Jessalyn Johnson is a senior at Grand Canyon University, completing the final year of her BA in English Literature. Originally from Melbourne, FL, Jessalyn has come to enjoy living in the desert of Arizona. Since freshman year she has occupied several different positions on the editorial board of GCU’s literary review, StartleBloom, which is approaching its third volume. In her free time, Jessalyn enjoys creative writing, photography, writing music and participating in the plays and musicals put on by GCU’s Ethington Theatre.
English literature is an art form that is not as appreciated as it used to be, with everything we do slowly turning digital. However, the subject itself is a crucial part of our day-to-day lives. We speak and write in it fluently. So, what is the point in earning an English degree, if the subject is something I already know about?
Studying English, both reading and writing, can only improve upon the abilities many have come to take for granted.
As a first-year student, I have only had a sampling of the work that is to come. Thus far, the tasks include reading, writing, analysis and more reading. The English degree with an emphasis in professional writing at Grand Canyon University, offered through the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, offers a manifold of courses in which the goal is to study and analyze literature, as well as write professionally for the modern world.
The English Degree at GCU
The course load for GCU’s English degree with an emphasis in professional writing includes classes that emphasize anything from multicultural literature, to technical writing, to journalism. As an English major, I have the opportunity to go to class every day and learn about amazing authors in history, expanding my knowledge of the creative works of the past, as well as how to execute my own writing in a creative and professional manner so that one day I, too, might get the chance to have an influence on language arts.
This degree program is a reasonably broad course of study, and can lead to many opportunities in terms of a career. Many English students join the program with the intent to become a writer, and this program provides the chance for students to do exactly that. There are many writing jobs out there, even with the digital age upon us. Possibilities exist within copywriting, editing, journalism and more. For those who find that their strong suit is creative thinking and critical analysis, an English degree in professional writing may also be a good fit.
If no one preserves the art of the past, what might we have to show for ourselves in the name of culture and creativity, and how will we prepare to take in the art of the future?
History is recorded for future generations to study and learn about the lifestyle and culture of those before them, including lives and works of authors whom wrote literature. Its significance is held only as long as it is appreciated and used as a learning tool; if writing literature becomes a forgotten art, the loss of knowledge would be as significant as the literary works that currently fill that empty space.
Literature from Middle English societies is still relevant today, just as today’s literature will be important in hundreds of years from now. As things modernize, writing does, too. The writing of today is vastly different than it was centuries ago, and today’s literary youth has the chance to not only learn, but also formulate these modern methods in writing that have found their way to this day and age, no matter the outlet of which they are produced.
Literary fiction and nonfiction show that the creative process has been molded for centuries and continues to evolve today. Even before today, intellectuals were writing, creating and dreaming up worlds and stories for us to explore. Journalists and reporters were supplying society with the news and information that we need to keep up with our ever-changing world.
It’s important to ask yourself, “What if?” to determine and question the endless possibilities life has to offer. That is precisely what it is to read, write, create and study the art of English.
If an English degree in professional writing is something you may be interested in pursuing, contact us to request more information.