Friday, 13 June 2014

University #2: So You Want To Study English Literature

You’ve selected your top two universities. Your exams are over. You’re waiting for the results. The whole summer is ahead of you. What do you do next?

  • The biggest thing I wish I’d done is read. As in read a lot. Read as much as you can. It doesn’t have to be things from your course, but make sure you read for at least half an hour a day. Reading is a skill, it’s an art. As much as you think ‘I can read a book in a week’ you need to have the stamina to read that much (minimum) for 12 weeks, and, most importantly, retain the information.
  •  If you do have a reading list, it might be an idea to suss out which book is the biggest and make a start on it – and particularly look at books around weeks 5-7 and 10-12 of the semester, as that will probably be when your coursework will lie. 
  • If you don’t have a reading list, then try to find the email of the course director and who to contact in regards to getting one. Their email should be easily accessible from the universities website, but if not email the general office and ask them to re-direct you. Nine times out of ten they should forward your email on to whoever needs to see it.
  •  If you still don’t have reading list, don’t worry about it. In my first semester of university most of the reading I had to do was from a dossier which they gave me on the first day. They won’t expect you to be reading 500 page novels from week one or two. But do keep up your personal reading.

  • Try reading the bible. I haven’t done this and wish I had before university. A lot (A LOT) of texts will have been influenced by or reference it.

That’s pretty much everything you need to know for preparation to study an English degree. I’m going to upload a post next week to talk about general university summer preparations, so if you’ve got any questions specific to that either leave a comment or tweet me @VickiMaitland.

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