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Literature Buff? All You Need to Know About Studying English Honours!

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“Great literature is simply language charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree.” – Ezra Pound, American Poet

Your heart vacillates when you read a stanza of elegantly composed prose. You accept that the noblest method to uncover your internal world is through the mechanism of the composed word. 

You have consistently been delighted by the capacity of scholars to mesh together words into bits of abstract literary art.

If any of the above sentences fit your portrayal, it is very befitting that you are thinking about a degree in English Literature.

However with regards to a degree in English, one will tend to come across a very opposing point of views. Some belief it to be the “in thing”, marking it “cool” to hold a degree in English, while others trust it to be a course with “no real worth” or being “just about reading”.

With such clashing thoughts regarding the course, what do you really believe?

Regardless of picking up tractions as one of the most looked after courses, most students trying for English Honors or B.A English are not much clear on what it involves and what professional openings they would have when they graduate.

Professional alternatives after BA honours in English are something other than turning into a teacher or a columnist. It’s insane how everybody suspects something different entirely!

So, we are here to give you a true picture of a degree in English – its course structure, scope, and opportunities – so that you get into it with your eyes wide open.

In this way, we are here to give you a genuine image of a degree in English – its course structure, extension, and openings – so you get into it with your eyes wide open.

Let’s take a look at all the aspects one by one.

What is English Honours all About?

English Hons. or a B.A in English is an undergraduate degree in English Literature.

It is named a Literature degree since that is the thing that you study. Regardless of the name “English” Hons., the course has almost no to do with syntax or vocabulary. A great deal of students get into the course hoping to ace their English language aptitudes through the course, in any case, this isn’t what the course aims at.

The point of the course is to build up a sharp feeling of attention to your surroundings through works of writing. As a student of literature, you will be instructed to see how a specific bit of work is an impression of the sociological, recorded, political, social, and even the mental ethos of its time.

When it comes to literature, a lot of reading is involved, but it is not reading for entertainment or reading for the sake of it. There is an objective involved here. And the objective is to understand the nature of human existence, culture, and society.

Students of English Literature are asked and urged to investigate, comprehend and fundamentally examine each bit of work they read and offer their point of view on it.

Such analysis is based on questions like,

  • Why did the characters react the way they did?
  • What message and theme is the author trying to convey?
  • How does the narrative chosen to impact the meaning of the work?
  • What was the historical timeframe of the piece?

Thus, your critical thinking skills and the ability to “read between the lines” are of utmost importance to make the best out of this course.
Students who get into the course unconscious of these certainties frequently face a noteworthy stun when they understand that the course isn’t just about “reading a great deal of books“, however, there is genuine reasoning and investigation required here.

Henceforth, it is important that you assess whether you would enjoy taking part in such analytical reading before you dive into the course.

What Will You Study as Part of the Course?

When it comes to English literature, you will get to read many different classical and contemporary works of literature, both of Western and Indian origin. Not just restricted to novels, the reading list on your course will include varied forms of writing, including poems, essays, plays, articles, prose, etc.

Most courses inculcate the works of famous writers such as William Shakespeare, John Keats, Oscar Wilde, Sylvia Plath, Robert Frost, Edgar Allan Poe, Ernest Hemingway, R.K Narayan, Rabindranath Tagore, Mirza Ghalib, etc.

Here are the most commonly covered areas and topics in most English courses:

  • Literary Theory
  • British Poetry, Drama and Literature in different centuries (17th, 18th, 19th centuries)
  • American Literature
  • Arabic Prose, Poetry and Literature
  • Classical Literature
  • Contemporary Literature
  • Indian Writing and Literature
  • Modern European Drama
  • Composition and Interpretation

What are the possible career options?

Professional Writing

With a literature degree in hand, you can take up writing, professionally. There are tons of different kinds of writing that one can pursue, depending on their interests. The options range from scriptwriting to travel writing, to copywriting or simply writing content for a website or a publication house.

MBA

The basic requirement for anyone to pursue MBA is a graduation degree and you have it. So, depending on your field of interest, you can pursue MBA in finance, marketing, sales, HR, IB etc.

Mass Communication

Mass communications makes you familiar with the different channels through which any sort of communication can take place in society. From films to radio to TV to newspapers and now even social media. A study in Mass Comm. will make you familiar with both the technical and creative aspects of these channels.

Social Media Marketing

Since social media has become a big part of our lives, you can pursue it professionally after completing BA honors in English too. Since you are well-read and can write just as well, you can combine these skills to market different brands to netizens.

Civil Services

You can prepare and sit for civil service examinations after perusing a literature degree. You degree in BA honours English will help you a lot with your civils. As as civils don’t just test your knowledge base, but also test what opinion you hold on a particular topic or issue, and the way you frame your answer makes all the difference.

Public Relations

If you are someone who finds it easy to convince people through words alone, then you will be great at Public Relations. PR can be pursued in different categories from lifestyle to corporate to government and can be a challenging and exciting career option.

Law

You can even take up law if that is where your interest lies. If you have a graduate degree, you do not need to study for five years to become a professional lawyer, but can instead go for a three-year course.

Translators

You can take up the job of a translator as well and get paid really well for it. Since you are already proficient in the English language, all you need is to learn a foreign language and work for the embassy or take up any other translator jobs.

There you have it!
Options after doing this course are endless!
Happy Literature!

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An impulsive writer and compulsive procrastinator, she energizes her daily grind with coffee, diversions and discourse. All she need to get through life is a flawlessly brewed coffee to accompany her vacillation and is lethargically motivated. On days when she is not writing, you’ll find her reading, watching movies and pigging out. Usually an escapist from worldly problem, seeking solace in books and food. Has a master’s degree in classical dance and has left no corners undiscovered when it comes to being creative and learning an art. A crazy coffee sweetheart who earnestly trusts in the magical power of words.