importance of english literature

Why Study English Literature?

Learning english literature in bar-ilan university.

Learning English literature opens up a world of inspiration and creativity, while also developing skills that are essential for today's global environment. English Literature studies give an opportunity to discover how literature makes sense of the world through stories, poems, novels and plays. Learning English Literature also gives a chance to sharpen your own ability to write, read, analyze and persuade.

For more information about learning English Literature or a Literature Degree at the Bar-Ilan University, please contact us via this Contact Us page or by phone: + 972-3-5318238 | +972-3-5318236

Literature Degree studies in our department are conducted in English. Through extensive reading and writing, students in our BA program develop their skills of analysis, interpretation and self-expression. Throughout their degree in English Literature, the students receive a thorough introduction to essential literary genres (novels, poems, criticism) and the work of great canonical authors (Shakespeare, Milton, Austen, Dickens) as well as contemporary ones. Advanced seminars expose students to new horizons, such as translation and creative writing, and invite them to consider various special topics in literary study: literature and gender, literature and the visual arts, literature and religion and so on.

For students who already have an undergraduate degree, we offer MA programs in Literature, including emphases in Creative Writing and Literary Translation , as well as a PhD in Literature . Students in each of the tracks of our English Literature studies, engage in high-level study of literature and cultivate their abilities in advanced interpretation, innovation, and writing. A graduate degree in English Literature represents a high standard of achievement in analysis and critical reasoning. Our English Literature degree programs also offer an opportunity for individual research regarding a literary question, topic, or theme of your design, under the mentorship of a faculty advisor.

Creative Writing students receive instruction from published poets and fiction writers as they write their own original thesis project in poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction. The MA degree in English Literature with a focus on Literary Translation combines advanced study of English Literature with practical workshops taught by highly accomplished translators. Students in this program write a translation thesis as their final project.

The Department of English Literature and Linguistics is proud of its warm, inclusive atmosphere, devoted academic faculty, and excellent administrative staff. 

If you have any questions regarding Literature Degree, or require more information about learning English Literature at the Bar-Ilan University, please contact us via this Contact Us page or by phone: + 972-3-5318238 | +972-3-5318236

Last Updated Date : 04/01/2023

importance of english literature

importance of english literature

12 Reasons to Study English Literature as an Undergraduate

Posted on: October 7, 2022

By Richard Jacobs

Studying English Literature opens on to the world of creative imagination. Not only does it develop skills that are essential for today’s global environment, but it also inspires change and innovation. English Literature studies help us understand our world in all its social, political, economic and cultural aspects through stories, novels, poems, and plays. 

In his book Literature in our Lives , award-winning teacher and author Richard Jacobs shows that reading, thinking about, and writing or talking about English Literature involves us all personally: texts talk to us intimately and urgently, inviting us to talk back, intervening in and changing our lives.

Those who assume that English Literature is less significant than STEM subjects have failed to understand Literature’s potential to enlarge and enhance our own minds. Jacobs has shared his dozen reasons why studying literature matters, despite what the government says. 

Young women sitting outside reading book on the grass

There are many more reasons why students should study English Literature. For further inspiration, check out the timely and absorbing selection of extracts in Literature and the Critics . This volume includes over two hundred leading literary critics, writing on many of English's most widely studied literary texts—from Shakespeare to Toni Morrison.

A stack of books sitting on a windowsill

About the Author

Richard Jacobs’s many publications include three Routledge books dedicated to helping students find and develop their own critical voices. All three model what it is to be excited by the life-changing powers of literature and literary study.

•     A Beginner’s Guide to Critical Reading: An Anthology of Literary Texts •     Literature in Our Lives: Talking About Texts from Shakespeare to Philip Pullman •     Literature and the Critics: Developing Responses to Texts

Jacobs is an Honorary Fellow at the University of Brighton where he was subject leader for literature for many years and where he received teaching-excellence awards. 

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Why Should I Study English Literature?

importance of english literature

Are you shilly-shallying to studying English literature? Constantly fluctuating between your fondness for literature and the thought of how would it help you in the future ? How could it pave the way for your successful career? Stop bothering anymore! This article will give you the answer to all questions regarding: Why should I study  English literature?

There is a general misconception in our society that a literature degree provides less opportunities and an unsatisfying career as compared to a degree in science, math or any other discipline. The expanding stardom of science and technology has made literature study insignificant or somewhat outdated. Some people have started considering it as an underrated or neglected faculty with less career opportunities. 

This article will let you know that in this era where there is so much economic crisis prevailing all over the world, why is English literature important and how the students with an English literature degree can get numerous opportunities that would surely help them financially as well as socially. 

Why Should I Study English Literature? 

1. enhances our knowledge of the world, 2. english literature gives us self-orientation, 3. develops a habit of critical thinking .

Literature acts as a building block in the development of critical thinking. Literature students used to have deep insights. To get the overall meaning of the text, they’ve to delve into the particular story and find out the cause behind the happenings. They’ve to interpret given symbols, make sensible connections, look for themes, and discover the hidden meanings. All this helps to build up their creative skills and enable them to get detailed acumen of the text.

