• English Department

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  •    Director of the Writing and Literature Major
       Dr. Michelle Pacht
       E-mail: mpacht@lagcc.cuny.edu
       Phone: 718.482.5914
       Office: M-111 F

    Our Writing and Literature Program leads to an Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree and is designed to articulate fully with the English majors at both Queens College and John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Students who complete the Writing and Literature Program may transfer as juniors to the English Major at either college.

    To finish the program successfully, all Writing and Literature students must complete 60 credits. These credits are distributed as follows: 9 English Writing Core credits, 9 Humanities credits, 9 Social Sciences credits, 3 Mathematics credits, 3 Natural and Applied Sciences credits, 6 Cooperative Education credits and 21 Writing and Literature credits. For detailed information on requirements and options, see our Writing and Literature Major Courses page.

    As a student in the Writing and Literature Program, you will be encouraged to participate in literary activities such as student and faculty poetry and fiction readings and to submit your work to publications such as Literary LaGuardia and The Bridge.

    To learn more about what courses to take, the skills you will practice, and the careers you could pursue, please see our Frequently Asked Questions below or contact us:

  •  How can majoring in Writing and Literature help me get into a four-year college?
    Because of articulation agreements already in place with Queens College and John Jay College of Criminal Justice, you can graduate from LaGuardia as a Writing and Literature major and transfer to either college as a junior, having already satisfied many of your English degree requirements. Even if you choose to transfer elsewhere or change majors, the skills you acquire as a Writing and Literature major will help prepare you for success in any field.
     What are some career options for Writing and Literature Majors?
    • Advertising
    • Business Management
    • Book Publishing
    • Counseling
    • Event Planning
    • Film and Television Writing
    • Fundraising
    • Internet Publishing
    • Journalism
    • Law
    • Magazine Publishing
    • Marketing
    • Nonprofit Management
    • Public Relations
    • Radio Broadcasting
    • Teaching

    But do not feel bound by this list. Being an English major doesn't limit you to any particular career. Instead, it opens the door to any possible future.

    Most employers look to hire people with "communication skills" - a catch-all phrase for someone who can express his/her ideas clearly and convincingly both orally and in writing. This includes speaking in meetings and when on the phone and writing in memos and reports, and via e-mail and other correspondence. They also want someone who can think independently, access important information, weigh the pros and cons when confronted with several choices, and make decisions about the best course of action.

    Employers recognize that being a Writing and Literature major enhances all these skills. They know that if you've had practice interpreting literature, discussing your ideas in class, researching authors, developing thesis statements, and drafting, editing and revising essays you have the kind of experience they need.

     What are some of the skills practiced by Writing and Literature majors?
    • close reading
    • critical thinking
    • literary analysis
    • interpretation
    • persuasion
    • research
    • writing clearly and convincingly
    • writing as process
    • drafting
    • editing
    • revising

    Of course you already know how to read, but as a Writing and Literature major you'll learn how to read more effectively, how to better understand what you're reading, how to do research, how to interpret that research to help support your ideas, how to express your ideas clearly and convincingly in writing, and how to take advantage of the writing process through drafting, revising, and editing.

     What courses are required for the Writing and Literature major?
    For a complete list of courses with descriptions, visit our Information and Courses for the Major in Writing and Literature page.
     What's the bottom line?
    Being in college is about engaging your mind, testing it, expanding it, and learning about yourself and the world around you. Being a Writing and Literature major can help you do all these things as it prepares you both to continue your college education and to a successful career in a wide variety of fields since the skills you learn can be adapted to almost any educational or work environment. Being a Writing and Literature major can help you study and work better, but it can also help you live a fuller life - personally, emotionally, and intellectually.
     Who teaches LaGuardia's Writing and Literature courses?
    The faculty members in LaGuardia's English department are caring, dedicated, and experienced professors who are published writers of fiction, non-fiction, literary criticism, and poetry. Many have professional ties to both corporate and nonprofit industries, including publishing, journalism, and radio broadcasting.
     Why should I be a Writing and Literature major?

    If you love to read, think, analyze and discuss ideas, and/or write and publish your own work you're a natural Writing and Literature major.

    Being a good writer - of exposition, prose, poetry, plays, stories, novels, whatever - is key to making yourself understood on the page and it can help you express your ideas more clearly when speaking, as well.

    The study of literature is not about finding the one right answer;it's about coming up with your own answers and learning how to justify them. The focus isn't on memorizing dates or equations - it's on stretching your mind, being creative, and learning how to think. Reading great literature can expand your horizons, introduce you to worlds you might otherwise never know, and teach you about the human condition.

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