English 316K: Masterworks of Literature is integral to student success at the university and beyond. The course makes students better readers, writers, and thinkers. Reading great literary works with the close attention required to participate in the world of literary scholarship, at however introductory a level, develops students’ knowledge of the remarkable resources of the English language in a way that no other course can. Students enhance their ability not only to grasp subtle nuances of meaning and connotation in challenging works but also to understand the multiple linguistic, formal, generic, and rhetorical choices great writers make in order to achieve their goals. The skills students must acquire in order to understand and appreciate great literary works make them more sophisticated, more critical readers of the wide variety of texts and genres they will encounter in other courses as well as in their lives outside the university. By the same token, the course’s detailed attention to the creativity with which authors have employed the English language across centuries makes students more aware, more resourceful, and often more motivated writers. Finally, the course’s focus on understanding literary works within their historical and cultural contexts encourages students to draw connections with other classes and, again, with the world outside of class.