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What are some viable career options for an English major?
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English majors can become reporters

English majors possess many of the same skills of story construction and analytical reading and writing that reports do, so one viable career option for English majors is reporting.

The Argument

English majors are more familiar than most with the essential elements in creating stories from multiple sources like literature or journal articles. Reporters must employ that same skill-set, only in a journalistic sense in which the story is purely based upon fact. Complex analytical reading and writing are key aspects of reporting (especially investigative reporting). According to Maryville University, "In our increasingly digital world, reporters sometimes contribute a more diverse array of content types... From there, investigative reporters interview sources, conduct in-depth research, and put together a story."[1] One incredibly viable option for any English major is a career in investigative reporting.

Counter arguments

As with other specific journalistic endeavors, English majors do not automatically mesh well with the world of investigative reporting. Not only do journalists have to write in a different style from English majors dealing in classic literature and analytical essays, but journalism in the form of reporting is even farther from the classic English archetype. Investigative reporting requires skills that do not pertain to writing or analytical reading like "videos [and] social media posts."[1] There is a certain presentational quality of reporting that cannot be emulated within the average English degree. Public speaking in tandem with journalistic writing are closer to the requirements, so English majors should not necessarily enter into this career.



[P1] Like analytical reading and writing, reporting requires one to construct a concise story around other bits of information taken from books, articles, and many other forms of media. [P2] English majors must create stories based off their close reading and synthesis of textual information, which is similar to how investigative reporters conduct their process of writing and reporting. [P3] English majors and reporters are similar and, therefore, English majors should consider careers in reporting.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] Reporting and writing analytical essays in an English course are separate from one another. Reporting requires a set of skills like presenting, public speaking, and video-making that English majors do not naturally glean from their educational discipline. [Rejecting P3] English majors should not necessarily consider reporting as a viable career option.


This page was last edited on Thursday, 11 Jun 2020 at 18:46 UTC

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