What Qualities Do You Need to Study English Literature at University?

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#1
Report Thread starter 8 years ago
#1
Hi there, I've applied for 5 unis for either English/English Language & Literature.

However, I am deciding whether Language or Lit is my preferred subject... My teacher said that on a personal level, I would cope with both subjects comfortably. On the other hand, academically she said I would prefer Language as it's more varied and it is broad in terms of what you study. She said that for Literature, tends to be quite limited in what you can write about and because of this, she thought I would not enjoy literature as much as language.

So I was wondering is it OK to go into a Lit degree and not like every text you study. For example I loathed reading Wuthering Heights for my coursework so I decided to choose Dorian Gray instead. I just detested it and could not get into it. Does this make me a bad A2-level English Lit student?

I mean, I could read it hand-in-hand, but to write about it, I couldn't bring myself to do it. Will things like this become a hurdle at university when studying Lit? I mean, I know all lit students and etc would not like all texts they read. And it's the same for Language, not all topics we had to study I enjoyed but she said I am stronger at Language. My year 11 teacher said that. And 3 years later, my A2 level teacher believes this too.

I don't know if I should re-apply for Classics and English Language or Classics and English Literature. However if I choose Classics and Lit, there are a few modules in the Lit side where I can choose some Language sides such as Origins of English. But you don't get the change to study things which I love like sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics and IPA in Phonology.
But, as well if I chose Lang over Lit, I would be able to read very few texts for Classics, BUT I wouldn't be able to choose interesting modules such as Gothic Lit, Shakespeare modules and Post-colonial Literature which I love to study and not just read in my spare time.

My aims in life is to be either a teacher of English, or a book editor some day. But I am thinking of career wise... Classics and English Lit/Lang or English Lang and Lit which one would be most useful and open more doors for me.

Any thoughts? PS the Classics degree is entitled, "Classical Civilisation".
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acta
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#2
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I found that it was easier to avoid texts I disliked at degree level, as there's much more choice about which essay questions you answer. However, this isn't always possible, and it would help to come up with some kind of strategy for writing about stuff that didn't work for you. Remember that a good essay about a text isn't praising the text but analysing how it works. You don't have to have a different reaction to the books, only demonstrate awareness of how the book gets that reaction out of you.

It sounds as if a combination Literature/Language degree would be best for you, as both areas have aspects you'd miss if they weren't there.
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User1214833
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#3
Report 8 years ago
#3
I know a few people who couldn't get through wuthering heights - it's just so tedious. It's ok if you don't like every text.


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