4. Helps Us to Explore Psychology

5. english literature enhances awareness of human history .

Literature also connects us with history. We learn about people who came before us and revolutionized the world with their thinking. Literature helps us to compare the past and present ages and be aware of the reason for change. It also helps us to understand why and how the world has evolved till now. 

6. Appreciation of Worldwide Living Structure

7. literature helps us to become a good reader or writer.

Literature enhances our reading as well as writing skills. Besides helping us in increasing our knowledge, literature magnifies our expertise as a good reader and writer. If we develop a habit of reading books, it improves our reading skills. Secondly, it helps us to develop a certain writing style after getting across so many books of numerous writers.  

8. Literature Serves Humanity

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5 reasons to study English Literature

Bronte museum

Studying for an English Literature degree allows you to develop a thorough knowledge of literary history, theory, and criticism, and enhances your understanding of a wide range of cultures and intellectual traditions. However, it also helps you to develop transferable skills that are highly sought by a wide range of employers.

LJMU’s English Literature degree is designed and taught by scholars who are committed to developing your subject-specific knowledge as well as your wider skills and job prospects.

Roger Williamson came to LJMU as a mature student:

“I chose to study English Literature at LJMU for the variety of texts offered on the course. When I compared similar courses offered by other universities, LJMU’s English Literature degree promised a healthy number of non-canonical texts to supplement the accepted classics. Personally, I have found the lectures and seminars intellectually stimulating and my tutors, broad-minded.”

Here are five big reasons why you should choose to study English Literature at university and for choosing LJMU in particular:

1. It teaches you to think critically about complex topics from different perspectives

This is a skill that we pay particular attention to at LJMU. For example, in your first year you’ll learn how to consider literary texts from a number of different theoretical perspectives.

2. It broadens your horizons

At LJMU our definition of ‘literature’ is particularly broad. Texts that we teach include literary classics such as Paradise Lost and Shakespeare’s plays, but they also include, for example, working-class writing, slave narratives, protest literature and prison testimonies. As well as teaching modules that focus on particular periods and genres, we also teach modules that focus on, for example, madness, masculinity, adolescence, place and belonging, terrorism, race in America and the crisis of contemporary capitalism.

3. It enables you to develop transferable skills

Our teaching and assessment methods help you to develop the skills that employers are looking for. Of course, writing essays allows you to develop skills such as carrying out research, developing persuasive arguments and writing in a coherent, articulate way, all of which are important to employers. However, on an English Literature degree at LJMU you’ll do a lot more than write essays. For example, in your first year you’ll help to lead part of a seminar – in a small group, you’ll plan and lead discussions and activities, which is another crucial skill for employers. Other assessments include annotated bibliographies (which help you to develop skills such as report-writing and summarising complex information in a concise way), group presentations (which help you to develop your presentation skills and your ability to work in a team), and close readings of short passages (which help you to develop your ability to analyse details). Some modules also develop your digital skills by giving you the opportunity to engage in collaborative blogging and make contributions to online archives.

4. It provides exciting placement and travel opportunities

Students who take our English Work Experience module take up placements in, for example, teaching, international development, charities, tourism, the media, creative industries and heritage. Our students also have opportunities to study and work abroad through, for example, our Working in the USA module and the Erasmus+ scheme.

5. You'll be learning with the best

Our course is ranked as one of the top English Literature degrees in the UK in the National Student Survey (NSS) – with an average 92% student satisfaction over the last five years.


Literature students take a field trip to St Michael and All Angels' Church in Haworth, the final resting place of the Brontë sisters.

Beti Thomas chose to study English Literature at LJMU:

“Language, and how we use it, has always been something that has fascinated me. This was obvious in school as this is something I excelled in (maths was definitely not my forte). With this in mind, I knew I wanted to proceed in doing an undergraduate degree in English, but why did I choose LJMU? I had plans to visit other universities, but as soon as I came to an LJMU Open Day , I stopped looking. This was the university for me. I loved the fact that LJMU is a city-based campus, which enabled someone like me, who is relatively independent to get a taste of student life as well as feeling integrated in the Liverpool community. The English Literature degree at LJMU is different from any other I had looked at. The creativity and freedom within the modules is refreshing, as they have enabled me to play to my strengths and interests in other areas also, such as history and politics.”

Learn more about the BA English Literature degree and the range of option modules available.

Find out what lecturers from the English department had to say about the books that LJMU students voted as their favourite.

importance of english literature

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The Importance of English Literature in Education

English Literature is a crucial part of a child’s development, in analysing content, understanding different novels and breaking down complex themes in storytelling. It’s also a great place for children to learn about how to construct sentences, develop their grammar skills and more .

There’s also a distinct difference between Literature and English Language that is taken into account in education. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the importance of English Literature in modern day education with the guidance of this private school in Dublin .

