Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Linguistics major, a student will have demonstrated a command of the study of human language, the ability to complete a sustained research project, and the ability to present their work in writing and in discussion. Majors will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate command of the methods of linguistics:
    • Either construct a grammatical sketch for an unidentified language, utilizing the concepts, terms, and methodologies necessary to do basic grammatical analysis and describe natural language data; or develop an empirical research project to investigate a linguistic topic, including literature review, research design and data analysis and interpretation.
    • Correctly use technical terms and/or methods of quantitative and qualitative analysis.
  2. Execute and defend a significant independent research project:
    • Formulate an interesting and significant research question or hypothesis.
    • Develop and pursue a methodology appropriate to a research topic.
    • Engage with relevant scholarly literature review.
    • Collect, analyze, and interpret relevant data.
    • Develop new knowledge, whether expository or innovative.
    • Independently investigate the topic with the support of an advisor.
    • Respond effectively to feedback.
  3. Communicate work done
    • Articulate an argument or thesis statement for the research project.
    • Write a clear and coherent document that is substantially longer than a traditional term paper or project, and modeled on the organization, prose style, and formatting of a linguistics journal article.
    • Effectively present data, including correctly formatted linguistic examples, appropriate visualizations of numerical data, etc.
    • Orally present, discuss, and defend work done.

The primary assessment tool for learning in the major at Reed and the level of student achievement in the major area is the senior thesis; the junior qualifying examination, which assesses a student's readiness for thesis, provides a second assessment tool. For more information on the thesis, the Junior Qualifying Exam and the academic program, see Requirements.