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English studies (usually called simply English) is an academic discipline taught in
primary Primary or primaries may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Music Groups and labels * Primary (band), from Australia * Primary (musician), hip hop musician and record producer from South Korea * Primary Music, Israeli record label Works * ...
,
secondary Secondary is an adjective meaning "second" or "second hand". It may refer to: * Secondary (chemistry), term used in organic chemistry to classify various types of compounds * The group of (usually at least four) defensive backs in gridiron football ...
, and
post-secondary Tertiary education, also referred to as third-level, third-stage or post-secondary education, is the education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, value (ethics), values, moral ...
education in
English-speaking countries Speakers of English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the Wo ...
; it is not to be confused with English taught as a foreign language, which is a distinct discipline. It involves the study and exploration of
texts
texts
created in
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
literature Literature broadly is any collection of written Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (philosophy), entitie ...

literature
. English studies include: the study of
literature Literature broadly is any collection of written Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (philosophy), entitie ...

literature
(especially
novels A novel is a relatively long work of narrative A narrative, story or tale is any account of a series of related events or experiences, whether nonfictional ( memoir, biography, news report, documentary, Travel literature, travelogue, etc.) ...

novels
,
plays Play most commonly refers to: * Play (activity), an activity done for enjoyment * Play (theatre), a work of drama Play may refer also to: Computers and technology * Google Play, a digital content service * Play Framework, a Java framework * Play ...
,
short stories A short story is a piece of prose fiction that typically can be read in one sitting and focuses on a self-contained incident or series of linked incidents, with the intent of evoking a single effect or mood. The short story is one of the oldest ty ...
, and
poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its popula ...

poetry
), the majority of which comes from Britain, the United States, and Ireland (although English-language literature from any country may be studied, and local or national literature is usually emphasized in any given country); English
composition Composition or Compositions may refer to: Arts * Composition (dance), practice and teaching of choreography * Composition (music), an original piece of music and its creation *Composition (visual arts) The term composition means "putting togethe ...
, including writing
essay An essay is, generally, a piece of writing that gives the author's own argument In logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense of things, applying l ...

essay
s,
short stories A short story is a piece of prose fiction that typically can be read in one sitting and focuses on a self-contained incident or series of linked incidents, with the intent of evoking a single effect or mood. The short story is one of the oldest ty ...
, and poetry; English language arts, including the study of
grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the ...
,
usage The usage of a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing system composed of glyphs to in ...
, and
style Style is a manner of doing or presenting things and may refer to: * Architectural style An architectural style is a set of characteristics and features that make a building or other structure notable or historically identifiable. It is a sub-cla ...
; and English
sociolinguistics Sociolinguistics is the descriptive study of the effect of any and all aspects of society A society is a group A group is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal number, ...
, including
discourse analysis Discourse analysis (DA), or discourse studies, is an approach to the analysis of written, vocal, or sign language use, or any significant semiotic Semiotics (also called semiotic studies) is the study of sign processes (semiosis), which are any ...
of written and spoken texts in the English language, the
history of the English language English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language ...
,
English language learning and teaching English-Language Learner (often abbreviated as ELL) is a term used in some English-speaking countries such as the US and Canada to describe a person who is learning the English language and has a native language that is not English. Some Education ...
, and the study of World Englishes. English
linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo ...

linguistics
(
syntax In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the ...

syntax
,
morphology Morphology, from the Greek and meaning "study of shape", may refer to: Disciplines * Morphology (archaeology), study of the shapes or forms of artifacts * Morphology (astronomy), study of the shape of astronomical objects such as nebulae, galaxies ...
,
phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of lang ...

phonetics
,
phonology Phonology is a branch of linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of lan ...