English Literature and English Language

Both are incredibly important to a child’s education and are often split into separate subjects during GCSE or A Level studies. English Language focuses on the specifics of writing, speech and other forms of communication into finer detail. Literature on the other hand focuses more on reading material, encouraging children to pick up more books , understand themes within stories or poems and thematic analysis of works.

The Importance of English Literature in Education

Students learn a whole range of vocabulary

From continued reading of books, poems and other pieces of content your child is developing an advanced level of vocabulary that they can use in a multitude of situations. It gives children a lot more tools to understand different contexts and situations where they can use these new found words. A lot of speech and communication skills are taught through reading your favourite novels.

Teaches children to learn something from a different perspective

A lot of novels touch upon the world’s greatest struggles and put into a new perspective that can show the reader how much of a problem something can be. Race, gender, ethnicity and wealth are often visited subject matters where your child will begin to learn how to dissect these issues and how they reflect on society. Additionally, your child will be able to form their own opinions on these subjects while having the tools to be able to talk about difficult topics, debate and other ways to communicate.

What’s taught in English Literature lessons is often transferable

What you pick up in studying English Literature can be used in a lot of other subjects that rely on opinion, essay writing and having a depth of vocabulary at your disposal. English Literature teaches students about culture, history and analysis of themes within texts, which can be used when studying History, Religious Studies, Business Studies and Geography, among other subjects at school . It’s a great tool to have in your child’s belt when it comes to exams as well, especially as a lot of exams are heavy on essay writing.

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Academic Master

Importance of English Literature

English literature is full of astonishing techniques that help the reader to develop skills in today’s dynamic environment. English literature has helped me to discover the world through different perspectives by looking at stories, poems, novels, and plays. With that, I can say yes, my approach towards English reading has changed, as I see it as a lens through which I go through the world’s history and current situations. It has enabled me to see authors’ perceptions and awareness of the universal truth and their cultures and way of life. Once the reader gets enlightened with all the concepts, he then might be able to develop different understandings which can help him to explore future opportunities. English literature works as a reflecting pool into which the readers can look upon the people who have ever existed, their workings, and approaches to ( Why Our Students Study Literature , n.d.).

There are many exemplary pieces of English literature until now that I have gone through, which have left a strong impact on my personality and the way I deal with others. From many of those brilliant pieces, the one that has left me astonished is “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. It portrays a strong message that life is full of choices, and the choice opted by us would define the consequences we are going to face in the future ( My Favorite Pieces Of Literature – 910 Words | Bartleby , n.d.). The author speaks about his choice when he stands in front of two paths and symbolizes that whatever path he’s going to opt for, would haunt him (What Is the Main Theme of the Poem ‘The Road Not Taken?, n.d.). Like everyone, I have also come across different situations in my life that have forced me to think in ways that were right but difficult to work on. I have found great difficulty in choosing the right path where I could stand happily and courageously. I feel a deep connection with this poem as it guided me that whatever path we chose is somehow challenging but we have to be firm in our decision (My Favorite Pieces Of Literature – 910 Words | Bartleby, n.d.)

English literature has helped to develop different reading, writing, analytical, evaluative, self-explanatory, and critical English speaking skills through English genres like novels, plays, essays, stories, poems, etc. ( Why Study English Literature? | Department of English Literature and Linguistics | Bar-Ilan University , n.d.). With the passage of time through analyzing different concepts and writings, I now find myself in a state where I can or I am able to achieve any kind of analytical and critical reasoning ( Why Study English Literature? | Department of English Literature and Linguistics | Bar-Ilan University , n.d.). It gives the person the confidence to be able to speak in front of people, express his viewpoints, his expertise, and argue upon relevant concepts with confidence and precision which no other course promises to provide (Silva-Beiter, 2018). English literature provides a person with astonishing jobs in the market. One can find himself suitable in the jobs like editor, journalist, critical thinker, advertiser, and others (‘English Literature Degree’, 2018)

English Literature degree: Things you need to know before you apply. (2018, April 16). EDUopinions .

My Favorite Pieces Of Literature—910 Words | Bartleby . (n.d.). Retrieved 17 August 2020, from

Get Help With Your Essay

Silva-Beiter, L. de. (2018, June 6). Why Should We Study English Literature? No, Seriously, Why? · Student Edge News . Student Edge.

What is the main theme of the poem ‘The Road Not Taken’? (n.d.). ENotes. Retrieved 17 August 2020, from /homework-help/what-main-theme-poem-road-not-taken-91189

Why Our Students Study Literature . (n.d.). Gustavus Adolphus College. Retrieved 17 August 2020, from

Why Study English Literature? | Department of English Literature and Linguistics | Bar-Ilan University . (n.d.). Retrieved 17 August 2020, from

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The Importance of Learning English Literature

Amanda petrona.

The experience of learning English literature is emotionally and intellectually important.

English literature can refer to all literature written in the language. However, British literature, with its 1,500-year history behind it, is often taught separately. Contemporary literature on a global scale has been influenced by the legacy of British literature, especially by the three great eras : the Romantic Age, the Victorian Age and 20th century English literature. Learning literature is like entering a “time machine that works,” according to Adam Gopnik of The New Yorker magazine.

