There are many reasons why college students are turning to distance education in the pursuit of writing degrees. Time constraints and tuition prices are two main issues prompting students to turn to online schools. Just as in traditional classrooms, writing majors are required to learn communication skills that allow them to express themselves clearly and eloquently.
Writing Major Skills
Writing majors are trained to perform extensive research in order to develop the craft of storytelling. Students taking distance education courses will each learn to develop their individual voices in order to communicate in a compelling manner. Students will also learn about the processes that go into publishing and production of written pieces. It is also the goal of the degree program to encourage students to create original content in addition to analyzing the unique material created by other writers. Developing a critical eye and learning to accept criticism are other important skills for anybody considering a career in writing.
Required classes for writing majors focus on a broad range of topics, from grammar and English language rules to literary theory. It is also typical for programs to feature classes specific to one major author in history, often William Shakespeare. Other classes will study novels by women and cultural minorities. Writing workshops help students develop their unique talents, but history and genre studies are important too. It is essential for writing students to cover each type of writing, including novels, short stories and plays. Many programs will also encourage independent research and study, resulting in a presentation or project due at the end of class.
Writing majors may discover that a wide range of career paths awaits them upon graduation. One of the most popular choices for recent graduates is the role of an author. Upon completion of the program, students might choose to pursue novel, short story or technical writing. Some even go on to work in advertisement firms or to create web content for popular sites. Non-profit organizations may even hire writers to help them receive grants. Some textbook publishing companies hire writers to make the text more accessible and interesting for students. Many writers who explore the freelance side of the industry find that they enjoy being able to set up their own hours and days for work. There are other career paths student may take if they do not want to create original content. Many writing majors become teachers, while others work in marketing. Graduates who are fluent in multiple languages may find work providing translation services as well. Many students also aspire to become editors, literary agents and book publishers. These jobs are all well within reach for a graduate with a distance degree in writing.
Concentrations and Specializations
Some online colleges offer special concentrations, or areas of emphasis, for students majoring in a writing program, whether it is a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Creative writing is one of the most popular, though it can branch into fiction and non-fiction. Journalism, poetry, screenwriting and literary theory are other areas some students choose to focus on in their studies. Many of the programs online are quite customizable.
Distance Learning vs. On-Campus
There are several differences between taking a writing program online than on-campus. Students will have access to different resources than their on-campus counterparts. Fortunately, many distance education programs offer online writing labs and tutors. Some schools will have a tutor look over a piece of writing for a class, free of charge. Online writing programs might also require students to take independent study courses, depending on the program’s diversity. Many students find these programs to be ultimately rewarding. Students are beginning to realize just how many advantages online writing programs have to offer.