phonology
, etc.) is usually treated as a distinct discipline, taught in a department of linguistics. The disciplinary divide between a dominant literature or usage orientation is one motivation for the division of the North American
Modern Language Association The Modern Language Association of America, often referred to as the Modern Language Association (MLA), is the principal professional association A professional association (also called a professional body, professional organization, or prof ...
(MLA) into two subgroups. At universities in non-English-speaking countries, the same department often covers all aspects of English studies, including linguistics: this is reflected, for example, in the structure and activities of the European Society for the Study of English (ESSE). It is common for departments of English to offer courses and scholarship in the areas of the English language, literature (including
literary criticism Literary criticism (or literary studies) is the study, evaluation, and interpretation of literature. Modern literary criticism is often influenced by literary theory, which is the philosophical analysis, philosophical discussion of literature ...
and literary theory),
public speaking Public speaking, also called oratory or oration, has traditionally meant the act of speaking face to face to a live audience. Today it includes any form of speaking (formally and informally) to an audience, including pre-recorded speech delivere ...

public speaking
and speech-writing,
rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of persuasion, which along with grammar and logic (or dialectic – see Martianus Capella), is one of the Trivium, three ancient arts of discourse. Rhetoric aims to study the techniques writers or sp ...
,
composition studies Composition studies (also referred to as composition and rhetoric, rhetoric and composition, writing studies, or simply composition) is the professional field of writing, research, and instruction, focusing especially on writing at the college leve ...
,
creative writing Creative writing is any writing that goes outside the bounds of normal professional A professional is a member of a profession or any person who earns their living from a specified professional activity. The term also describes the standards of e ...

creative writing
,
philology Philology is the study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languag ...
and
etymology Etymology ()The New Oxford Dictionary of English ''The'' () is a grammatical article Article often refers to: * Article (grammar) An article is any member of a class of dedicated words that are used with noun phrases to mark the identi ...
,
journalism Journalism is the production and distribution of report Image:Hurt Report cover page.png, 220px, Example of a front page of a report A report is a document that presents information in an organized format for a specific audience and purpose. ...

journalism
,
poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its popula ...

poetry
,
publishing Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content available to the public for sale or for free. Traditionally, the term refers to the creation and distribution of printed works, such as book A ...
,
literacy Literacy is popularly understood as an ability to read and write Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (p ...
,
area studies Area studies (also regional studies) are interdisciplinary fields of research and scholarship pertaining to particular geography, geographical, national/Federal government, federal, or culture, cultural regions. The term exists primarily as a gen ...
(especially
American studies American studies or American civilization is an interdisciplinary field of scholarship that examines American literature, history History (from Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study of the ...
), the
philosophy of language In analytic philosophy Analytic philosophy is a branch and tradition of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, ...
,
theater Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art The performing arts are arts such as music, dance, and drama which are performed for an audience. It is different from visual arts The visual arts are art forms such as pain ...

theater
and play-writing,
screenwriting Screenwriting or scriptwriting is the art and craft of writing scripts Script may refer to: Writing systems * Script, a distinctive writing system A writing system is a method of visually representing verbal communication Communicatio ...
,
communication studies Communication studies or communication science is an academic discipline An academic discipline or academic field is a subdivision of knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact ...
,
technical communication Technical communication is used to convey scientific, engineering, or other technical information. Individuals in a variety of contexts and with varied professional credentials engage in technical communication. Some individuals are designated as t ...
,
cultural studies #REDIRECT Cultural studies #REDIRECT Cultural studies#REDIRECT Cultural studies Cultural studies is a field of theoretically, politically, and empirically engaged cultural analysis that concentrates upon the political dynamics of contemporary cul ...
, critical theory,
gender studies Gender studies is an interdisciplinary Interdisciplinarity or interdisciplinary studies involves the combination of two or more academic disciplines into one activity (e.g., a research project). It draws knowledge from several other field ...
,
ethnic studies Ethnic studies, in the United States, is the interdisciplinary Interdisciplinarity or interdisciplinary studies involves the combination of two or more academic disciplines into one activity (e.g., a research project). It draws knowledge fro ...