Explore this article

1 The English Imagination: Learning the Language and Culture

Students of English as a second language need to learn about the intellectual and emotional history of English culture to improve communication skills . Learning about English literature is just as important as learning how to write and speak the English language because cultural character traits, themes, ideas and values are revealed in imaginative literature. Sue Smith of ITS Education, Asia, explains on the college website that learning English literature helps students understand the “ context and meaning of famous quotes and phrases.

Vocabulary Builder

2 the romantic age.

The Romantic period of English literature takes students back to 1785 to 1830 , when free enterprise, revolutionary ideas, radical individualism and nonconformity defined “the spirit of the age.” Mary Wollstonecraft wrote the historic “Vindication of the Rights of Women,” and later her daughter Mary Shelley wrote the classic tale of “ Frankenstein .” The poet William Blake rejected the material world, others such as William Wordsworth and Samuel Coleridge glorified commonplace things, poetic spontaneity and nature poetry. Ann Radcliffe’s Gothic novels and Jane Austen’s great novel of manners “ Pride and Prejudice ” also belong to this era.

3 The Victorian Age

Literature of the Victorian period, 1830 to 1901 , provides the opportunity to learn about the shift from a rural, pastoral society to a modern urban economy through the lens of novelist Charles Dickens and playwright Oscar Wilde . New ideas emerged with nonfiction literature such as Charles Darwin’s “ The Origin of Species .” The novels of George Eliot -- which concentrate on the inner lives of her characters and tackle the ideas of free will and fate -- still hold importance for writers of contemporary literature.

4 The Modern Era

The modern period -- 20th century literature -- is especially important as a way to learn about World Wars I and II though the eyes of poets such as Isaac Rosenberg, William Butler Yeats, T. S. Elliot, W. H. Auden, Dylan Thomas, Henry Reed and Alun Lewis. The English literary canon keeps evolving, presenting the possibility that new forms will one day be considered important for the study of English literature.

5 Women Writers and Real-Life Lessons

Learning about English literature is also important for students of feminism . Popular fiction evolved from the efforts of several English female writers. From 1660 to 1730, successful English writers such as Aphra Behn, Eliza Haywood and Mary Davys challenged the masculine myths surrounding women by writing stories that became daring precursors to modern romances , Gothic and other types of novels written for women. These fiction writers contributed to the development of psychological realism -- a way of telling how things are in real life -- the hallmark of the English novel.

About the Author

A native of New Orleans, Amanda Petrona holds a Bachelor of Science in anthropology/social psychology and Master of Arts in English. She taught writing, research and literature at LSU Baton Rouge. Petrona founded Wild Spirit Louisiana, an organic farm, nature conservatory, and education center for sustainable and holistic living.

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The Importance Of English Literature

Literature and literature: the importance of literature.

For many people, literature is just some story created in the minds of authors to provide enjoyment for readers. Others think literature is just ineffectual words on a page that won’t help them deal with life in any way. However, they are wrong. While literature is indeed stories created by authors, it has the power to galvanize many people; it can help people gain self-esteem, overcome hardships, and inspire them to become better. Literature is different from all other texts, and reading a variety of them gives people a refuge, education, and inspiration.

Children 's Literature Through The Curriculum

Literature is extremely important to a child’s learning and development. It allows children to explore different views and experiences. It also sparks questions and in turn leads to new knowledge. “Educators who believe in reading literature in the classroom and who attempt to integrate listening, speaking, reading, and writing across the curriculum describe themselves as whole language teachers” (Kolstad 1). These teachers take the benefits of literature and use them throughout all aspects of the curriculum. They believe a literature-based curriculum will benefit and facilitate the teaching to students. Other teachers do not see the importance of using children’s books throughout

Theme Of Literature In English Literature

Literature is the art of expression of the imaginative and emotional sensitivity of human beings. It employs language as a medium of expression. Novel is considered to be a powerful literary expression to explore the experiences and the ideas within the context of time in which the author lives. Indian English literature which plays a significant role in the post colonel era became the global literature. Indian English literature was started in India during British rule. Indian English writers paid their attention towards fiction in post-colonial era. It occupies a wide spread of its branches in Global literature with various Indian themes. Indian fiction is an expression of its cultures, their traditions, individuals and their morals and ways of life. Women writers of Indian English Literature are good in analyzing complex issues like relationships, which means Man-woman relationship and their

The Importance Of Literature

Since the Mid 20th century literature has been a prominent aspect of life in American culture, beginning how to read it in childhood to benefiting by it throughout adulthood. Throughout the texts “Heels over Hemingway”, “Why Literature Matters” , and “Good-bad books” all argue the idea that literature has changed over the years, due to the fact that the world around us has changed as well which effects literature. For this reason Dowd, Orwell, and Gioia assert to their audience the importance of literature, and that it should have a place in society by utilizing rhetorical strategies such as analogies, ethos, pathos, logos, and diction.

