English 496 Professing English Resources

New Yorker cartoon Thomas P. Miller
ML 425 (Th 8-9, 11:30-1:30)  621-7401


Syllabus | Resources | Assignments


    * Looking back over your undergraduate studies
    * So what is English and what can you do with it?
    * Reading, writing and rhetoric
    * Expanding what you know to work with computers
    * What's next--graduate studies?
    * Finding jobs
    * Teaching for a living
    * Working with books, government and nonprofits

Your feedback and suggestions will make this site more useful.
Looking back over your undergraduate studies

General Education program at the University of Arizona

General Education program at Arizona State University

Reinventing Undergraduate Education: A Blueprint for America's Research Universities, or simply the Boyer Commission Report, is an influential assessment of undergraduate education in research universities that has served as a point of departure for many recent reforms.  A downloadable version of the Report is also available on line.
So what is English and what can you do with it?

English Department Home Pages includes links to college departments from around the world as well as across the country.

Upper-Division Language and Literature Courses from the Department of English at the U of A provide a set of course descriptions for analysis of the modes of reading and the types of texts that are generally taught in English departments.

Acts of Reading, Acts of Life
is a list of short comments on reading from the MLA that provides another set of texts for assessing how people in English understand reading and writing.

English Literature on the Web provides a rich array of links to literary journals, on-line texts and websites.

"Are Academics Irrelevant?" by Randy Stoecker examines how models of researchers as participants rather than merely observers or commentators can make academic work more socially relevant.

"Ten Ways to Work Together: An Organizer's View" by Dave Beckwith provides some basics on how to collaborate with nonacademic communities.

Great Books Index, An Index to Online Great Books in English Translation
Reading, writing and rhetoric

Writing and Revising, a discussion of the writing process from the Student's Guide to First-Year Composition, from the U of A's Composition Program

Writing (Planning/Writing/Revising/Genres), a discussion of the writing process from Purdue's On-Line Writing Lab (or OWL, as on-line writing labs are commonly referred to)

Grammar, Spelling, and Punctuation
from Purdue's OWL covers the basics in a fairly basic manner

MLA formats are outlined in an accessible manner in this on-line website to Diana Hacker's Handbook.

Evaluation of information sources is part of the Information Quality WWW Virtual Library and includes an extensive set of links for evaluating internet and print sources.

Evaluating Internet Research Sources by Robert Harris provides a quick overview of related issues.

A Brief Overview of Rhetoric by Professor Joseph Petraglia-Bahri is part of the Rhetoric Resources at Georgia Tech, which includes many pages on historical figures and theoretical concepts in rhetoric, mostly authored by students.

Expanding what you know to work with computers

Free website workshops are offered at the University of Arizona.

U.arizona.edu accounts can be opened on line if you are a registered U of A student.  A shell or menu account also enables you to create a web page.

Creating Your Personal Home Page provides details on how to create a web page using your u.arizona.edu account/

Computer-Based Tutorials provide you with a range of Topics that can help you expand your literacy skills to include software programs that are commonly used in a variety of workplaces.  The Quick Start provides an overview of how to get started.  If you have limited internet access, you may want to sign out a CD or purchase one for $9 (it would be ten times more expensive if the U of A did not have a site license).  You may want to start with the Microsoft Office and internet skills CD or on-line tutorials.  Start with something you know--Word, Netscape Navigator, or Internet Explorer.  We will work on getting you oriented to Frontpage, which is installed in our computer classroom (and which I used to create this and other pages).  You need a u.arizona.edu account to do the tutorials on-line.

Open access computer labs on campus are supposed to have the Computer-Based Tutorials loaded on the computers and monitors who can help with them.

You can also check out copies of the CBTs on a cd from the reserves room of the main library.  Netscape Composer is on the cd titled "MS Office 97 and Internet Stuff" (call number HF5548.38.U501 2000), which also includes the tutorial for Frontpage if you have the Microsoft Office Suite on your computer.

Other on-line tutorials on Netscape Composer are available on the internet If you do not find the Computer-Based Tutorials accessible or useful.

Netscape's download page provides information on updates and software that you can download.

Web Design Tips QuickStart
gives you a quick overview of the basics of website design in an accessible form.

Yale Web Style Guide provides a comprehensive guide to designing web pages.

Web Pages That Suck.com
is a more comprehensive (and fun) site on issues related to creating a website.

Thinking Critically about World Wide Web Resources provides a good checklist of issues to consider in evaluating web pages' reliability and design.

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly, or Why It's a Good Idea to Evaluate Web Sources provides examples, criticisms, criteria and a bibliography with links to other sites on evaluating webpages from a researcher's point of view.

"Literary Literacy" by Marjorie Perloff is an editorial from The Chronicle of Higher Education (1997) that relates recent reactions to the lack of jobs for PhDs in English to attitudes to literacy in English departments and among the general public

Excerpt from The Electronic Word: Democracy, Technology, and the Arts by Richard A. Lanham explores  the convergence of social, technological, and theoretical trends that are redefining literacy and the liberal arts

"How the Secondary Orality of the Electronic Age Can Awaken Us to the Primary Orality of Antiquity, or What Hypertext CanTeach Us About the Bible, with Reflections on the Ethical and Political Issues of the Electronic Frontier" (1994) by Robert M. Fowler examines the history of orality and literacy, concluding that hypertext takes us "back to the future."

