Department of English at Illinois State University

Areas of Study


English Studies at Illinois State University articulates the ways in which all of our various areas of study—Children's Literature, Creative Writing, English Education, Linguistics, Literary and Cultural Studies, Rhetoric and Writing (including New Media Studies, Rhetoric and Composition, Teaching Writing, and Professional Writing and Rhetorics), and TESOL—connect and enter into dialogue with each other. The pages in this section provide information about each of these areas of study. For more information about our majors and minors, our graduate certificates, and our Masters and PhD programs, please visit our undergraduate program pages and graduate program pages.

Children’s Literature

Our Children's Literature program has long embraced both literary and educational approaches to Children's Literature. The program is seminal in its advocacy of using books written for children to foster integrated learning.

Learn more about Children's Literature.

Creative Writing

Creative writing at Illinois State University offers both undergraduate and graduate courses taught by nationally recognized writers. The Program has earned a reputation as a place for the study of alternative forms of writing. Graduate students are invited to envision limitless choices in an environment that respects innovation.

Learn more about Creative Writing.

English Education

The English Education program at Illinois State University prepares candidates to become successful secondary English language arts teachers in diverse classrooms. It also provides on-going professional development for certified classroom teachers. Our students learn how research and theory support best practices in the teaching of English and gain valuable experiences in applying these ideas to rural, urban, and suburban classrooms.

Learn more about English Education.


Linguistics is a vital academic discipline for anyone interested in the study of human language.

Learn more about Linguistics.

Literary and Cultural Studies

Literary and cultural studies at Illinois State University is part of a broad-based "English studies model" curriculum emphasizing relationships across a range of areas such as rhetoric, linguistics, technology and culture as well as literature. Literary and cultural studies students engage problems in reading and interpretation of literary and non-literary texts in a variety of discursive contexts.

Learn more about Literary and Cultural Studies.


Publishing studies offers theoretical and practical examinations of how texts—print and screen-based, scholarly and creative, technical and artistic, commercial and non-profit, etc. —are authored, edited, produced, published, read, and studied in contemporary and historical contexts. Students take courses in publishing, creative writing, literature, linguistics, rhetoric, and technical communication, and have a required internship in publishing.

Learn More about Publishing

Rhetoric and Writing

Rhetoric and Writing at Illinois State is a thriving, innovative, and exciting area that includes work in the following interrelated areas: Professional Writing and Rhetorics, and Rhetoric and Composition.

Learn more about Rhetoric and Writing.


For students interested in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), we offer a set of courses which can be used for a concentration in TESOL.

Learn more about TESOL.