Allow Writing Students to Choose Their Own Courses

With Journalism, English, or other writing-based majors, students should be able to choose what classes they want to take, rather than forcing them to take general electives and studies that will not benefit their chosen career path. The student can choose which courses will best help them develop their sense of writing style and technique. Students will then be able to take classes about topics they are interested in writing about.

With all majors, there a certain core classes one must take, and then there are electives that they can take, but most of these electives need to be in their school– Journalism College, or College of Arts and Sciences. Instead of restricting their electives to their college of degree, students could take a course from any college that would best fit their chosen category of writing. For example, let’s say a student is majoring in creative writing. That student might creatively write about cultural differences, or even hotel management experiences. That student would normally have to take electives that are other forms of creative writing, but with my idea, they could cover the aspects they want to creatively write about, and still receive credit for them.

Also, if a writing student wants to take another beneficial writing course, rather than a mandatory math class, they would be able to swap out for certain courses.

  • This could also translate to other categories other than writing. For example, a theatre major would be well served to take certain Business classes, since Theatre Management is a lucrative career and offers employment possibilities outside of acting and technical theatre (which are what most undergraduate theatre programs are centered around). Ditto Computer Science courses. It would be interesting to argue the angle of taking an elective instead of mandatory general education course (swapping writing for math), but I think that might be a separate article; additionally, it would be easier to argue why they are important rather than superfluous. Students often underestimate how often they will use courses such as math in their chosen field. Algebra, for example, is often used in scenic construction and design, and even writers still need to do their taxes! While they may seem like a waste of time when pursuing a specific degree in the arts, often they are useful later on (especially when looking for alternate means of employment to support yourself while you write/act/illustrate/film/animate/etc.). – Katheryn 7 years ago
  • A thought to consider would be the cost of these classes and finding staff to run them. The university I attend has cut back staff so we have to video call into another campus in order to take our class. Not only is this disruptive to the learning process it would also would assume that it would be frustrating to teach. I do however love this idea as I have been forced to take journalism classes for my degree to make up credit points, all that time spent learning how to write media releases will be wasted in my field. Good luck to the writer of this topic i look forward to hearing your ideas. – geopikey 7 years ago
  • I'm not exactly sure what this topic is exactly. What exactly do you want the author to write about that you haven't already stated? – Lexzie 6 years ago
  • I think you should narrow down what you're trying to say here. I think it's extremely beneficial for budding writers NOT to study literature straight away, and instead study something that will broaden their views on the world, thus allowing them to have interesting ideas that will then lead to creative writing. As an author myself, I have extremely benefited from not studying creative writing at university. – CJFitpatrick91 6 years ago
  • As an English undergrad, I would love to read about the possibility of having a more open course that would facilitate more creative writing about topics that the students could choose, and the pros and cons of the class. – HelenaH 6 years ago
  • The University of Indiana's Individualized Major Program (I. M. P.) allows one to designs their own curriculum. Under this program, Will Shortz, the New York Times' crossword puzzle editor, became in 1974 the only degree holder in enigmatology, the study of puzzles. Your topic could start out by reporting how students at that university have used the I. M. P. to create new majors related to the traditional English major. – Tigey 6 years ago

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