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Topic Title: BA in English or Bachelor of Creative Writing?
Topic Summary: in a US university.
Created On: 19 May 2013 12:35 AM
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 19 May 2013 12:35 AM
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SAVIO

Posts: 343
Joined: 07 May 2002

Dear All,

I'm an electrical building services engineer with 20 years of experience. My boss said I should improve my English as English is not my 1st language. I wish to seek your opinion whether I should apply for a BA in English or a Bachelor of Creative Writing in a US university. My goal is after I completed the degree, I can really improve my English.

Any advice is welcome!

Many thanks in advance.
 19 May 2013 10:31 AM
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SAVIO

Posts: 343
Joined: 07 May 2002

Dear Alan,

For your information, I have a BEng(Hons) in Electrical Engineering and a distance learning MBA.

My boss said I should improve my written English. He always asks me to re-write my draft letters and mark-up tons of comments on my drafts. :-(

Actually, I have already applied for a Bachelor's degree in a US university and I still have time to choose between a BA in English or a Bachelor of Creative Writing.

I really wish to improve my written English, but not sure which should I choose?!

 20 May 2013 04:02 AM
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SAVIO

Posts: 343
Joined: 07 May 2002

Dear Alan,

For your information, Tier 1 US university costs around US$40,000-50,000. Mine is only a Tier 3 US university. :-(

The University says a Bachelor of Creative Writing is a standard degree course offers in the department. Whereas they don't normally offer a BA in English. But, they will work out with the student the final award.

So, I prefer to take the easy route, i.e. a Bachelor of Creative Writing.

Frankly, what do you think about my written English for someone English is not his 1st language?
 20 May 2013 09:59 AM
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SAVIO

Posts: 343
Joined: 07 May 2002

I joined the IEE in 1995 and stay as a member until 2013.

I'm no longer a MIET because I cannot afford the high membership fee.:-(
 20 May 2013 01:40 PM
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MAWilson

Posts: 48
Joined: 22 February 2006

SAVIO,

The BA in English or Creative Writing seems a bit over the top to me. These would aid in understanding of the nuances of the language such as subtext etc but will not help much in Report Writing. I would suggest a community college unit in Business Communication would be quite good if you really want to improve your English. It's something even native speakers consider.

I did it in college about a 10+ years ago and it was an eye opener from GCSE level English. Report writing is more about clear concise communication with little opaque meaning.

p.s. I used a longman book "Technically Write" in college which I found good.

M Wilson BEng (Hons) MIET
 21 May 2013 03:31 PM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

I'd totally agree, I don't think a Bachelor's degree will really help your writing (certainly not in proportion to the effort of doing it) EXCEPT that it will make you read a lot of well written English.

If you combine the course referred to above with as much reading of English as you can hopefully it will all start to work. If you can get access through your employer or a library to technical journals then you will probably find that if you keep reading them you will start to think in "technical English". You will probably learn a lot of other interesting things as well! But the advantage of doing the communication course as well is that the tutor should give you helpful feedback on your writing on improving your communication skills.

By the way, don't get too upset at your boss writing lots of comments on your drafts, it is much better to us these to understand how to improve your writing.

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 23 May 2013 01:34 AM
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SAVIO

Posts: 343
Joined: 07 May 2002

Dear Andy,

So, if you can choose, you will pick BA in English?

Maybe I should talk to the university and request for a BA in English instead a Bachelor of Creative Writing.

I'm trying to get approval from my company on paying the course fee and pending for their reply.

I will start the course in September 2013 or maybe earlier.

Will keep you guys posting the outcome.

Thanks Guys!!

 24 May 2013 01:53 PM
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marclambert

Posts: 312
Joined: 23 June 2010

Originally posted by: g3xoi

First, I clearly did not understand exactly what "Creative Writing" meant. As Winston Churchill truly sais "England and the USA are two countries divided by a single language".



e.g.

Trousers - Pants,

Waistcoat - Vest

Boot - Trunk

Bonnet - Hood and so on......



Your written English is pretty good.



You might try to get hold of a copy of "Complete Plain Words" by Sir Ernest Gower. It is a bit dated but useful none-the-less.



Also do read some English Classic books which should illustaret good written English.



The IEE used to do a book on report writing. I do nort know if the IET still do, if so try to obtain it.



On the lighter side, a joke illustrating colloquial English.



"A Japanese tourist was walking in the West End of London [the Theatre quarter] and saw a placard saying "Carousel pronounced success". He went out and shot himself. "



Bon Chance !


Er is the spelling here tongue in cheek? Check out the italics.
 07 June 2013 10:07 AM
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kengreen

Posts: 400
Joined: 15 April 2013

Savio,

You do indeed have a barrier to cross. Firstly I understand that a self-appointed "expert" set out to write a Dictionary thqt would make American a different language - unique to Americans - and I am bound to say thqt he succeeded :-) I quote H.H.Munro (aka Saki) when he gave his character the words: "I dislike the Germans. I hate the Americans when they try to speak French. How fortunate that they do not try to speak English".

But, joking aside, are you sure thqt your Boss is qualified to criticise your command of English. Of course, he is well within his rights but he is not necessarily correct.

In terms of written English most Americans seem not to read enough and are sadly lacking in vocabulary; hence, when stuck for the RIGHT word, they simply create one for themselves. In the technical world thqt is a definite NO-NO. The most important thing is the ability to express your meaning without any ambiguity and also without tautology - i.e floundering around trying to say what you mean without repeating. A Teacher in front of a class gets instant feedback from his pupils' faces and can try again but a Writer leaves his work to bedevil at a distance in both Space and Time and MUST get it exactly correct when it leaves him.

Your criticising Boss may, in truth, offend more than do you. There does not exist a language that can exceed English (UK) in its ability to "say what it means and to mean what it says".

Ken Green
 07 June 2013 03:35 PM
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engineer198

Posts: 2
Joined: 07 June 2013

The membership fee is extremely high
 19 June 2013 09:07 AM
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SAVIO

Posts: 343
Joined: 07 May 2002

Agree! :-(
 27 June 2013 12:50 AM
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SAVIO

Posts: 343
Joined: 07 May 2002

I have submitted my resignation letter today. Maybe I will become a retired engineer. I can't afford the high education fees and IET membership fee. :-(

Any suggestion for some old man like me :-) ?
 09 July 2013 09:32 AM
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SAVIO

Posts: 343
Joined: 07 May 2002

I got an interview invitation tomorrow. It is a local small consultant firm. Maybe I can work there until my retirement. :-)
 12 July 2013 08:03 AM
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orionrock

Posts: 11
Joined: 11 July 2013

I am agree with you....

-------------------------
iphone parts,mobile phone parts
 31 July 2013 07:51 AM
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SAVIO

Posts: 343
Joined: 07 May 2002

I will get back to the workforce tomorrow. I would like to contribute to the society with my knowledge and experience. Wish me luck!
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