Fahrenheit 451 Research Paper

Literature is not only important to society, but is very important for each individual to read and understand. Literature can provide a way for people to learn more about what happened in the past and can even be a way for people to reduce stress in their lives. There are many different types of literature and each of them can be used for different reasons. You can use books to study specific topics, to relive the past, and to express yourself through writing. Literature can be written about the past, the future and even about present day society. Even if the book or novel is fiction, it still has some sort of theme that resembles a real world experience or problem. We need literature in our lives to help us develop and improve, not only as individuals, but as a society and to learn about the past.

Examples Of Literature In The Outsiders

Literature is studied throughout most grades, from high school to college. Teachers have different ways of exposing their students to the curriculum. Literature should be used as a way for students to be able to personalize and create connections with the piece of work.

Dana Gioia Analysis

LIterature matters because it’s used more in society and helps more than people think. Americans have had a decline in the Arts. Dana Gioia believes that the decline of reading in American will have a negative effect on society. Dana uses data from surveys to let people know of the fast decline of reading. Which makes him persuasive because this shows he’s not just saying that Americans don't read, he is showing that this is the truth. Now people will actually believe what he is saying. Dana also uses quotes from other people. This is important because it’s not only Dana saying these things now it’s other people. His audience can see that this is actually a growing negative effect on society. Dana shows that even in workplaces they would like

Edgar Allan Poe Research Paper

Students may wonder in class what is the purpose of learning about authors in their English class. They might also say the author of the book is just the writer so what? All students do is study and focus on learning the story, characters, plots and symbolism. But what students do not know is that literature has impacted many Americans lives and American history in the past years. For example, books are made in to movies, books inspiring people and books are being taught in schools. Yes, literature has change over time but literature has left there marked every step of the way. Some of these authors have not only impacted America but also surf to their country like Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Washington Irving.

Why Literature Matters By Dana Gioia Summary

The passage, “Why Literature Matters”, argued about why literature matters and how it could affect the society. In the beginning of the passage, the author establishes the problem and the proof of the problem. In the middle of the passage the author talked about how and why literature matters with proofs and evidences. And, in the end of the passage, the author talked about the effects of illiteracy on the society. Dana Gioia used facts, evidence, and call to action to persuade his audience that the decline of reading will have a negative effect on society.

The Importance Of Literature In Modern Literature

Two genres of poetic literature that began in the twentieth century, Modern and Postmodern, made a dramatic impact on the world. With Modern literature being a heavy influence of postmodern authors, they sought to create their own style with substantial differences. Effectively evolving the generation of it’s time to compose in a style that has carved its niche in history, has been practiced and celebrated for the past seventy years and centuries to come. Postmodern literature was formulated as a poetic outlet to deal with the stressors of life following World War Two. It encouraged readers to question authority and governmental leaders along with “universal truths”. With this style of writing utilizing dark undertones, vivid imagery, and

Should Teachers Be Taught In Schools Essay

Literature is one of the biggest ways that student learns about the real life world, and problems that they can face. Teachers and children should be in control of what the students read, not the parents. The community should trust their teachers, they know the curriculum and how to teach them and the students won’t be able to learn what is bad in the real world. Except the parents might not want their children to know about words and concept at young ages. The community and parents have no right to decide whether students read books or not.

Important Literature Classes

Knowledge is the best weapon that Americans possess today. Without the knowledge of why and how things occur; the world would end up like the book “Fahrenheit 451”. The world where the citizens blindly follow those who are in power. Knowledge gives the people the ability to process information and find the lessons behind it. To be able to remember, understand, and apply the lessons learned from the reading into real life situations. Also, to understand the connections that the authors made between the book and the society that he/she resides in or a society in the future. Literature classes are important and are needed in schools because it gives people the freedom to learn and write what they

The Important Role Of Literature In The United Sate

Using literature whether it is through writing, reading, or listening is very important in the everyday life of people not only in the United Sates, but all over the world no matter what language is used; the idea of literature is the same everywhere. No matter where it is, school or a workplace, literacy is needed in order to make sense and interpret all of the different types of information we are exposed to everyday; information that may come from things like instructions, e-mails, reports, flyers, applications, medication instructions, and so on. To be able to take advantage of available options we must continue to receive and share knowledge, and also rely on our literary skills. We need to be able to earn a living, contribute to the workforce,

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Why our students study literature.

"Creative writing has been a happy part of my life since I first learned to hold a pencil, so once I chose Gustavus, I considered my career as an English major a given. Perhaps I am a rare bird for that, being so sure of myself so soon. But I could not have anticipated how much I learned about the value of reading, in every area of life, through the English major; nor did I see its potential to shape me as a writer. No matter how straight-forward a story may seem, the search for something deeper within it leads to all kinds of insights that, while perhaps not in line with the author's original intent (who knows?), teach you more about the world and the different ways people use language. The theory taught alongside literature, in combination with this analysis, gives you the power of perspective that is so essential to finding contentment and peace in communication with people who are different from you, in a way that is unique to the study of literature. To write you have to read, and to really read, you have to think, criticize, doubt, wonder, and stand amazed by words on the page. The English major showed me how to do that, and not only has it increased my skills as a writer, it has made me a more compassionate and honest person."

