Enter into the wonderful world of being an English major. Filled with books galore, what seems like thousands of papers, and more this major isn't as easy as people might assume. As a fellow English major and those who may be interested, I will give you a few of the dos and don'ts of this major.
1. Actually Do Your Readings
Yes, this can seem monotonous and tedisome but as English majors, there is really no way to get around it. It is much easier to complete your assigned reading than it is to show up to class and to have no idea what your professor is talking about. In addition, it really doesn't help when it comes to getting participation credit when you can't engage in classroom discussions because you are clueless towards the material your class is discussing.
2. Use a Thesaurus, Constantly
No matter how big the assignment whether it is a small exercise, a question, or a massive paper it is necessary to use a thesaurus as a resource. It is important to build your vocabulary and as a writer, it increases your overall skills. Using a thesaurus whether online or owning one can help eliminate redundancy in your writing and equip you with a variety of more words to use in future assignments.
3. Don't Procrastinate With Papers
Yes, a marvelous perk of being an English major is the number of papers you get to write. If you just believed that, then you are more gullible than you thought. However, as annoying as this may seem, it is an effective and important tool whether you plan on teaching the subject, aspire to be a novelist, writer, or whatever may suit your fancy. In the world we live in today, being able to write effectively and clearly is important in workplace communication, business, and more. Get in the habit of starting your papers well in advance of the deadline. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT wait til the night before to start writing your paper. I know it can be done, but your grade and conscience will thank you for it. Work on your paper in manageable chunks. This can make the task seem less daunting and give you more time to make your paper the best it possibly can.
4. Keep Organized Notes From Class Lectures
This seemingly small tip could reap major benefits later on. You could save notes from your professor that you could possibly use as an aid in teaching your class in the future. In addition, this can help you pass that particular class when it comes to quizzes, assignments, papers, and the final exam. You never know when that one thing you wrote down could be your saving grace the next minute. The holy grail of an English major: well-organized notes.
5. Know Your Professor's Writing Preferences
A vital component of succeeding as an English major is getting to know your professor's writing preferences. For one class, one professor could be a fan of the oxford comma, while another professor may deduct points for using the oxford comma. Knowing the minor details such as these could help you in major ways such as your grade and as cheesy as this sounds... your major.
Most importantly, don't be ashamed to be an English major. Yes, a major emphasis in the workforce is the STEM concentrations, but English is a vital source in the workplace. Beyond teaching, the English major is useful for business, advertising, editing, publishing, research, public relations, finance, and many more. Don't let people discourage you. If you work hard you will reap what you sow. The English major is an effective major for today's society whether people tell you that or not.