ethnic studies
,
disability studies Disability studies is an academic discipline that examines the meaning, nature, and consequences of disability A disability is any condition that makes it more difficult for a person to do certain activities or effectively interact with th ...
,
digital media Digital media means any communication media that operate with the use of any of various encoded machine-readable data Machine-readable data, or computer-readable data, is data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, or items of informa ...
and
electronic publishing Electronic publishing (also referred to as publishing, digital publishing, or online publishing) includes the digital publication of e-book An ebook (short for electronic book), also known as an e-book or eBook, is a publication made availabl ...
,
film studies Film studies is an academic discipline that deals with various theoretical A theory is a rational Rationality is the quality or state of being rational – that is, being based on or agreeable to reason Reason is the capacity of conscio ...
and other
media studies Media studies is a discipline Discipline is action ACTION is a bus operator in Canberra Canberra ( ) is the capital city of Australia. Founded following the Federation of Australia, federation of the colonies of Australia as the ...
, and various courses in the
liberal arts Liberal arts education (from Latin "free" and "art or principled practice") is the traditional academic program in Western higher education. ''Liberal arts'' takes the term ''Art (skill), art'' in the sense of a learned skill rather than spec ...
and
humanities Humanities are academic disciplines An academic discipline or academic field is a subdivision of knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. ...

humanities
, among others. In most English-speaking countries, the study at all educational levels of texts produced in non-English languages takes place in other departments, such as departments of foreign language or of
comparative literature Comparative literature is an academic field dealing with the study of literature Literature broadly is any collection of Writing, written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especial ...

comparative literature
.


Fields

''See also''
Literature Literature broadly is any collection of written Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (philosophy), entitie ...
and
linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo ...

linguistics
, along with
List of academic disciplines An academic discipline An academic discipline or academic field is a subdivision of knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. The usual tes ...
* English
linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo ...

linguistics
* English
sociolinguistics Sociolinguistics is the descriptive study of the effect of any and all aspects of society A society is a group A group is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal number, ...
*
Discourse analysis Discourse analysis (DA), or discourse studies, is an approach to the analysis of written, vocal, or sign language use, or any significant semiotic Semiotics (also called semiotic studies) is the study of sign processes (semiosis), which are any ...
in English * English
Stylistics (linguistics) Stylistics, a branch of applied linguistics Applied linguistics is an interdisciplinary field which identifies, investigates, and offers solutions to language-related real-life problems. Some of the academic fields related to applied linguistics ...
*
World Englishes World Englishes is a term for emerging localized or indigenized varieties of English, especially varieties that have developed in territories influenced by the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, comm ...
*
History of the English language English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language ...
*
Composition studies Composition studies (also referred to as composition and rhetoric, rhetoric and composition, writing studies, or simply composition) is the professional field of writing, research, and instruction, focusing especially on writing at the college leve ...
*
Rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of persuasion, which along with grammar and logic (or dialectic – see Martianus Capella), is one of the Trivium, three ancient arts of discourse. Rhetoric aims to study the techniques writers or sp ...
*
Technical communication Technical communication is used to convey scientific, engineering, or other technical information. Individuals in a variety of contexts and with varied professional credentials engage in technical communication. Some individuals are designated as t ...
*
English language learning and teaching English-Language Learner (often abbreviated as ELL) is a term used in some English-speaking countries such as the US and Canada to describe a person who is learning the English language and has a native language that is not English. Some Education ...
*
English literature Literature written in the English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by ...

English literature
**
American literature American literature is literature Literature broadly is any collection of Writing, written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, drama, and poetry. In ...
, including: ***
African American literatureAfrican-American literature is the body of literature produced in the United States by writers of African descent. It begins with the works of such late 18th-century writers as Phillis Wheatley. Before the high point of slave narratives, African-Ame ...
***
Jewish American literature Jewish American literature holds an essential place in the American literature, literary history of the United States. It encompasses traditions of writing in American English, English, primarily, as well as in other languages, the most important o ...
***
Southern literature Image:US map-South.PNG, 300px, 16 states and Washington, D.C. are defined as the Southern region of the United States by the Census Bureau. The 11 states in solid red are usually considered part of the South. The inclusion of some of the 6 states in ...
**
Australian literature Australian literature is the written or literary work produced in the area or by the people of the Commonwealth of Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied t ...
**
British literature British literature is literature Literature broadly is any collection of Writing, written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, drama, and poetry. In recent c ...
(literature from some regions of the United Kingdom may be written in
Celtic language The Celtic languages ( , ) are a Language family, group of related languages descended from Proto-Celtic language, Proto-Celtic. They form a branch of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European language family. The term "Celtic" was first used ...
s) **
Canadian literature Canadian literature is the literature of a multicultural country, created by Indigenous people Indigenous peoples, also referred to as first peoples, first nations, aboriginal peoples, native peoples (with these terms often capitalized wh ...
(a significant amount of Canadian literature is also written in
French
French
) **
Irish literature Irish literature comprises writings in the Irish language, Irish, Hiberno-Latin, Latin, and English language, English (including Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster Scots) languages on the island of Ireland. The earliest recorded Irish writing date ...
**
New Zealand literature New Zealand literature is literature Literature broadly is any collection of Writing, written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, drama, and poetry. In r ...
**
Scottish literature Scottish literature is literature written in Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. Covering the northern third of the island of Great Britain, mainla ...
**
Welsh literature Welsh literature is any literature Literature broadly is any collection of Writing, written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, drama, and poetry. In recent ...
**
South African literature
South African literature
(excluding works written in other languages) ** Indian English literature


