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What Is an English Major?

While it may seem the English Major is solely focused on the reading and interpreting of literature, most English majors can attest to an even broader base of knowledge. In order to understand literature, an English Major can seek a more thorough understanding of the culture that produced that literature. He or she can consider theories and philosophies of language in order to grasp the methodology behind a novel, story, essay, or poem. In some instances, an English Major writes the poems, stories, essays, or novels that will be considered literature at some point in the future.

WVSU offers three different tracks for the English Major. The Literature Option, the Professional Writing Option, and the Technical Writing Option. Stop by the departmental office (Hill Hall 226) for more information on steps for pursuing any of those options.

What Can a Major Do?

The English Major equips students with critical thinking skills that are absolutely essential for the 21st Century professional. A major can go into advertising, business management, education (whether in teaching in the classroom or administration), government, politics, and writing of many kinds--freelance, journalism, science, industry, and even television and film.
As the innovations in our technical world begin to mature, the value of the critical thinker emerges. How technologies are used and why technologies would be useful are questions that aren't always addressed while a technology is under development. The English Major teaches you to think, not just to memorize. You learn to read critically, not just to skim mechanically. You learn to write effectively or expressively or didactically. And you can understand exactly how those three terms are distinct from one another. 
Additionally, the English Major prepares you for graduate school in maybe more fields than any other undergraduate major will prepare you for:
  • British Literature
  • American Literature
  • Creative Writing
  • Rhetoric & Composition
  • Technical & Professional Writing
  • American Studies
  • Comparative Literature
  • Law
  • Education
  • Library Science
  • Religious Studies
  • Political Science
  • Administration
  • Business
  • Classics
  • History

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