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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 entertainment sector Show more Show less

English majors can become writers, screenwriters, copywriters, actors, critics, and even more.
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English majors can become scriptwriters

The undeniably inherent link between English majors and scriptwriting presents a viable career path for students leaving college and searching for future opportunities. Knowledge of the intricacies of the English language as well as storytelling and character construction are all skills needed to become a successful scriptwirter, and English major naturally acquire these naturally through their educational backgrounds.

The Argument

Scriptwriting is an essential building block in the entertainment industry and directly connects to the English discipline in all facets of higher education. English majors must write a plethora of diverse works, including analytical essays, journal articles, poems, and even scripts when paired with a screenwriting or scriptwriting discipline. Their study of close reading and literary analysis helps them better understand the intricacies and nuances in storytelling, character development, and dialogue. These are all fundamental aspects of scriptwriting, so the fact that many English majors that choose to venture into the entertainment sector choose scriptwriting/screenwriting as their professional path is unsurprising. SeattlePi.com states, "While there is no specific educational track to becoming a screenwriter, numerous English and film-related majors can put you on the path to fulfilling your ambitions."[1]

Counter arguments

The differences between screenwriting and novel writing are vast, almost separating them into completely separate disciplines.[2] Yes, they are closely related fields of study, but the specific abilities and skills required to construct respectively successful storylines and characters are widely unrelated. The structure itself of a novel does not translate to film very well, so English majors do not necessarily possess the prior knowledge or understanding of screenwriting as someone specifically majoring in the disciplines concerning the art of film.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Scriptwriting/screenwriting requires a certain level of literary, storytelling, and character developing knowledge and skill. A successful screenwriting can create a story that fits film and its fundamental aspects. [P2] English majors possess the required level of knowledge and skills of reading and writing, and many of them become screenwriters because of the inherent connection between the English discipline and professional screenwriting. [P3] Therefore, English majors can be scriptwriters.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] English majors and scriptwriting are not as essentially intertwined as this argument suggests, especially because writing a script and writing a novel are almost entirely different - both structurally and substantially. English majors are not as necessarily predetermined to become scriptwriters as noted here. [Rejecting P3] English majors should not necessarily become scriptwriters.

References

  1. https://education.seattlepi.com/should-major-want-screenwriter-2696.html
  2. https://www.writersdigest.com/write-better-fiction/7-ways-writing-a-screenplay-is-different-than-writing-a-novel
This page was last edited on Tuesday, 9 Jun 2020 at 18:43 UTC

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