There are endless numbers of sites with images for composing websites.  This website has UofA logos and other resources.

What's next--graduate studies?

"From Rumors to Facts: Career Outcomes of English PhDs, Results from the "PhDs Ten Years Later" Study: by Maresi Nerad and Joseph Cerny provides the best data on employment trends in college English studies.

Applying to Graduate School at the University of Arizona website provides you with the materials needed to apply to graduate studies here.

Graduate Record Examination homepage
provides you with information on the GRE, which is required by many academic fields for admission to graduate studies

FinAid provides a gateway to Fast Web and other free search engines for finding funding for graduate school.

Illiniois Researcher Information Service provides a searchable database for funding support for graduate studies in fields ranging from "agriculture to zoology."

"The growth of the new PhD Higher education takes a hard look at the PhD and finds much that needs changing" from Monitor on Psychology by Bridget Murray is an accessible report on the trend to expand doctoral studies in varied fields to look beyond the academy itself to the various jobs that PhDs take after graduation.

Promising Practices in Doctoral Education from the PEW foundation provides some benchmarks on assessing the work of PhD programs in various areas and the sorts of innovations that you may want to look for in considering fields and programs.

"Why do we think that PhDs are only good for making someone into a professor?" is an article by Annalee Newitz from the on-line magazine Ivory Tower that provides a view from outside the profession that is aptly complemented by Newitz's "Going Adjunct" from the same journal.

Sellout is a popular site on career alternatives for English PhDs by Mark Johnson, " an English literature PhD who works in the software industry."

Finding jobs

Careers in English is a webpage from Arizona State University's English Department that provides books on exploring professional opportunities, job sites, and other resources for graduating English majors.

"Taking Stock of Yourself" by Margaret Newhouse from the Chronicle of Higher Education is an accessible and engaging survey of strategies for exploring what you might want to do after school.  Like some of the other resources drawn from the Chronicle, the focus is on graduate students who have decided to look beyond the academy for jobs, but the strategies should be helpful for undergrads as well.

An Overview of The Five O'Clock Club Job-Search Process provides a detailed model of the job search process that treats it as a systematic research process.  The Five O'Clock job site also provides other useful resources and information.

"Transferring Your Skills to a Non-Academic Setting" is a related article from the Chronicle by Newhouse.

"Colleges Shouldn't Be Employment Agencies" is an editorial from The Chronicle of Higher Education by John V. Lombardi.

"Working Your Degree: English majors remain low-paid, but many defect into the business world" from the CNN Financial News page  by Shelly K. Schwartz provides a narrow perspective on the bottom line for career options for English majors.

"Four steps to succeeding outside the ivory tower, a former academic offers lessons in joining the 'real world'" by Jennifer Stone Gonzalez from the on-line journal Ivory Tower provides a bleak picture of careers in academe, but the strategies she reviews for marketing academic skills may help you think about how you can use your work in the humanities to do other sorts of work.

"E-Careers, or the Last Revenge of the Liberal-Arts Graduate" by Robin Wagner provides resources for making the transition to the dot.com sector.

Resume and Letter Writing guidelines from Career Services at the U of A

Business Writing Resources from Purdue's On-Line Writing Lab has materials on resumes, letters of application, and the job search process

Careerbuilder provides a search engine for looking for jobs in newspapers across the country.

College Grad Job Hunter
provides a job search engine and related materials on resumes and the job search process.

Career Mart is a similar free resource.

is one of the best known job search sites on the internet that allows you to post your resume and search for jobs internationally.

Teaching for a living

Arizona Department of Education
website provides information on emergency certification for substitute teaching and links on certification requirements and other matters.

Tucson Unified School District Employment website provides information on substituting and certification in Tucson's largest school district.

Education World's Certification
webpage provides information on other state's certification requirements and a job search engine.

Academic Employment Network provides another search engine for looking for teaching jobs across the country.

Arizona Community College Teacher Certification webpage

Literacy Online, the website for the National Center on Adult Literacy and the International Literacy Institute, is a good site for considering work with adult literacy.

"Careers for Ph.D.'s at Private Schools" by Gwendolyn Bradley for the Chronicle of Higher Education tries to sell the virtues of teaching in private schools to those with advanced degrees, but the piece is useful even for undergraduates considering teaching.

Working with books, government and nonprofits

Editorial Freelancers Association is a website for a national nonprofit organization of freelance writers and editors that includes materials such as Carolyn Smith's "A Celebration of Freelancing" that are useful to explore if you are considering freelancing.

Literary Market Place is a useful website on the book business.

"Online Resources for Careers in the Nonprofit World" by Gwedolyn Bradley is a very useful source if you are considering working for more than money.

The Foundation Center is a major site for looking at the work of nonprofits and includes a page with jobs in philanthropic organizations.

The Federal Job Search and Application Form streamlines the process of looking for jobs in federal government agencies.

The Chronicle of Higher Education's job site
provides a sense of the range of jobs in higher education and can be searched for specific jobs.

Expanded Horizons: Career Ideas for Graduate Students Past and Present includes discussions of how studies in the humanities can lead into work in nonprofit agencies, technical writing, high-tech and publishing.  The focus is on graduate studies, but the discussions are useful to consider as you explore options.

Also useful is an article from the Chronicle of Higher Education on  "How to Land a Career in Technical Writing."