Students in English can choose from an exciting variety of undergraduate and graduate courses in such areas as American, British, and world literature; the English language and linguistics; professional writing, including technical writing, business writing, and journalism; expository writing, rhetoric, and composition; and teacher training. It is knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Writes advertising copy for display in all media: newspaper, magazine, billboard, packaging, television, radio.
Writes instructional and tutorial manuals and course materials for internal and customer training. Works for manufacturers of computer hardware and software. May require coursework or experience in teaching, as well as some technical background.
Writes brochures, data sheets, and other marketing materials to promote a computer product. May include video scripting. Works for manufacturers of computer hardware and software. Typically requires some technical knowledge.
Writes and edits scripts for broadcast announcers, noting the sequence and length of each segment and charting the inclusion of commercials. Works for radio and television producers.
Edits printed copy for grammatical and stylistic errors. Works in a variety of settings: book and magazine publishers, newspapers, advertising agencies, in-house publications of business and agency newsletters and releases.
Writes press releases, speeches, annual reports, and other material to promote a corporation and its image. Works for all corporations in all fields.
Writes freelance reports for one or more publications. Usually has special knowledge of the subject or geographic area covered. Works as an independent contractor.
Evaluates manuscripts; reviews and edits copy; coordinates photography, illustrations, and graphics; secures copyrights and permissions to quote copyrighted material. Works for
Writes for and edits an employee newsletter. Works for employers in all fields. Requires skills in graphic design and layout.
Reviews scripts, checks for factual and technical accuracy, rewrites copy, assists in creating storyboard representations of scenes. Relevant coursework or prior experience preferred.
Works for entertainment, documentary, educational, and industrial film producers.
Writes for publications on an assignment basis for a negotiated fee, usually after submittal of a query letter proposing ideas for articles or stories. Typically works as an independent contractor.
Writes manuals on internal operating procedures and policies. Works for employers in all fields.
Researches story and script ideas; maintains research files on topics and people, checks stories for accuracy. Works for newspaper, magazine, or book publishers.
Writes and rewrites scripts for broadcast media. Entry-level posts are available in news departments.
Researches story and script ideas for broadcast media. Maintains research files on topics and people; checks stories for accuracy. Works for radio and television producers.
Works and writes for a publication on a regular basis. Usually works under pressure of deadlines on general assignments before specializing in a particular area. In addition to newspapers and magazines, employers include corporations and agencies with in-house newsletters.
Instructs high school and junior high school students in specialized subject areas. Most secondary school teachers teach several courses in a single subject area. Public schools
generally require certification; private schools typically do not.
Instructs students enrolled in special education programs. Settings (e.g., churches, social service agencies) and topics (e.g., vocational training, preschool Head Start, drug-abuse prevention) vary widely.
Edits and proofreads material prepared by technical writers. Typically requires less technical expertise than technical writing does. Primarily employed by high-tech companies.
Researches, writes and edits publications that communicate scientific technical information to readers with no technical background. Employers include corporations, professional associations, and government agencies.
Writes instructional manuals for computer users. Works for manufacturers of computer hardware and software. May require limited technical background.
(Listed below are examples of SU Alumni and their Jobs in this major-For more alumni resources, go to Mentor Network)
-Elizabeth Coccia - Metuchen, NJ 08840 - University of Medicine and Health Sciences - Associate Director of Enrollment Management
-Simon Drew - St. Louis, MO 63109 - Kirkwood School District - English teacher/professor
-Byron Hughes - Blacksburg, VA 24062 - Virginia Tech - Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life
-Dianna Leonard - Silver Spring, MD 20905 - University of Maryland University - College Graduate Advisor
-David Lybarger - Bloxom, VA 23308 - Lockheed Martin - Project Management and Planning Operations Representative, Sr.
-Erin Marks - Davis, WV 26260 - Tucker County Board of Education - 10th Grade ELA teacher
-Terri Morris - Pittsville, MD - Enterprise Holdings, Inc. - Talent Acquisition Manager
What can you do with an English Degree - from CNN
As might be expected, a large number of writers hold degrees in English. The list includes:
Douglas Adams: SciFi writer; wrote "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" series; Dirk Gently series
Gwendolyn Brooks: poems include "We Real Cool"
Tom Clancy: suspense writer; "Clear and Present Danger "
Allen Ginsberg: Beat Generation poet; poems include "Howl "
Joseph Heller: author of "Catch-22"
David Henry Hwang: author of "Madame Butterfly"
Stephen King: extraordinarily successful and prolific author of horror fiction; writings range from "Carrie" through "The Green Mile" and "The Stand" to the short story on which the movie "Stand by Me" is based
Bobbie Ann Mason: short story writer; collections include Shiloh
Arthur Miller: playwright most noted for "Death of a Salesman" and "The Crucible"
Toni Morrison: author of "Beloved"
Joyce Carol Oates: prolific author
Philip Roth: esteemed Jewish author
Amy Tan: author of "The Joy Luck Club"
John Updike: most noted for the "Rabbit" books, from "Run, Rabbit, Run" to "Rabbit at Rest"
Then there are those English majors who have made non-traditional use of their degrees, including:
Dave Barry--humorist writer, actor
Linda Bloodworth-Thomason--television writer/producer (Designing Women, Evening Shade)
Carol Browner--former Head of the Environmental Protection Agency
Chevy Chase--comedian, actor, writer
Mario Cuomo--former Governor of New York
John Cuzack -- actor
David Duchovny -- actor
Michael Eisner--Walt Disney CEO (former)
Jodie Foster--actor, filmmaker
Kathryn Fuller--World Wildlife Fund CEO
Cathy Guisewite--cartoonist (Cathy)
Tommy Lee Jones -- actor
Kris Kristofferson -- songwriter, actor
Paul Newman--actor, food entrepreneur
Joe Paterno--football coach (Penn State University)
Diane Sawyer--broadcast journalist
Herb Scannell -- President, Nickolodeon Networks, MTV Networks Group President
Paul Simon--songwriter, singer
Marty Schottenheimer--Coach of San Diego Chargers
Christopher Reeve--late actor, activist for the disabled
Clarence Thomas--U.S. Supreme Court Justice
Emma Thompson -- actor
Grant Tinker--TV Executive and Producer
Harold Varmus--Nobel laureate in medicine, former Director of National Institutes of Health
Barbara Walters--broadcast journalist
Pete Wilson--former Governor of California
Bob Woodward--journalist, wrote All the President's Men
Renee Zellweger -- actress