Ds_04
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I'm currently picking my A levels. I want my future job to be based around article writing/ journalism industry. I'm going to pick geography and history for certain, but I need help deciding if I should pick English Literature or English language and Literature.
Is Literature more important/valuable than language in terms of getting to the better university's and for jobs in the article writing/journalism industry?

Thank you
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clockwork30
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English Literature tends to be favoured by many unis, which is what I was told at school. I did English Literature A Level and absolutely loved it. You get to explore so many different texts from many different historical eras and it teaches you so much about people in general. Doing English Literature alongside History is a massive plus because what you learn in History, you can implement into the historical contexts of the books you are reading in English literature. I would HIGHLY recommend doing English Literature. I personally find English language a bit dry because it focuses more on the technicalities of the language whereas English Literature really hones in on your analytical skills and interpretation of important symbols and metaphors relevant to life.
Having said this, if you have found Language more enjoyable than Literature, then go ahead with that choice. People tend to do better in A Levels the enjoy rather than the ones they "need" to get into specific unis.

Hope this helps a little!

Good luck with your A Levels though x
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stephjyoung13
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Hi there!

I completely agree with everything that was said by clockwork30 above and I think they have provided you with some very solid advice

I took History, Geography and English Literature at A-Level and am going on to study an English Literature degree this September in order to (hopefully) pursue a career in publishing/editing. Personally, I would definitely go for English Literature as it really refines your ability to write whilst also enabling you to become more critical and perceptive. Studying English Literature at A-Level gives you so much more freedom in terms of your ability to come up with your own interpretations, rather than just going off of what your teacher has told you a quote means. This, in my case, definitely helped me to become more imaginative and is something that the Journalism industry love to see. If you want to stand out in a competitive industry you need to have a personal flair, something that you would definitely gain studying English Literature. With the addition of studying History, your writing technique, in general, will really flourish.

It should also be noted, like stated above, that English Literature tends to be more reputable as a subject rather than English Language and is regarded as a facilitating subject. Although it will probably be regarded higher than English Language, that isn't to say that you have to take English Literature in order to undertake a Journalism degree, or anything in that nature. Most universities state that it is recommended to take English Literature or English Literature and Language so the choice is up to you.

I would also recommend looking into what texts, or genres, your sixth form/college study for their English Literature course as this could help in determining whether you will be interested in the subject at a higher level.

As said by the user above, if you truly prefer Language over Literature then take it! A-Levels are so much easier when you actually enjoy what you are studying. Although English Literature is somewhat more reputable, this means nothing if you take the subject, dislike it and end up not doing that great in it when you could have taken Language and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Wishing you all the best!
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Ds_04
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Thank you all for your advice. I really appreciate it.
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Wilf G
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(Original post by Ds_04)
Thank you all for your advice. I really appreciate it.
English Literature is the one to go for, in my view. While the A Level Language + Literature course is a good one, it's kind of a half-and-half qualification. I'd commit to either/or. As for Language OR Lit, I've taught both courses, and find that the skills you acquire in Literature are more 'marketable', for want of a better word. Traditionally, the Lit course is the one that seems to command more respect; whether that's fair or not is subject to debate. It depends what your own interests are, but if you like reading a variety of texts, and enjoy unpicking elements of them - such as character, theme, setting (and lots of other things!) - then you'll love it. Perhaps the best thing to do is be honest with yourself. If you've just done GCSE Lit, think back over the texts you studied. Did you like 'A Christmas Carol' of 'Dr Jekyll' (if that's what you did)? Why/why not? Can you discuss your responses with clear and close textual references? Don't get me started! It's great. There's also some independence at A Level - as there is with all subjects at this level. You'll get to choose your own texts in the NEA element, so that's a fab opportunity to pursue your own ideas and interpretations. For example, the question of identity in 'Wuthering Heights' is something my students got into, and our group discussions were really enlightening (and lively!). A Level Language is also good, but for a slightly different kind of student. I'd say it's possibly more scientific, in the respect that you look into Child Language Acquisition, the history of our language, an element of sociolinguistics, dialectology, and others. Maybe that's more for those who want to work more in a kind of psychological or teaching field? If you're committed to the sort of career you indicate, then I'd suggest A Lit. Let me know what you think?
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