Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Topic: Alternative to Teaching English for English Majors

10-second review: Train college English majors to become editors.

Title: “Does Your Curriculum Need Editing?” G Brenner. College Composition and Communication (May 1988), 220-223. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Summary/Quote: As an alternative to a teaching career for English majors, editing is challenging, but rewarded by anonymity. “Anonymity refers to the fate of most editors…. Rarely will they get a by-line, seldom see acknowledgment of their work and talent. So any students choosing editing as a career need forewarning…. But most editors shrug off being unsung. They claim fulfillment in knowing that they do good work on difficult texts, that, as Frances Halfpenny writes in ‘The Editorial Function,’ the excellence of their work is most successful when least observed.’ ” p. 223.

Comment: I think that such an alternative to teaching English is well worthwhile. I wish it had been available when I was in college. However, in some ways, English teachers are editors with their students’ compositions and training in editing might have been very useful even to future English teachers. RayS.

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