Major Report Assignment Instructions

CAS 103 ● Introduction to the Arts & Sciences

Major Report Assignment Instructions

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This will be one of the most important pieces of writing you do at UMD. Be thorough – the more you learn about your major, the more invested you will be (or you will learn it is not for you). Use this opportunity to fully explore your ideas about your future.


Step 1: Research: Collect information about the Major using:


  • Departmental Fact Sheet that you can obtain from the department or in the hallway outside the CAS dean’s office in LARTS 397.
  • Wikipedia: type in the name of your department. For ex., Philosophy. Find a page that describes what your major is about. This is the purpose or your major – it tells you how it exists in the world as a phenomenon that affects people’s lives. Note:
    • If your major is Liberal Arts, look at two majors: one each from the humanities (History, Literature, Philosophy) AND the social sciences (Sociology, Psychology, Economics, Political Science, Women Studies).
    • If you are Undeclared, choose a departmental fact sheet and explore the major from
  • Departmental websites (mandatory!)
  • Research the faculty in your department on the departmental website. Look at their research interests and see which faculty’s interests match your own. Look for courses taught by them.
  • Attend a departmental event – Fall into Major Day or an event set up by the department
  • Research careers and other information about the field
  • Interview your advisor or visit an advisor from your department in the STAR Center.
  • Research a career in your field that matches your values, interests, and personality. For help, meet with a career advisor at the Career Center.


Step 2: Write a report (800-1000 words): Answer the following questions in depth:


  1. What is the major field about? How does it match your interests?
  2. What is it about the Major interested you most? What drew you to it?
  3. How did reading and researching the above material help you develop a disciplinary identity with other scholars in the Major field?
  4. How will joining the discipline, by creating an identity with it, help you meet your goals?
  5. What kind of engaged learning opportunity can you participate in as you progress in this Major?
  6. What departmental event did you attend?
  7. How does your Major “look” in the world? In other words, how does the knowledge created by your major affect people’s everyday lives?
  8. End with some interesting tidbit of information about the Major. Anything at
  9. Add an image. You can print and cut and paste it to the paper if you cannot insert it into Word.


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