Studies & Degrees in Literature
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Literature Study Programs
Literature, simply defined, is the study of books. Books of all kinds can be included in a literature course, but it typically refers to fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction (i.e. journalism, memoirs, etc.). Literature students also undertake significant learning of languages, including their own. Reading and studying literature are some of the best ways of building a better vocabulary and a stronger understanding of grammar in any language, so people who want to become highly proficient speakers and writers of English often choose to be literature majors.
- Intense love of reading, especially fiction
- Strong writing abilities
- Firm grasp of the English language, including grammar and vocabulary
General studies in literature are often referred to as English majors, but there are many other options within the category of literature. One of the most popular is comparative literature, which is the study of different literary traditions from around the world. Many people also major in the literature of a specific culture, and learn a foreign language along with their studies of literature. Examples include majors in German, Russian, or Chinese literature.
There is a common misconception that studying literature is not useful for the student’s career, since it is not designed as preparation for any specific job. But in fact nothing could be further from the truth. While it is certainly true that literature majors do not learn job skills for any specific position, they do learn a number of skills – persuasive writing, critical thinking, and language skills, to name only a few – that are useful in almost any job imaginable. Literature majors frequently go on to careers in journalism, teaching, and communications.