Comparison of Creative Writing Class to an English Literature Class

Comparison of Creative Writing Class to an English Literature Class

            Two common classes that the college student will take during their student career will usually include a creative writing class, and an English literature class - Comparison of Creative Writing Class to an English Literature Class introduction. There are several points that are similar between these two classes, and a few that are very different. Some of the main points of comparison include the amount of writing assigned, what type of assignments are given, the depth of review and materials that are discussed, as well as the type of discussions that are held. Also, the types of curriculum that are used in the classes will have similar and contrasting comparison points as well.

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            Looking first at the types of assignments that are given by the professors of the classes, one can see that they will be similar in the fact that there is a lot of writing work expected to be done by the student in each class. Also, the student will be expected to provide these written essays in a standardized format, at certain word and page lengths, and be able to be grammatically correct, as well as having correct sentence structure. On the other hand, the differences between the type of assignments is where there are real points to be discussed. First of all, when a creative writing student is given a writing assignment, the parameters will be looser in order for the student to be more creative within their chosen subject. There may be certain main subjects to be written about, but the student is usually free to come up with their own theories and directions when writing. Also, personal writing and journals are encouraged, or even assigned as well. Whereas in an English literature class, the written assignments will usually deal with the assigned text reading. Analyzing the symbolism and structure of historical or classical readings will be the major portion of subjects that written assignments will be about. Personal contributions are rarely asked for when writing about English literature assignments. Though there can be times when feelings about certain prose may be considered when writing.

            Another discussion point when comparing a creative writing class with an English literature class is regarding the reading assignments that are given by the professors. There will generally be much less reading involved within a creative writing class, since that class is based primarily on the act of writing itself. Though there is some reading involved in the research behind the creative writing, most of the assigned reading will include excerpts out of journals, recent articles, and newsworthy events that the teacher may want the students to critically think about in order to produce their own creative reactionary piece. On a much different note, in an English literature class most of the readings will deal with basic literature, since that is the premise of the class. Much more reading is assigned in a literature class as many assignments will deal with comparisons between classic pieces of text, studies of famous authors, and what pieces are relevant to those authors.

            Lastly, another point of comparison between creative writing and English literature is when it comes to class discussions, and reviews of written materials. In a creative writing class, students offer up their own writing to the class to be given response to. Whether in verbal discussion, or by critique review, the bulk of written material reviewed is peer written. This happens in order to help the students get a sense of what they can work on to make their writing more in depth, and pleasing to the reader. Conversely, in English literature, the bulk of written material that is to be discussed has been written by classical authors from different time periods, and various types of prose. Reviews of what messages or symbolism that the author is trying to get out to the reader is discussed in order to give the readers, or students in this case, an understanding of what the author is trying to get out. Reading and / or discussing what another student in an English literature class has written is ultimately much more rare than when it occurs in a creative writing class.

            Both of the classes mentioned are vitally important when looking to increase a student’s critical thinking skills regarding communication through reading and writing. As the names of the classes indicate, one is going to make a student more adept at writing, and one will help the student to not only have a better understanding of what they read, but also give them a better appreciation for the authors that have been so important in their contributions to literature itself.

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