English and Professional Writing

Has language always been a passion of yours? Do you love writing and the power that words have in our everyday lives and how they shape who we are? If you see yourself in a career that will challenge your writing skills and help you develop as a professional writer, studying English and Professional Writing is an excellent choice for you at York. Embracing the essence of both fields of the study, this major approaches the study of English and Professional Writing in a combinative manner, allowing you to develop an understanding of the connection and interaction of each subject. Depending on what career aims and interests you have following graduation this program gives you an opportunity to further focus your major on three streams of study; book creation, institutional writing and periodical writing.

Below is a sample list of some future choices to explore following studies in English and Professional Writing. This list is not exhaustive but it provides a solid idea of what fellow graduates have gone on to do and what potential careers an English and Professional Writing degree can offer. Some options are more directly associated with specific areas of English and Professional Writing than others.

  • Author
  • Advertising Consultant
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Archivist
  • Auction House Director
  • Biographer
  • Blogger
  • Children’s Literature Writer
  • Communications Director
  • Copywriter
  • Editor
  • Freelance Writer
  • Historian
  • Journalist
  • Lawyer
  • Legal Aid Representative
  • Librarian
  • Lobbyist
  • Magazine Contributor
  • Museum Curator
  • Non-Profit Organization Director
  • Periodicals Contributor
  • Politician
  • Public Policy Consultant
  • Professor
  • Publisher
  • Rare Book Dealer
  • Script Writer
  • Speech Coach
  • Speech Writer
  • Teacher
  • Textbook Writer
  • Travel Writer
  • Some of these career choices may require additional education or preparation in the form of graduate studies, experiential education or professional formative courses and exams. For a more in-depth description of some of the careers mentioned above visit Career Cruising (login information can be found on the home page of the Career Centre's online system) or the National Occupational Classification website.

    Skills Developed through an English and Professional Writing Degree

    A background in English and Professional Writing ensures that you develop the skills and mindset to tackle many different professional challenges. Here are just a few of the skills an English and Professional Writing degree can help you develop:

    Core English and Professional Writing Skills      

    • An in-depth knowledge of one of three streams of study; book creation, institutional writing or periodical writing
    • An understanding of the links between professional writing and traditional English studies and its contemporary applications outside the classroom
    • The ability to think critically and analytically and to be able to apply this to your personal writing as well as literary analysis and critique
    • A familiarity with different styles of writing and literature and the ability to participate in courses taught by leaders in the field

    Communication, Data Gathering and Organizational Skills

    • The ability to present your thoughts clearly and intelligently in written statements and opinion pieces
    • Deduction of information from various sources and the ability to concentrate on relevant resources
    • The capacity to critically analyze problems, think creatively and make sound decisions while considering different sides of an argument
    • The ability to explain complex ideas clearly to others and to apply complex theoretical concepts to everyday practice and professional dilemmas
    • The skills to collect various types of information, assess them, analyze and incorporate potential linkages from different fields, put them into writing and efficiently convey your message and the goal of your work

    Management and Teamwork

    • The ability to interpret and analyze information presented by peers and efficiently and constructively support or challenge their proposals, theories, ideas and reports in order to achieve a project’s intended and successful end result
    • The capacity to lead and interact with a variety of people with different approaches and personal and professional backgrounds
    • The ability to debate, persuade, mediate and present your thoughts and opinions to others, as well as the capacity to recognize and incorporate other potential solutions or applications to given problems
    • The capability to identify priorities and proper courses of action, to plan the execution of tasks and to determine and delegate responsibilities to group members to most effectively carry out projects

    Professional Associations and Organizations

    Knowing the industry and how to excel in it after receiving a degree are key elements of future success. University study sets up the building blocks you will need to develop and enhance your understanding and knowledge in your career. Being part of a professional organization or network and gaining further insight through training are excellent ways of increasing your knowledge of the field. The following is a selection of organizations related to the field of English and Professional Writing that you may want to visit as you research career options for English and Professional Writing graduates.