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What are some viable career options for an English major? Show more Show less
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A question that every English student ever has received is “Are you going to be a teacher?” To which most of us would reply noncommittally. While it is true that many students who major in English go on to study postgraduate degrees and become teachers, lecturers, professors and the like, it seems that many don’t realise the breadth of career optionsEnglish majors have.

The journalism sector Show more Show less

English majors can provide valuable reporting content with their skills.
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English majors can become columnists

English majors and journalism go hand in hand, the educational subjects so intrinsically related that, often, the natural career path for aspiring writers entering the workforce with degrees in English leads towards becoming a columnist. Many of the skills required for a career in journalism are derived from the English discipline in higher education.
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The Argument

Majoring in English possesses an unmatched advantage in closely reading and analyzing text, taking that analysis to shape the student's own conception of writing and relaying information. Journalism is always presented as a viable career option for English majors, and for many good reasons. Columnists must research bits of relevant information and data, combing through a variety of quotes, articles, and reports just as English majors must sharpen their skills in literary analysis. The Stanford University English Department claims, "An English major will teach you the skills of close reading and advanced writing. English majors very often seek out careers in publishing, public relations, advertising, media, or teaching,"[1] also citing "columnist" as one of the occupational possibilities. English and journalism are necessarily intertwined, and English majors must always consider a professional dive into the world of columnists.

Counter arguments

English majors and columnists do share many common skills, but those skills are not necessarily identical. Journalism simply requires a writing style that is different from the classic literary analysis that all English majors must undergo. Creative writing can also fall under the category of "English degree," and, for many, journalism and creative writing are on two opposite ends of the writing spectrum because journalism is traditionally concerned with facts and the collection of knowledge or information, while creative writing deals with fiction and originality.[2] Therefore, English majors and columnists should not be as closely lumped together as this argument suggests.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] The skills that English majors learn within their educational careers include closer analytical reading of and writing about text as well as parsing out of essential information within the process of literary research. [P2] Being a columnist requires skill in deep analysis of information from many different sources, including articles and books. English majors, because of their educational background, are already naturally equipped to perform these journalistic tasks. [P3] Therefore, English majors could become columnists.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] The columnist occupation requires many of the skills that English majors are taught, but there are other aspects of journalism that do not specifically fall under the literary analysis of English majors, including unique journalistic writing style and synthesis of analysis. [Rejecting P3] English majors and columnists do not necessarily go hand in hand.

References

  1. https://english.stanford.edu/information-for/undergraduates/careers-after-english-major
  2. https://thoughtcatalog.com/angelo-lorenzo/2014/08/truth-and-creativity-journalism-vs-creative-writing/#:~:text=Journalism%20and%20creative%20writing%20are,art%2C%20fiction%2C%20and%20imagination.
This page was last edited on Wednesday, 10 Jun 2020 at 18:19 UTC

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