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The Value of an English Major at College

English major

Who are those students who pursue the English major at Bluefield College? They are seekers…and they are sharers. English majors want to follow the thread of humanity through the study of writings that reveal who we were, who we are, and who we are becoming. Bluefield College English majors sharpen their communication skills so they too might become sharers of their own generation's understanding of the human condition. An overview of World, British and American literature orchestrates and satisfies the passion of such students, opening to them the keen awareness of the human condition which defines mankind throughout the ages. English majors at Bluefield College focus on one of two disciplinary concentrations: literature and writing.

The literature concentration allows students to choose from a rich array courses that reflect the changing spheres of American, British, and World fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction. We emphasize how the literature is both firmly rooted in the time in which it was composed and alive and ever-evolving. Even Homer is shifting after students have read James Joyce, Ezra Pound, or Derek Walcott. Students have freedom to choose the courses they desire to focus upon. Special topics courses are offered nearly every semester such as “Literature and Psychology,” “Heaven and Hell in Literature and the Bible,” and “Contemporary Latin-American Literature.” Each course offers instruction in how to read a text. This honing of analytical skills is excellent training for almost any job in which a person must comprehend, analyze, and communicate complex information.

The concentration in writing allows the student to achieve expertise in written communication both for personal growth and professional training. Three creative writing courses allow students to experiment with a variety of forms of fiction, poetry and nonfiction. The Rhetoric course looks at classical techniques of persuasion. In all of the applied writing courses, students will hone technique and submit work for publication. Professional writing courses include journalism, public relations, and technical writing in which students learn skills applicable to a variety of business positions where precise communication is essential. Regardless of the course, the faculty encourage students to engage their creativity in the professional world. Further hands-on experience can be gained through working as an editor for the college literary magazine, The Bluestone Review.

The English program at Bluefield offers courses in World Literature and the literatures of other countries and cultures. Students are exposed to a variety of cultural values, preparing them to work in our increasingly global society. In addition, the English major emphasizes critical thinking and communication, two skills vital for relating to the larger world. Many of our English majors have chosen to participate in our Chinese exchange program and other study-abroad programs. Students have also participated in domestic programs for increasing global awareness at The Chicago Center for Urban Studies.

Thinking about what major to choose? Need some inspiration? Download this video to see what's possible.

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