English major

The English Major (alternatively "English concentration," "B.A. in English") is a term in the United States and a few other countries for an
undergraduate Undergraduate education ieducationconducted after secondary education and prior to postgraduate education. It typically includes all postsecondary programs up to the level of a bachelor's degree. For example, in the United States, an entry-level ...
university A university () is an educational institution, institution of higher education, higher (or Tertiary education, tertiary) education and research which awards academic degrees in several Discipline (academia), academic disciplines. Universities typ ...

university
degree focused around reading, analyzing, and writing texts in the
English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), g ...

English language
. The term may also be used to describe a student who is pursuing such a degree. Students who major in English reflect upon, analyse, and interpret
literature Literature broadly is any collection of written Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (philosophy), entitie ...

literature
and
film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art The visual arts are art forms such as painting Painting is the practice of applying paint Paint is any pigmented liquid, liquefiable, ...

film
, presenting their analyses in clear, cogent
writing Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area arou ...

writing
. Although help-wanted postings rarely solicit English majors specifically, a degree in English hones
critical thinking Critical thinking is the analysis of fact A fact is something that is true True most commonly refers to truth Truth is the property of being in accord with fact or reality.Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionarytruth 2005 In everyday l ...
skills essential to a number of career fields, including
writing Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area arou ...

writing
,
editing Editing is the process of selecting and preparing written language, written, photographic, Image editing, visual, Audio engineer, audible, or Film editing, cinematic material used by a person or an entity to convey a message or information. T ...

editing
,
publishing Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content available to the public for sale or for free. Traditionally, the term refers to the creation and distribution of printed works, such as book A ...
,
teaching Education is the process of facilitating learning Learning is the process of acquiring new understanding, knowledge, behaviors, skills, value (personal and cultural), values, attitudes, and preferences. The ability to learn is possessed ...

teaching
,
research Research is "creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge". It involves the collection, organization and analysis of information to increase understanding of a topic or issue. A research project may be an expa ...

research
,
advertising Advertising is a marketing Marketing is the process of intentionally stimulating demand for and purchases of goods and services; potentially including selection of a target audience; selection of certain attributes or themes to emphasi ...

advertising
,
public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organization, or organisation (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English; American and British ...
,
law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its bounda ...
, and
finance Finance is a term for the management, creation, and study of money In a 1786 James Gillray caricature, the plentiful money bags handed to King George III are contrasted with the beggar whose legs and arms were amputated, in the left corn ...

finance
.