— Caitlin Skvorc

"I study literature because I believe there is power in stories. Literature is both intensely personal as well as a communal experience. I love examining how words, sentences, characters, plot-lines and tropes reveal who we are as humans. Humanity is a complicated thing, and requires an infinite amount of words to describe and analyze. That's the joy of studying literature, there is always a new reality to discover."

— Mikaela Warner

"For me, the decision to study literature has been a struggle.  Since I was young, I always enjoyed reading and being read to, but I always considered the actual study of literature to be made up; seriously, poets don’t actually try to "invoke" some other work.  Literary devices?  Some make-believe stuff that people invented to make English seem scientific.  Although I enjoyed it, literature, to me, was studied only by those who weren’t smart enough to study something real, something provable. As I understand it, those feelings are not uncommon.  The difference for me, though (as compared to some other people I know), is that I grew out of them.  I started really looking at rhetorical devices, and the use of language.  I started to see that, although it still was not science, it was art, and art is the greatest expression of that which is human."

— David Lick

"As far as my own goals in literature, they are quite simple.  Admittedly, part of my fascination is for ‘great ammunition for cocktail parties.’  There is a very attractive element to being able to talk about literature—great characters, famous stories—that I think attracts most people to literature.  And it is a good feeling to know a lot about it. However, that is not my greatest concern.  Most of all, my goal is to learn as much as I can about the human condition, and what it really means to be human, in all aspects."
"By studying literature I find that this sense of confusion and search for self-discovery is a common theme.  I am confident that my choice to be an English major is one that I will be satisfied with.  Thus far, in my opinion, to be an English major entails more than just being able to read and write well.  An English major must also strive to understand and interpret the importance that various forms of literature have had on the society of the past and the present.  Being able to express opinions is another important aspect, as is starting a piece of literature with an open mind.  These habits are also important when facing everyday life, not just literature. The chance to read and write is something that everyone should be able to experience.  Literature in all forms is everywhere in today’s society, and with this idea, it is clear just how important it is.  Whether it is studied in the classroom, read for pleasure or purpose, literature is a central part of many lives.  It offers not only a chance to enlighten a person, but it also gives the chance to broaden one’s horizons and perspectives.  In my case, having the opportunity to study literature in two different languages has helped me to find similarities in two different cultures, and to also find that although literature varies in form and content, it is important and it is a central part of many lives."

— Stephanie Conroy

"Reading and writing, the basic principles involved in the study of English, serve as the gateway to a deeper level of thought.  After mastering these elementary skills, comprehension, analysis, and interpretation are learned and used to better educate ones self.  Studying literature and observing personal reactions to the literature can make one more aware of his or her own values.  English skills are helpful in every area of life.  Reading, writing, comprehension, analysis, and interpretation increase efficiency in multiple ways including communication, documentation in other areas of study, and reflection of personal values. I believe there is no area of study that English and communication skills do not influence."

— Maria Freund

"Reading and writing, in general, are undoubtedly some of the most valuable skills one can have; obviously, having these skills makes is much easier for people to communicate and to participate in society.  However, there exists a purpose for reading and writing outside of these immediate practical purposes; the written word can be used to enlighten, to persuade, to express emotion, or simply for enjoyment.  In these forms the written word becomes an art form, and a way of reaching out to others through a personal experience between the writer and the reader.  Reading is an excellent way to associate oneself with the great minds of history and peer into their own thoughts.  Reading is surely one of the most effective ways one can expand oneself."

— Matt Beachey

"Literature is a way in which we can capture and interpret what has happened and is happening to us personally and to the world as a whole.  An entire culture exists in the written word, documenting the collective thoughts of everyone who cared to share them with the world.  Therefore, I believe that for one to truly be a part of human society, it is critical that one take part in the evolution and self-realization that is literature, even if only in the reading aspect.  Writing, however, carries a grave importance, as literature simply would not exist in the accessible form it does without written word, and for that reason I believe all who can write should.  One should take advantage of the great opportunity to be part of and contribute to the world and society in which he or she lives through writing.  I see literature in the societal sense a collective struggle to understand and make the best of the lives that we have all been given.  Literature serves as a way to enrich our minds, and presents a way to improve the world not only through the beauty of its presence but through the ideas and tangible possibilities it possesses."
"The best of my English teachers taught us literature because they wanted the art of it to expand our minds and help teach us new ways of seeing the world. I was taught to both see a work of literature as a way to understand the time it was written, and the people who produced it, and to find the parts of that work that spoke to me in my time and place. While I am skeptical about whether or not anyone can ever really understand a culture or a time prior to their own, I do know that many times literature and art provide insights that cold hard facts do not. Most of all I find that literature makes the differences more manageable, and highlights the similarities between people. I can read a Greek tragedy two thousand years later and agree with things that some older white man was saying because he was a human being, and I am a human being. Although it may sound trite, I have had reading experiences that taught me more about what it means to live in this world."

