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I'm an English Major Now What? Paperback – April 3, 2006

4.2 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Timothy Lemire has used his BA in English from Boston College to land many jobs, including editor for the Boston Review. He is currently a communications specialist for Fidelity Investments.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Writer's Digest Books; First Printing edition (April 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582973628
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582973623
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #513,706 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I must say that I liked the concept of the book but I was really disappointed with the actual product. I think the format of the book was not very helpful and it didn't really feel as if he was guiding me. Also he spent the majority of the book talking about book, magazine, and newspaper professions and not enough time on the other careers listed in the book. He did focus on corporate jobs for English majors but somehow it felt disjointed to me. He briefly mentioned other careers like Public Relations and so forth but only briefly.
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Format: Paperback
You're an English major. So, what are you going to do with that?

After all, physics majors become physicists, psychology majors become psychologists and history majors become historians. What do English majors become? Englishists? Englishologists?

People usually choose to major in English because they love literature, reading and writing. When they enter the workforce they find that they also love a place to live, transportation and eating.

Not to worry. Where there is linguistic communication -- speeches, presentations, commercials, ads, podcasts and broadcasts -- there is work for the English major.

I'm an English Major -- Now What? offers guidance to English majors who wish to translate their skills into employment. It dispels fears about career options, answers questions about education and job opportunities and refutes misconceptions about making a living from writing.

Each of Chapters Two through Eight offers a discussion of an opportunity for English majors, covering teaching, continued education (grad school, journalism school, Masters in Fine Arts), journalism, magazine publishing, book publishing, freelancing and business writing. Sidebars, glossaries, exercises and interviews add value to the information presented.

Chapter Nine lumps together radio, television, marketing, advertising, technical writing, public relations, public affairs, alumni affairs, military writing and nonprofits. The sketches of these careers are disappointing compared with the information available in previous chapters.

Author Tim Lemire goes on to lament the current state of English major programs (and higher education in general) and offers suggestions for improvement.
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2 Comments 30 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
As an English major leaving college in 1996, I had no idea what I wanted to do, or even that getting jobs that used my training in writing were within reach. I wish I'd read this book then. Lemire gives in-depth treatment to seven professions and a few hints about another 10. He profiles each discipline fairly, showing both the good and bad sides without ever sounding too rosy or too discouraging. (That's no mean feat, given that Lemire has apparently done all these jobs himself.) Maybe the most interesting parts are the interviews, where Lemire talks to English majors who have carved out careers for themselves in each of the industries. Each one is like a really valuable 10 minute phone call with the person you want to be.

This book is a worthwhile read not only for those graduating with an English degree but also for those just declaring an English major, who still have time to get a head start at school. An excellent, well-written, readable resource.
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Format: Paperback
The disconnect between my course material and job opportunities made the future seem pretty dubious. I felt like I had chosen my major on a dumb hunch and the uncertainty was torturous. It got so bad that I almost swore off English for good...until I picked up this book. We've all heard that nice piece about what a flexible major English is, but I used to think it was just a polite, comforting lie. Reading this book actually got excited me about my options. (Which are far from limited!) There are jobs out there for people who love literature, and they don't require you to masochistically forfeit a rich and satisfying life.
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Format: Paperback
If I had this book twenty years ago, I could have saved a lot of time and effort in navigating my career. Mr. Lemire mixes humor, practical tips, and self-enlightening exercises that gives the reader a real-life sense of how to integrate a background in English with finding a gratifying job that actually pays the bills. Simply put, this book is the Bible for transitioning from college to "corporate" life. Moreover, it's useful, easy-to-read, and chock-full of wisdom.

This book should be mandatory reading for all college graduates.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a very interesting read. I always thought that English majors studied a mix of literature, English, and writing. But I found out they really study literature, and write about the stories they've read, analyzing them in reports they hand in to their teachers. This book shows English majors that there are a variety of jobs available to them in the market, and talks in depth about these jobs and their expectations. If you are thinking about majoring in English, are an English major, or already earned your degree in English, I highly recommend this book. As a writer, I found it fascinating to learn more about the major, and hear the author's perspective on the different jobs he talked about, including teaching, journalism, and writing books.

Review by Andrea Buginsky
[...]
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