History

The history of English studies at the modern university in Europe and America begins in the second half of the nineteenth century. Initially, English studies comprised a motley array of content: the practice of oratory, the study of rhetoric and grammar, the composition of poetry, and the appreciation of literature (mostly by authors from England, since American literature and language study was only added in the twentieth century). In Germany and several other European countries, English
philology Philology is the study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languag ...
, a strongly positivistic and historically interested practice of reading pre-modern texts, became the preferred scholarly paradigm, but English-speaking countries distanced themselves from philological paradigms soon after World War I. At the end of this process, English departments tended to refocus their work on various forms of writing instruction (creative, professional, critical) and the interpreting of literary texts, and teacher education in English recovered from the neglect it had suffered because of more science-oriented paradigms. Today, English departments in native-speaking countries re-evaluate their roles as sole guardians of the discipline because English is less and less native speakers' unique 'property' and has to be shared with the millions of speakers and writers from other countries for whom English is an essential means of communication and artistic expression. English literature became an object of study in French universities as part of foreign (comparative) literature in the nineteenth century. A chair of foreign literature was established at the College de France in 1841. English was first taught independently from other languages and literature in the University of Lille and in the University of Lyons and only afterwards in the Sorbonne. These three universities were the first major centres of English studies in France. The first lecturer and later professor of English studies would seem to have been Auguste Angellier. After spending several years teaching French in England in the 1860s and 1870s, he became a lecturer in English studies at the University of Lille in 1881 and a professor of English in 1893. In France nowadays, literature, civilisation, linguistics and the spoken and written language are all important in English studies in universities. The English major rose to prominence in
American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is ...

American
colleges during the first half of the 1970s. It provided an opportunity for students to develop critical skills in analytical reading with the aim of improving their writing, as well as exercises in rhetoric and persuasive expression that had been traditionally only taught in
classical studies Classics or classical studies is the study of classical antiquity Classical antiquity (also the classical era, classical period or classical age) is the period of cultural history History (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer ...
and available to the very few due to language barriers and a shortage of professors who could actively engage students in the humanities. Outside the United States (originating in
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...

Scotland
and then rippling out into the English-speaking world) the English major became popular in the latter half of the 19th century during a time when religious beliefs were shaken in the face of scientific discoveries.
Literature Literature broadly is any collection of written Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (philosophy), entitie ...

Literature
was thought to act as a replacement for
religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the exchange is voluntary/involuntary. Etymology ...

religion
in the retention and advancement of culture, and the English Major thus provided students with the chance to draw
moral A moral (from Latin ''morālis'') is a message that is conveyed or a lesson to be learned from a narrative, story or wikt:event, event. The moral may be left to the hearer, reader, or viewer to determine for themselves, or may be explicitly enca ...
,
ethical Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that "involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong action (philosophy), behavior".''Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy'"Ethics"/ref> The field of ethics, al ...
, and
philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence, reason Reason is the capacity of consciously applying logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning ...

philosophical
qualities and meanings of older studies from a richer and broader source of literature than that of the ancient
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
and
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
classics. Since 2000, there have been questions about the specific function of English departments at the contemporary U.S. college and university. The absence of a clearly defined disciplinary identity and the increasingly utilitarian goals in U.S. society present a challenge to those academic units still mostly focusing on the printed book and the traditional division in historical periods and national literatures, and neglecting allegedly non-theoretical areas such as professional writing, composition, and multimodal communication.


Skills acquired

In the past an
academic degree An academic degree is a qualification awarded to students upon successful completion of a course of study in higher education, usually at a college or university. These institutions commonly offer degrees at various levels, usually including Bach ...
in English usually meant an intensive study of
British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people The British people, or Britons, are the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ir ...

British
and
American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is ...

American
literary masterpieces. Now, however, an English Major encompasses a much broader range of topics which stretch over multiple disciplines. While the requirements for an English Major vary from university to university, most English departments emphasize three core skills: analyzing literature, a process which requires
logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning. Informal logic seeks to characterize Validity (logic), valid arguments informally, for instance by listing varieties of fallacies. Formal logic represents statements and ar ...

logic
and reflective analysis; creativity and imagination with regard to the production of good writing; and an understanding of different
cultures Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior Social behavior is behavior Behavior (American English) or behaviour (British English; American and British English spelling differences#-our, -or, see spelling diff ...
,
civilizations A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society that is characterized by urban development, social stratification Social stratification refers to a society's categorization Categorization is the human ability and activity of r ...

civilizations
, and literary styles from various time periods. The skills gained from studying English include acquiring tools that will never lose value, understanding the ever-changing media, to explain your own world, and more. Prospective English Majors can expect to take college courses in
academic writing Academic writing or scholarly writing is nonfiction Nonfiction (also spelled non-fiction) is any document A document is a writing, written, drawing, drawn, presented, or memorialized representation of thought, often the manifestation of nonfi ...

academic writing
,
creative writing Creative writing is any writing that goes outside the bounds of normal professional A professional is a member of a profession or any person who earns their living from a specified professional activity. The term also describes the standards of e ...

creative writing
, literary theory,
British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people The British people, or Britons, are the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ir ...
and
American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is ...

