Re: Seeking advice on English MA

Subject: Re: Seeking advice on English MA
From: Elna Tymes <etymes -at- lts -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 13:16:34 -0700

Christine -dot- Anameier -at- seagate -dot- com wrote:

> If I write an excellent 25, 50, 100-page essay on
> subversion of hegemony in the lesser-known works of Cuthbert Queeg, that
> doesn't mean I can write a good six-step procedure on how to modify a
> database record.
> (2) In my experience, clarity is not universally encouraged in
> graduate-level writing. I occasionally had professors marking my papers
> down because they were TOO clear: any line of reasoning that didn't require
> serious head-scratching looked facile and superficial to them. Two
> professors marked my master's exam (essay exam; yes, we have no master's
> thesis). One of them felt the essays were clear, concise, and lively. The
> other clearly felt that the essays were not sufficiently formal,
> convoluted, and dry.

OK, people, let's be clear on what I originally stated: I have a "slight bias"
against English majors, based on my experience hiring and working with them.
That doesn't mean I don't hire them. That also doesn't mean I can't work with
them. In my experience, I've had a bit more trouble with English majors than
with other majors, and in the area of being nitpicky over details that don't
substantially contribute to clarity.

That being said, however, I've hired a number of English majors and found most
adaptable, eager to learn, and committed to clear, understandable writing. The
"slight bias" turns up when reviewing a resume; it is frequently countered by
good samples and/or a good interview.

And to put things into perspective, a person with a technical - or any other,
for that matter - major who can't communicate is of no particular value as a
writer in my firm. And that bias isn't small at all.

Elna Tymes
Los Trancos Systems


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Re: Seeking advice on English MA: From: Christine . Anameier

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