Novels, Poems, Plays – What a Modern College Literature Course Looks Like


Studying literature may seem a bit dated today when online mediums emphasize short, engaging content. What does close analysis of novels, plays and poems mean to a human being living in the modern world? 

Literature courses generally center on reading and analyzing a number of texts over the course of a year. Assignments may include long essays that can take a significant amount of time to prepare and write. Here are some skills students learn in a modern college literature course. 

Writing skills

In analyzing novels and writing about them, students have to assimilate a great deal of information. They have to come up with original thoughts about the content of texts and then put them in writing. Students doing literature courses spend a great deal of time writing, and this helps them to hone their writing skills. 

For example, in an introduction to literary studies, they may learn about a range of critical tools and methods for reading and writing about texts in the most interesting ways. In any field of business, employees who can write and communicate well are in demand. 

Debate and discussion 

Compared to some other degrees, studying literature in college involves a high degree of interaction. Debate and discussion are essential for students to understand alternative points of view. Group discussions can generate all kinds of thought-provoking questions about a particular topic. 

When students have to defend their opinion, they develop their communication and critical thinking skills. They have to learn how to give well-qualified justifications for their opinions. Today, video conferencing allows students from all over the world to debate and discuss literature topics with each other. Being able to discuss and debate topics of concern is another skill that is highly transferable to the workplace.   

Critical thinking skills

In the British colonies, the study of English literature was a way to instill respect for colonial values. The beginnings of English literature may have been a way to indoctrinate people, but it is now known for inspiring critical thinking. Close textual analysis doesn’t just have to apply just to novels, plays or poems. 

It can lead to a deeper understanding of political speeches, journalistic articles, and workplace documents. Critical thinking is another soft skill that’s highly valued in the business world and society today. Students getting an education at college, particularly those studying literature may feel that writing a good paper is beyond their capabilities at first. GradesFixer is a useful site where they can find free essay examples. Well-written and effective essays about Just Mercy on GradesFixer will give them insight into how to write a critique of the book by Bryan Stevenson. Professional writers are also available to help students write a plagiarism-free essay if they can’t find a suitable one or want something even better. 

books on a shelf

Literature serves many purposes

Novels, plays and poems can enlighten individuals, persuade them, evoke emotion and offer great enjoyment. They offer a way to capture and interpret personal and world events. When people stretch their minds, they are more open to new ideas. They may just come up with solutions to some of the greatest problems facing mankind. 

Literature can also highlight the similarity in the human experience throughout the ages. Reading a Greek tragedy and comparing it to a modern American novel may reveal common themes. Great literature can make an impression on so many different levels. It can prompt political and societal change or offer an escape and a relief from stress. 

A wide array of transferable skills

In every text students’ study, they may come across elements of politics, sociology, arts, natural science, music etc. They gain the ability to place literary texts within a wider intellectual or historical context. Studying literature does not restrict students to a particular career path but can give them time to decide while they develop many transferable skills.

Steven Spielberg majored in literary studies, but financial experts like Mitt Romney and Hank Paulson also started their journeys by studying literature. People who study literature often go on into careers in a wide variety of different fields as diverse as business development or community services.


Literature illuminates the human condition, and this is one of the reasons why it remains a popular field of study. The study of literature in college today also teaches many skills, such as writing, critical thinking and analysis. It expands the mind and nourishes the soul, but it also gives students time to decide on a career path and develop some crucial transferable skills that are in demand in business today. 

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