American
literature, multicultural literature, several literary genres (such as
poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its popula ...

poetry
,
drama Drama is the specific Mode (literature), mode of fiction Mimesis, represented in performance: a Play (theatre), play, opera, mime, ballet, etc., performed in a theatre, or on Radio drama, radio or television.Elam (1980, 98). Considered as a ...

drama
, and
film studies Film studies is an academic discipline that deals with various theoretical A theory is a rational Rationality is the quality or state of being rational – that is, being based on or agreeable to reason Reason is the capacity of conscio ...
), and a number of elective multidisciplinary topics such as
history History (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxima ...

history
, courses in the
social sciences Social science is the branch The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biol ...

social sciences
, and studies in a foreign language. To the end of studying these disciplines, candidates for a Major in English attain skills in professional writing with relations to
rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of persuasion, which along with grammar and logic (or dialectic – see Martianus Capella), is one of the Trivium, three ancient arts of discourse. Rhetoric aims to study the techniques writers or sp ...
,
literary analysis Literary criticism (or literary studies) is the study, evaluation Evaluation is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, sur ...
, an appreciation for the diversity of cultures, and an ability to clearly and persuasively express their ideas in writing.


Examples of courses

Most English courses fall into the broader categories of either Literature-based studies, which focus on classical authors and time periods, or Rhetorical studies, which concentrate on communication skills in preparation for specialization in a variety of professional fields. While specific graduation requirements vary from university to university, students can expect to study some of the following courses. Courses in
Writing Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area arou ...

Writing
and
Composition Composition or Compositions may refer to: Arts * Composition (dance), practice and teaching of choreography * Composition (music), an original piece of music and its creation *Composition (visual arts) The term composition means "putting togethe ...
: such as Academic and Professional Writing, which stress analytical writing and train students to produce clear, cohesive arguments. Courses in
British literature British literature is literature Literature broadly is any collection of Writing, written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, drama, and poetry. In recent c ...
: Courses may focus on time periods, authors, genres, or literary movements. Examples include
Shakespeare William Shakespeare (bapt. 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English playwright, poet and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist. He is often called England's national p ...

Shakespeare
's Tragedies, History and Theory of British Drama, Medieval English Literature, and the Victorian Novel. Courses in
American literature American literature is literature Literature broadly is any collection of Writing, written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, drama, and poetry. In ...
: Depending upon the university, these courses can either be broken down by time period, such as Nineteenth Century
Gothic Fiction Gothic fiction, sometimes called Gothic horror in the 20th century, is a genre of literature and film that covers horror Horror may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Genres *Horror fiction, a genre of fiction **Japanese horror, Jap ...
; authors, such as classes on
Hawthorne
Hawthorne
,
Hemingway Ernest Miller Hemingway (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961) was an American novelist, short-story writer, journalist, and sportsman. His economical and understated style—which he termed the iceberg theory—had a strong influence on 20th-c ...
, or
Frost Frost is a thin layer of ice Ice is water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an , transparent, tasteless, odorless, and , which is the main constituent of 's and the s of all known living organisms (in which it acts as a ). It is ...

Frost
; or Literary schools and movements, such as Naturalism or
Transcendentalism Transcendentalism is a philosophical movement that developed in the late 1820s and 1830s in New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United States The Northeastern United States (also referred to as t ...
. Courses in Multicultural Literature: The value of bringing a range of cultural and multidisciplinary perspectives to the study of
English literature Literature written in the English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by ...

English literature
is being increasingly recognized in a number of universities. Examples include Multi-cultural Literatures in Medieval England, Latina Narratives, and Studies in Jewish Literature. Rhetorical courses: Focus on techniques of persuasive arguing in the written form, as well as skills which involve the analysis of written texts.


