The English faculty commit to the intellectual and spiritual growth of each English student. You are assigned a faculty advisor who works with you to plan course schedules for each semester and prepare for a vocation. As an English major, you will receive ample one-on-one attention and opportunity to engage in discussion with professors.
We offer instruction in language and literature from a Christian perspective and promote the spirit of a Christian liberal education by fostering creative, independent thinkers. We say "a Christian perspective" instead of "the Christian perspective" because we celebrate the diversity among our faculty in their commitment to integrate faith and learning.
The USF English major will enable you to develop the following skills:
Writing a literary analysis will enable you to express a compelling idea and demonstrate your ability to examine complex material, clearly explaining the possible meaning or purpose. Many professions you may pursue will involve material which will require a great deal of concentration, comprehension, imagination, and evaluation. You will be able to understand the effects of audience, author, purpose, and other aspects of contextual information by analyzing literature. These skills transfer directly to many professions.
Critical Thinking Skills
You will naturally hone your critical thinking skills through reading and considering old and new works of literature, writing compelling essays, and engaging in class discussions and debates. It is nearly impossible to leave any English class without having to create original ideas, arguments, and perspectives on a certain topic. Generating unique ideas is a major skill in any profession. You will gain ingenuity and improvisation that allows you to improve the workplace environment, gain efficiency while working, and produce new services or products to enhance the customer experience. These skills will make you more desirable and marketable in any profession.
You will be able to clearly and effectively persuade a reader to agree with your conclusions about a text. Understanding and applying appropriate rhetoric enables you to understand various approaches to persuasion: creating counter arguments, situating yourself as an author in relation to an audience, and choosing effective style and diction in a given situation. Employers in most fields are looking for employees who can effectively persuade customers to consume a certain product or service. Even when dealing with fellow employees, persuasion skills are a necessary part of working and living in a community of people. You will often have the upper hand when it comes to positively influencing the people around you.
Effective writing is a necessary part of every profession. As an English major, you will gain exposure and learn to write in numerous styles for a variety of audiences and purposes. Writing is needed in: social media, plays, business, research, medical records, journalism, government, and basically any arena where communication is needed via text or written word. You acquire these skills through specific courses and various internships through the English department. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in a study released in July 2012, "The average person born in the latter years of the baby boom (1957-1964) held 11.3 jobs from age 18 to age 46." While other majors may prepare students for specific workplaces and skills, an English major allows you to develop transferable skills and apply them in a variety of professions.
Often underappreciated, reading skills are not only necessary for schoolwork, but also marketable for any profession dealing with documentation. It is extremely important to be able to derive meaning from a challenging piece of text; comprehensive reading gives you an advantage over many others. As an English major, you will learn to read with greater comprehension. By the end of a four-year degree, you will be able to read long and difficult texts with great understanding of the depth of meaning. Effective reading skills allow you to work efficiently in the career of your choice.
In class, you spend time engaging in debates and discussions surrounding interpretations, conclusions, and applications of literary, rhetorical, and student works. You will be able to clearly and effectively explain yourself by communicating your thoughts and ideas with others via writing or speech. This skill is extremely marketable and profitable in any workplace. In the process of seeking a job or career, you must communicate starting with the application, continuing to the interview, and extending to later experience. Both written and oral communications are necessary in the work place, and you hone both in English classes.