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Department of English

English Students
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Department of English

A major in English can be good preparation for continued graduate or professional training in areas such as English, law, political science/government, public administration, psychology, counseling, communications, and religious studies (i.e., seminary).

  • Develop a specialty area of interest via additional coursework and/or work experience for greater marketability within that specific career field.
  • Save samples of written work to be used for a portfolio.
  • Be prepared to be proactive, determined, assertive, and confident in order to secure freelance writing opportunities. Writers typically experience many rejections for each piece that is accepted for publication.
  • Cultivate other career opportunities in order to supplement a freelance writing income.
  • Obtain additional areas of expertise such as journalism, broadcasting, technical writing, or politics for specialized positions.
  • For careers in advertising or public relations be prepared to begin in an entry-level position.
  • A bachelor's degree in English is sufficient for many entry level positions in business and industry.
  • Appropriate teacher certification is required for public school teaching.
  • A graduate degree is required for teaching at the college or university level.

English majors choose a major that not only challenges them intellectually but gives them pleasure. They love to read and think that reading matters. Or they hope to be writers and have taken courses in creative writing to test their potential as poets, fiction writers, and dramatists. They may have taken courses in expository writing to polish their skills or to see if the essay and other non-fictional forms were their best genres for a writing career.

English majors believe in education as an end, not merely as a stepping-stone in the path to a career, but they are not necessarily impractical. They are idealists, but unless they have large trust funds or they expect an imminent inheritance or have immediate prospects for marrying into wealth, they need a career.
What an English major brings to career possibilities is the ability to think critically, speak articulately, write lucidly and precisely, and to read powerfully, deftly, and with understanding of subtleties and nuances. They know how language works and have the written and oral skills to communicate effectively.

JSU ENGLISH DEPARTMENT CHECKSHEET

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