— Sybylla Yeoman Hendrix

"Not everyone loves reading enough to do it in their spare time, but the people who do are the ones who get the most benefit out of what they read, because they want to be there in that world that literature creates. I have met very intelligent people who do not read. But all of the interesting people I know read, whether or not they are particularly intelligent."
"I read literature for a number of different reasons.  Literature is an art full of passion and heart; it transcends the ages.  Great literature hits on many different levels.  Over the years authors have accomplished unfeasible tasks through the use of their words.  Literature has prompted political and social change in societies and continues to do so to this day.  It can be a battle cry for the proletariat to rise up and make a difference, and it can also provide personal counsel. Literature sets me free from the responsibilities of this world, and at the same time it ties me down to those same responsibilities.  Some literature I read for an escape; to journey to a far away land and go on a grand adventure with creatures beyond my imagination.  Other literature has much more serious subject matter, and I read it to remind myself that life isn’t all cupcakes and ice cream."

— Ryan McGinty

"To me, literature is about the obsession with ideas. We read literature to discover and to learn about ideas and we write it to discover and to cultivate our own ideas. No lover-of-ideas can go without either reading or writing. For me, if I go too long without one or the other, I get this huge build up of confused and jumbled ideas that suddenly overcome me and I just have to write them out in some form (philosophic prose, narrative, poetry, scribbled phrases, etc.). That must be why literature can appear in a multitude of forms: be it poetry or prose, the sonnet or the novel, the sestina or the short story, etc. All literature shares the common theme of the idea. Ideas explore, probe, inquire, and inspire. The reactions to such are all that become a part of the learning process. There is a great deal that literature can teach. Literature can teach to the individual and to all of society. It can teach us about the past and the present and even about the future. Subjects can be broad and far-reaching, but can also be specific. Literature teaches us about laughter and love, about remembering and forgetting. It can create emotion and warn us against our many human faults. It can attempt to disprove other ideas or attempt to find truth. I think we are all looking to find truth in some form or another. Oftentimes, the uncertainty of a specific meaning of a piece allows for its interpretation to be for the reader to decide. What is certain, however, is that there are things to be learned from literature that are specific to it, that cannot be attained through any other medium. To gather this knowledge and to experience its beauty all pertain to the importance of literature to me."

— Abby Travis

"Another reason that I enjoy reading so much is the places you can go to when you read. I know that that sounds pretty corny, like something on a PBS commercial, but I feel that there are a vast amount of experiences and people the reader gets to encounter in any work of literature."

— Stefan Kolis

"When I pick up a fantasy novel and fly through it in an hour, I do it for enjoyment, pure and simple.  But I read things like The Grapes of Wrath or Heart of Darkness because they are more than just a moment’s diversion.  What they contain that dime novels do not is a window into the things that make human beings tick, the methods behind our madness, so to speak.  I go through life experiencing different situations and learning from them, but not always being able to put into words exactly what I have learned.  I read literature because its function, as I define it, is to illuminate some aspect of the human condition.  Not only is the uncovering of these truths significant in and of itself, but the revelation process also provides a common experience through which the reader can relate to every person who has discovered that same truth before him. One way that literature communicates the human condition to readers is that it brings the truths it contains to life."

— Rebekah Schulz

"Although I concede that it is not absolutely necessary to major in English in order to gain perspective from literature, I feel that English is a good lens through which to view the world, both present and past.  When I study a great work of literature, I not only gain insight into the universal truth about which the author has chosen to write, but I also, in my attempts to understand, can learn about the culture in which the author lived, the history surrounding the country of his origin, and the various intellectual, political, and artistic movements of the time.  Thus the window to humanity that lies at the heart of all literature can act as a sort of connecting portal to the culture surrounding each individual author.  The reader stands on the common ground of the universal truth around which a work is constructed – the point at which the reader’s world and the author’s meet – and begins to understand some of the motivations behind the author’s own quest for truth. Once someone has become more experienced in the ways of the world, or in the ways of literature, it falls upon that person to begin to light the way for future explorers.    Some may write literary works of their own, using words to illuminate their views on the truth about humanity.  Others may decide instead to act as teachers, helping prospective explorers learn to traverse the dense and sometimes bewildering forest of novels they will encounter along their journey.  No matter the manner in which people choose to serve, the task itself remains as timeless as the truths that humans have sought for centuries: As the great thinkers and authors of the past have marked out paths in the wilderness for we who have followed them, so we must serve as guides for those who will come after us. Great literature provides its readers with a window into various aspects of the human condition and a guide to the way we, as a species, relate to one another and to our surroundings.  Literature gives us a mirror in which to examine our collective reflection as a people.  It does not gloss over the pimples and blemishes of humanity, but exposes them quite openly.  No concealer, no cover-up, only the truth.  Literature is the reflecting pool into which every person that ever existed can look and see both his own face and the faces of all his fellow people.  It enables each human to not only find the humanity within his own heart, but also to connect him to the generations of other people who have been doing so since the beginning of time."

