday
  7:00-10:00 pm Sunday - Thursday

Anne Stone

Erik Davis


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