Career opportunities

A major in English opens a variety of career opportunities for college graduates entering the job market. Since students who graduate with an English degree are trained to ask probing questions about large bodies of texts and then to formulate, analyze, and answer those questions in coherent, persuasive
prose Prose is a form of written or spoken language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent answer to the painful divisions ...

prose
—skills vital to any number of careers—English majors have much to choose from after graduation. The most obvious career choices for English majors are writing, publishing, journalism, human resources specialist, and teaching. However, other less intuitive job options include positions in
advertising Advertising is a marketing Marketing is the process of intentionally stimulating demand for and purchases of goods and services; potentially including selection of a target audience; selection of certain attributes or themes to emphasi ...

advertising
,
public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organization, or organisation (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English; American and British ...
,
acting Acting is an activity in which a story is told by means of its Enactment (psychology), enactment by an actor or actress who adopts a Character (arts), character—in theatre, television, film, radio, or any other medium that makes use of the ...

acting
,
law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its bounda ...
,
business Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling products (such as goods and services). Simply put, it is "any activity or enterprise entered into for profit." Having a business name A trad ...

business
,
marketing Marketing is the process of intentionally stimulating demand for and purchases of goods and services; potentially including selection of a target audience; selection of certain attributes or themes to emphasize in advertising; operation of adv ...

marketing
,
information assurance#REDIRECT Information assuranceInformation assurance (IA) is the practice of assuring information and managing risks related to the use, processing, storage, and transmission of information. Information assurance includes protection of the integrit ...
, and directing.


At High School


Britain

Most British children take English Language and English Literature as
GCSE The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) is an academic qualification in a particular subject, taken in England England is a that is part of the . It shares land borders with to its west and to its north. The lies north ...
subjects, and many go on to study these at
A Level#REDIRECT A-Level The A Level (Advanced Level) is a subject-based qualification conferred as part of the General Certificate of Education, as well as a school leaving qualification offered by the educational bodies in the United Kingdom and the ...
. There continues to be debate within the teaching community regarding the relevance of
Shakespeare William Shakespeare (bapt. 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English playwright, poet and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist. He is often called England's national p ...

Shakespeare
for contemporary teens, some arguing for more
modern Modern may refer to: History *Modern history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recov ...
texts, and some upholding the virtues of the
classics Classics or classical studies is the study of classical antiquity Classical antiquity (also the classical era, classical period or classical age) is the period of cultural history History (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer ...

classics
. See also
O Level The O Level (Ordinary Level; official title: General Certificate of Education: Ordinary Level) is a subject-based qualification conferred as part of the General Certificate of Education A general officer is an Officer (armed forces), office ...
.


Ontario, Canada

Students in high school have specific course requirements they must meet before they can graduate. In regards to English studies, students must take four full credits in English, one in each grade level. As well, Ontario high school students must also pass a Literacy test.


See also

* American Literature (academic discipline) * Literati *
English as a second language English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...
*
Academic EnglishEnglish for academic purposes (EAP), commonly known as Academic English, entails training students, usually in a higher education Higher education is tertiary education leading to award of an academic degree. Higher education, also called post-se ...


References

*O'Hara, Shelly. ''What Can You Do with a Major in English.'' Hoboken: Wiley Publishing Inc., 2005. *The University of Chicago ''Courses and Programs of Study'' The College 2006–2008

*de Vane, William Clyde. ''The English Major.'' College English, Vol. 3, No. 1 (Oct., 1941), pp. 47–5

*On the History of the English Major


External links


European Society for the Study of English
(ESSE)
International Society for the Linguistics of English
(ISLE)
Association of Departments of English
in the US and Canada
Conference on College Composition and Communication

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,_Int._English_Honor_Society.html" ;"title="Sigma Tau Delta">Sigma Tau Delta
, Int. English Honor Society">Sigma Tau Delta">Sigma Tau Delta
, Int. English Honor Society Int. English Honour Society
Modern Language Association (''MLA'')

Professional organizations Related to the ''MLA''
{{DEFAULTSORT:English Studies English language English-language literature Literary criticism Literary theory Literary education English-language culture Academic disciplines