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5 Core Skills of 21st Century English Literature Student

There are only two types of English Literature students:

  1. Learners of English Literature
  2. Non-learners of English Literature.

The good thing is that 80% of the students fall into the second category, the non-learners category.

The competition is always in the top 20% of the students in any subject. Out of this 20% of the candidates, only 5-10% are able to go any farther in their career, depending on the skills and knowledge of the subject.

The remaining students keep on struggling throughout their career.

All in all 21st-century brilliant students and teachers of English Literature are those who can learn more and at the same time who can contribute more to society.

Now, here we have to understand that consistent learning can shape our perceptions and our actions towards how good we are able to create our career out of this subject. This blog post points out five crucial core skills and habits one must develop to excel in English Literature.


Though you need college degrees to excel in your career, you don’t need to get dependent on others for realising your dreams. Students who have been spoon-fed right from their schools and then to the colleges are hardly going to survive.

A proven fact is you don’t need a formal education to educate yourself. Moreover, there is a difference between taking assistance from others and being dependent on others.

Dependency is another name for paralysis. When you are dependent on your teachers or friends for knowledge you will never be able to develop self-confidence. Self-confidence is directly proportional to self-education.

There is no problem when you are taking assistance from the people around you, but at the end of the day, you have to take responsibility for your career.

I’ve never got any formal education in English Literature. After graduating as an Engineer, I spent most of my time educating myself through different resources such as the internet and books.

So 21st century English Literature students are independent learners and independent thinkers.


This is one of those habits I learned the hard way. Whether you have to read a novel or you want to complete the giant subjects like British Literature or Literary Theory, patience is the only habit that is going to determine how good you will become at digesting this subject.

Many English Literature students are not patient enough to watch a five minute YouTube video or read a few pages from a book, how can we expect them to excel in this subject?

We live in a world of instant gratification. We need everything instantly but the bad news is: the road to education is filled with discomforts and long-term commitment.

The good news is patience can be learned like other skills. To develop it you need to keep on reminding yourself that patience is bitter but its fruits are sweet.

Accepting Rejections

I always wanted to be a writer and I’m not ashamed of saying that I’ve been rejected by publishers, literary agents, magazines, websites over a hundred times.

I’ve been rejected by my family and friends.

I failed to run a couple of websites.

All my start-ups and ideas failed at the beginning of my career.

I failed in a couple of subjects while pursuing Engineering. I failed to crack the English Literature UGC-NET examination in my first attempt.

Facing rejection does not mean it is the end of life, but it is proof you have been trying to do something. Practical life is entirely different from the life we live in our schools and colleges.

At every step in your career as a learner of English Literature, you have to face rejections. In fact, the more you get good at facing rejections, the less you will be disappointed.

So whether you want to crack your UGC-NET Examination or you want to build your career as a teacher or writer, the road is paved with full of disappointment and rejections.

And when we try to learn something new at every rejection, we grow from inside-out.

Ability To Read And Write

English Literature is not mathematics where you have one or two methods to solve a problem. English Literature is not about practice but about consumption.

It is a passive subject rather than the active one. The more you consume the information, the better student you become.

You can consume information through books, documentaries, YouTube videos so on and so forth.

However, consuming information through books will give you a better quality of thoughts. Reading is a passive skill whereas writing is an active skill.

Writing does not mean that you have to critically analyse a text or you have to learn to write the answers that your college teacher wants. The act of writing is simply an exploration of your own soul.

I’ve filled a dozen of journals in the past many years. It is not to impress the teachers, but to understand myself in a better way. Reading and writing go hand in hand. The more you read the better you write.

So buy a journal and start writing something every day about yourself, your friends and family and how you look at your career five or ten years from now. In short, use your diary to plan and organize your thoughts.

Here is the diary I bought a few months ago from Amazon. I’m currently planning my roadmap to helping the maximum number of students of English Literature in this new journal.

Let me know if you too also habit of maintaining a journal or reading books in the comments section below. Also, let me know about the topics you want me to cover in my next blog. 

2 thoughts on “5 Core Skills of 21st Century English Literature Student”

  1. Sir , may i have your number please.
    I am girl who want to go very far in literature Currier but its my starting point but i am confused i have so many roads,but i am not able to find the right one for myself.

    • I wish you all the best in your career. Do leave a Whatsapp message: +91-7891410858. Since I receive a lot of messages, please give me some time to revert. Hope it helps. Thanks!


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Hi, I'm Nakul Grover.
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