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English Literature | 9 important things you should know!

One of the most popular degrees in universities and colleges across the world, english literature sees a pool of students enrolling every year. the course is diverse in nature and offers numerous opportunities. if you are planning to pursue a degree in english lit., here are a few things that you must know., table of contents, #1 understanding english literature at its core, #2 formats that you should know of, #3 a little more about the course, #5 studying english literature courses: what will you learn, #6 what subjects will you study, #7 top universities for pursuing english literature, #8 common documents for admission in english literature, #9 books that literature students should read, key takeaways, summing up the blog.

Literature, in general, is defined as ‘writing with artistic merits.’ It is a broad area of study that attracts students from around the globe. According to the history of literature, it took 1,400 years for curating the English language. Its earliest form was a set of Anglo-Frisian dialects, brought by the Anglo-Saxon invaders to Great Britain somewhere around the 5th century.

While studying English literature courses, you will come across several formats. Some of these standard writing formats include novels, fiction, poetry, and plays. Other different formats are screenplays, non-fiction, song lyrics, and jingles. However, you will also learn about one of the most common formats today – digital content – under English Literature. Digital content includes blogs, web content, copywriting ads, social media copies, and so on.

While pursuing a BA in English Literature , you will learn how to analyze texts, write using different styles, edit, and much more. Apart from this, you will extensively study the traditional literary texts, and also examine texts of drama, prose fiction, and poetry.

A graduate in English Lit. has ample opportunities, starting from writer and editor to researcher and teacher. That being said, you can also use your bachelor’s graduation degree as the foundation for pursuing an MA in English Literature or stepping into journalism, law, and digital marketing !

#4 Why study English literature?

While many students plan on getting a degree in English Lit. from a university abroad, there are a few who are skeptical about it. If you are confused too, fret not! These points on why you should pursue an English Literature course will clear your doubts –

English Literature is one of the most preferred graduate degree courses internationally. If you study the subject at a university abroad, a much better understanding of the world around you is guaranteed. The exposure will be more than what you would have received in your home country!

English Literature courses provide you with the skills and knowledge to deconstruct and analyze sentences or paragraphs before giving a critical viewpoint. This analytical skill is not just limited to the nuances of English but also helps in various aspects of life.

Reasons for studying English literature.

Also, as an international student studying English Lit., your profile will reflect a strong command and proficiency of the English language to your potential employer.

An English Literature graduate (BA or MA) has a myriad of career options. Become a writer, poet, journalist or make a career in law, education, screenplay writing, etc. Adding to this, if you want to get into a field that is a little more technical, where your analytical skills come into use, you have advertising and digital marketing as your options!

By studying this subject, you can also do a Ph.D. in English Literature and make your career as Historian, Museum Curator, Dramaturg, and so on.

Now that you know the history of English Literature and the plus points of studying this subject at universities abroad, let’s move on to see what you will learn through this course-

As a literature student, you will study a myriad of subjects, including-

Apart from these, there are many more subjects that you will study during your course. While pursuing a bachelor’s degree, you will form the base of the course; and during a master’s degree, you will explore these subjects in depth.

Universities for English literature and what will students learn.

While the above-listed ones are the top 10 universities to study literature, there are many more that you can explore here !

Each university will have a different curriculum compared to the other one. So, make sure to choose the one that best suits your requirements.

Another key point in the admission process is the documentation. Once you shortlist the universities of your choice, you have to go through their websites for the admission process and requirements. Each university will have a different procedure. However, a few things remain the same, like –

English Lit. is one of the few degrees that impart knowledge while also making you more analytical, attentive, and appreciative. So before we conclude the blog, we want to share some of the recommended books that every English literature student should read-

Liked this blog? Then, you will definitely like: Top 5 fashion courses in the world !

Here are the key points that you should keep in mind –

Studying English Literature courses abroad can be overwhelming for many. If you have concerns, you can always talk to your seniors and known people around who have pursued literature.

Although it may sound easy, getting a clear idea about how you would like to go ahead with your interest in this subject is confusing and tedious.

That is where we come in for you. Our experts help you from A to Z and ensure a seamless transition while studying abroad. Get in touch with us today for more!

Q1. Do English literature graduates have an efficient career?

Answer – As a matter of fact, yes! Pursuing a degree in this subject will open a plethora of opportunities for you. You can make a career in novel writing, editing, screenplay writing, journalism, teaching, and so on. In addition to this, you can also be a researcher, museum curator, etc. 

Q2. How can I get into a university abroad to study literature?

Answer – In order to study literature abroad, you have to score well in entrance exams, like GRE . Additionally, you may have to attempt IELTS or TOEFL, depending on the country you want to study in.

Q3. What will I study in English lit?

Answer – Literature students study a myriad of subjects. This includes the history of the English language, American literature, mass communication and journalism, and so on. In addition to this, you will also learn about British literature, the romantic age, the new age, translation coupled with comparative literature, and more.  

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importance of english literature

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