Laney College’s English Department mission is to develop, expand, and refine students’ abilities to think critically and creatively about themselves and the world, and to use the English language as a tool for self-empowerment and social justice.

Young man in library looking at books

Common career paths and employers that an English major can you lead to >>> Click here!

An English major is an excellent choice for students considering careers in:

  • Public Relations
  • Law
  • Business
  • Advertising
  • Education/Teaching
  • Publishing
  • Technical Communication
  • Writing & Editing — or any career where strong writing and reasoning skills are required.

A bachelor’s degree in English is very broad and is sufficient for entry-level positions in business and industry, as well as in areas such as entertainment, radio and television commentary, and museum work. English can lead to many different career paths, so it is important to identify an area of interest and plan to gain the right skills, experiences, and credentials to enter that field.

A major in English is also good preparation for continued graduate or professional training in areas such as English, law, political science/government, public administration, communications, religious studies (e.g., seminary).

UNC Writing Center — Their ‘handouts’ offer strong, updated advice for astute reading and writing, categorized and very thorough. Here is their excellent ‘handout’ on Annotated Bibliographies:

The OWL: Online Writing Lab at Purdue University — the ‘traditional’, very useful web-based resource for college writing

Rhetoric and Composition — an open access, Creative Commons-licensed online writer’s guide

They Say / I Say — a key rhetoric/writing text that shows great examples of how to phrase ideas with respect to ongoing public discourse. 4th Edition, with Readings.

Literature & Creative Writing Resources

Project Gutenberg:  TONS of FREE online books, including literary classics GOBS of poetry, poets’ biographies and critical essays

Poets & Writers: Resources for writers including suggestions on publishing

Short Story ideas: Fun, quick way to get a ‘nudge’ toward dreaming up a story idea

You have options, depending on your priority.

  • If you are preparing to transfer or earn a degree or certificate, then focus on the Composition and Reading sequence. Academic Counseling will advise you about choosing either ENGL 1A or ENGL 1AS:

English 1A (Composition and Reading — emphasis on expository essays — required for transfer and Associate’s degrees)

English 1AS (Composition and Reading WITH SUPPORT — counts the same as ‘regular’ 1A, but includes extra student-support components and a little more time for working on assignments during class)

  • After completing 1A with a C or better grade, transfer-bound students can complete their last transfer-requirement English class:

English 005 (Critical Thinking) – AND / OR –

English 1B (Composition and Reading — Literature)

  • If you’re looking to improve your writing skills and do some guided reading with a group of like-minded students, check out the 200-level literature courses (ENGL 230A/B or ENGL 231) or creative writing courses (English 210A/B).
  • If you want to Major In English, or pursue reading and/or writing in a serious manner, creatively or professionally, then consider literature and creative writing courses numbered below 100, such as ENGL 010A/B – Creative Writing, ENGL 031 – African-American Literature, ENGL 030A – Intro to (Early) American Literature, and ENGL 030B – Intro to (Modern) American Literature. A full list of courses offered is on THIS PAGE.

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The English Department is the educational foundation for every student at Laney to excel. In light of this position, the English Department is inherently a collaborator with every department on the Laney campus. The English Department inspires students to read, write, and think critically and explore their identity through the written word. Through literature, students gain an understanding of our shared humanity; through a variety of textual modalities situated in historical and cultural contexts, students gain an understanding of being part of a larger universe and an appreciation of our diverse experiences.

Laney College English Department’s mission statement aligns with Laney College’s mission statement as both missions are rooted in social justice and are student centered focusing on supporting and inspiring our diverse student body to excel. Laney College English Department’s mission statement aligns with the PCCD’s mission statement as we collaborate with other departments to support students to excel and reach their desired goal, be it college transfer, degree or certificate completion, career, or personal enrichment.

English Department Faculty Strive To:

  • Empower students to use language to achieve their educational, career and life goals;
  • Improve students’ skills in reading critically; writing thoughtfully, cogently and creatively, and researching questions of critical importance;
  • Promote students’ fullest power of expression in cultural, academic, public and professional areas ;
  • Prepare students to purposefully use language creatively and critically in their lives and careers including (but not limited to) transfer to four-year institutions and to complete college certificates and degrees.
  • Provide students with multicultural perspectives that reflect our diverse student body and community.