Some Advice Please

Comments (4)

Cory T in Queens Village, New York

99 months ago

Hello, I have a couple questions that I'd really love some help answering. I'm currently a freshmen in college and I want to pursue a career as an editor (preferably for a publishing company or a magazine). The college that I attend, Queens College, does not offer journalism as a major (it is offered as a minor), but it offers English, Media Studies, Comparative Literature and Political Science. What is the best combination of majors/minors that I could use to pursue an editing career? I thought maybe a double major in English/Comparative Literature with a minor in Journalism, or maybe just a major in English with a double minor in Journalism and Media Studies. I am a pretty strong student in Political Science, English and Comparative Literature, but I've yet to take a Media Studies class. I also have another dilemma. I looked at all the class descriptions for these majors/minors and they all lean to either creative writing, writing articles, and improving my reading skills, but there isn't really anything that sticks out as something that teaches grammar, sentence structure, or editing skills. For the most part, the names of the courses offered are "Literary Study of _______" or "Introduction to Poetry/Shakespeare/Creative Writing/News Reporting." Am I expected to teach myself perfect grammar on my own, or will it be taught to me over time in my classes or as an intern/entry level employee? I have a copy of "The Elements Of Style", but I honestly am having some difficulty understanding it (and staying awake while reading it). Do you know of any simpler, more introductory level & more exciting books to help me out? My grammar is pretty above-average for my age, but its not fine tuned. So far I've joined the school paper and I've had a couple articles submitted. As of now, I'm planning on first getting a BA in English (and whatever else I might possibly double major in) and then a Masters in English as well. Any answers or advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

Lucia in Sherman Oaks, California

98 months ago

If your school really does offer a minor in journalism, then the Intro to reporting writing classes will teach you the basic technical grammar. If you want to pursue an editor position, I would get the English major/ Journalism minor, and then intern at a publishing company or participate in your school's paper. Get as many internships as you can under your belt though, I can't stress this enough!

Amanda in Adona, Arkansas

95 months ago

The reason that so many of your classes are creative writing and so forth are that grammar is taught in them. Grammar is inherent in any literature and writing course no matter the name or area of study. There really aren't that many specific grammar courses in college because they expect you to know your grammar by then. There are publishing courses and copy editing courses that are geared to that area. don't only limit yourself the newspaper at your school, but you should really check out the university press at your school. See about internships there and surrounding presses. That is where you'll learn alot. Plus, as easy as it sounds, pay attention in your writing classes. Every course that you take that will teach you something about style and composure--take it. Look for courses that are specifically for publishing and editing. There should be courses that are the equivalent to Manuscript editing or Small Press Publishing. Those are the classes that you learn the detailed aspects of the business. I graduated college with a Major in English with the Literature option and my minor is Small Press Publishing, and ALL writing classes and editing classes helped me.

Amanda in Adona, Arkansas

95 months ago


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