Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tips for Using English Professors, Part Two

Allow them to talk about what they want. If they go off on a five-minute tangent about creative writing minors when you're only interest in journalism, allow the ramble and take notes. If they're passionate about a subject or involved in an issue, this is important! The professor I spoke with emphasized the amount of work that goes with internships and community service projects.

But be assertive. Regardless of whether you're buddy-buddy with the professor, make sure to ask all the questions you really need to know (except for offensive ones like Are you a good writer?) This is a one time slot, so ask away!

Sit in on a class. I sat in on a writing class taught by the same professor. I wasn't impressed by the students but the prof's exposition of cliches and structural tension was fantastic! This is the best way to understand a particular college's English program.

A word about the English major... As I've blogged about before, I have a writing class phobia. I'm always scared I'll get a teacher who is horrible, who wants to corrupt my artistic principles, etc. If you're not planning on an English degree but love to write, still check out the writing scene. It may help you understand where you want your collegiate academics to go.

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