Welcome to the official blog for Villanova's Graduate English Program! Come back often for updates on conference opportunities, guest speakers, student accomplishments, alumni news, and more. Also be sure to check out our Facebook page for more updates.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

PRO: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Maria Klecko
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) for Adults at U.S. Colleges for Academic Purposes

This Professional Research Option project explores Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) for adults, with a particular focus on educating students in community colleges and universities for academic purposes in the United States. TESOL is an expansive field that covers many age groups, English proficiency levels, and contexts. This paper details the history of the field in general, including its origins and methodologies, as well as the origins of English for Academic Purposes (EAP). It also includes an explanation of the English proficiency levels and the four skills English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) educators teach: listening, speaking, reading, and writing, in addition to grammar instruction. There is an overview of the field today, too, including current issues, requirements, prospects, and various community colleges and universities in the United States with English language programs that offer instruction for ESOL students to prepare them for American university. Finally, this research paper posits the benefits of a master’s in English for TESOL. Moreover, the appendices feature sample job listings, a cover letter, a resume, and interviews with TESOL professionals who teach at two-year and four-year colleges and universities.

PRO: Public Relations

Cara Koontz
Public Relations

In a recent article for the Huffington Post, Barry Kluger, a self-identified “PR veteran” with over 35 years of experience wrote, “my job is to make my clients relevant” (“Relevant Matters”). “Relevance,” according to Kluger, can be associated with words like “connected, useful, and helpful.”  What do we make of this association? Of relevance and public relations? How does a public relations specialist “connect” their client and to whom do they connect them?
This paper will explore the ways in which public relations makes relevant the given proceedings of a particular client or organization. Specifically, our research will take a “political bent,” as we exam how public relations exists in the sphere of government and politics. We will evaluate the evolution of public relations, the skills necessary for such a profession, and the current trajectory of the field. Implicitly, this paper hopes to identify the ways in which a degree in English might serve a future professional of public relations just as well as a degree in Communications or Journalism. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

PRO Opportunity: Writing for the Web

Michelle Callaghan
Writing for the Web

This research project investigates writing content for the internet. The project presents the history of content writing jobs and the relevancy of the MA in English for said jobs. It also outlines distinctions between the numerous job titles that encompass similar marketable skills in the content world. Content writing, copywriting, content editing, copyediting, proofreading, and social media management are just a few of many titles used in the industry, and in order to navigate job postings and interviews, knowing the differences between these job titles is an easy way to get a head start on the job search. The presented research also provides a foundation for the content writing candidate to present his or herself as capable of the entire spectrum of skills sought by companies and agencies.

This project also offers alternatives to the corporate advertising world for graduate students seeking employment as content writers who may be wary of corporate culture. These alternatives include academic institutions, nonprofit organizations, small and local businesses, entertainment outlets, and entertainment brands.

Included in the appendix of this project are three interviews with professional writers who all work with internet content in some capacity, all of whom hold one of the several titles explored in the body of the project. Also included are a sample cover letter for a web writing job, a sample resume, and actual job postings from the fall of 2015.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

PRO Opportunity: Copywriting for Graduate Students in English Literature

AJ DeBonis
Copywriting for Graduate Students in English Literature

One of the intended uses of this PRO project is to orient students in English literature to the field of copywriting as a possible profession. Copywriting involves creating content for the purposes of advertising and marketing, and can include writing for a variety of print and online outlets. The first section delineates the basic goals and nature of copywriting, projected employment and salary prospects, and reasons for pursuing or avoiding the field. The second section provides a very, very brief history of copywriting, while the third section discusses copywriting for the internet, including some of the skills and applications that will be useful to budding copywriters. The fourth section examines two of my own areas of interest within the field: marketing psychology and storied branding. The fifth and final section considers what students of English literature have to offer to the profession and provides a few tips on developing a portfolio for the purpose of applying to jobs. The main paper is followed by a bibliography of copywriting resources, two interviews with professionals in the field, and a job posting and cover letter for an introductory position.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

PRO Opportunity: Public Radio

Mary Weatherup
Public Radio

This project provides in-depth information for graduate students of English literature who may be interested in pursuing a career in the field of public radio. It includes a history of public radio, an analysis of its voice and mission, and an overview of the current state of the industry, with particular emphasis on the advent of digital media. The report then goes into detail about job prospects and internship opportunities, both at NPR and member stations, and provides information relevant to candidates applying for these positions. It includes interviews with two professionals in the industry, specifically detailing their perspective on what students of English literature can offer public radio. The report concludes with the assessment that a graduate degree in English literature is excellent preparation for a job in public radio, as these students possess the interest, skills and training necessary to create effective pieces of public

Monday, December 8, 2014

PRO Opportunity: The Past, Present, and Future of Book Editing

Lauren Greaves
The Past, Present, and Future of Book Editing

This Professional Research project details the evolution of book publishing. It looks back at some of the major changes that have already occurred and have affected how books are distributed and read and it also looks ahead to the future of the publishing industry. Finally, this project describes my own experience as an editorial intern for an independent publishing company.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Blogging for Hire: Exploring the Career Potential of Writing on the Web

Villanova's Professional Research Option is an opportunity for graduate students to explore a professional field over the course of a semester and write a report to summarize their findings. This is a great opportunity for students to explore a profession that appeals to them in the process of deciding on a career.

In light of currently expanding digitized media distribution and the growing commercialization of social networking practices, this project sought to explore the career potential of professional blog writing through both self-hosted platforms and contractual blog contributing under established media outlets. After summarizing the historical progression of blogging since it began in the 1990s, this investigation also brings blogging up to speed by reporting on some of its current statistical uses and  trends. It then investigates the relationship between education and blogging, a link that is itself inherently uncertain because of the self-mediated and open-access nature of blogging (i.e. the promise that anyone can publish). The project also offers practicalguidance concerning the various approaches to commercial blogging as well as the projected income and viability of blogging professionally. In recognition of the ways that blogging has challenged journalistic domains and encroached upon traditional publishing hierarchies, the exploration herein also examines the positive and negative aspects of unmediated self-publishing in relation to its predecessor: traditional journalism. Lastly, because of the ubiquity and inevitability of social media use, this investigation looks at some of the professional benefits of maintaining an online presence regardless of one’s particular career trajectory.