The Transfer of Literature Analysis into a Job

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From Tim Lemire’s I’m an English Major—Now What?:

“You will be telling a story to convince and persuade someone that your organization deserves money and support” (Lemire 219). 

Well, here we are reading Lemire again, so obviously my response is not going to be positive.  Lemire spends all of chapter 10 criticizing the English major.  He doesn’t seem to think reading literature and writing papers about it prepares anyone for a job unless they are a teacher.  Certainly, there are many more practical aspects about English which should be taught.  However, he then writes his little quote from above.  It would seem to me that writing papers in which you have to pick a claim and support your opinion in order to convince your audience that your reasoning is valid, is pretty similar to trying to convince someone to support your organization.  Granted, there is always something else we can learn to better prepare us, but he should not completely write off the English major the way it is.  Reading and writing can help prepare us for other careers besides teaching.    

3 Comments

Since students in my lit classes are going to get my own biased spin on things, I'm glad that this class asks you to read someone with an alternative opinion. There wouldn't be much point discussing his book if his ideas didn't rub at least some of us the wrong way, at least some of the time.

Angela Palumbo said:

Even if Lemire had some strange opinions at times, I enjoyed reading his book. There is a lot of good informaation in it, and he writes it in a fashion that isn't terribly boring. Unlike you Greta, much of what I have to say about Lemire is positive.

Greta Carroll said:

Yes, I do have to admit there was some value in reading the book. And not everything Lemire said I disagreed with. He made some good points about the English major, and the need to being aware of one's options, etc. There is always a flip side to every coin and I do realize that.

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