How to Learn English Literature on Your Own (A 12-Step Roadmap)

A bit of my English Lit collection

When I asked my mom, an English major, the best way to go about learning English Literature outside of a formal program, she gave me a piece of advice that struck me as both exciting and overwhelming. She told me, rather nonchalantly, to just “read everything”. 

Everything? With millions of books out there, how was I supposed to pick which ones to read? The last thing I wanted was to read the wrong books and waste time. And what about literary criticism and theory? I wanted a systematic approach.

So I asked her to elaborate, and perused college curriculums, and spent way too much time in the forums reviewing what literary scholars had to say on the matter of self-eduction in English Literature (a lot of them also say read everything). 

Our conversation and my research led to the creation of this 12-step roadmap for teaching yourself English Literature in a systematic way. 

It’s designed for autodidacts wanting a foundational education in literary analysis, criticism, and the great works of English Literature, without going to school. It will also help you become a better writer, thinker, and reader. 

The roadmap is meant to be followed in order, as each step builds on the last. But feel free to skip around as well. And let your curiosity guide you more than any program or book list. That’s the best way to stay motivated. 

That said, let’s begin our journey through the stories, essays, poems, and plays that stayed with us, that meant something.

Note: If you want a book-only plan to self-learn English lit, check out my 14-book reading program for beginners.

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1. Learn Your Literary Devices 

Literary devices are techniques writers use to communicate meanings that go beyond what the words say on the page. A metaphor may be deployed to create a feeling of disgust in the reader, an allusion to borrow power from another great work, and a symbol to convey double meaning. 

Source:Your Dictionary 

It would do you well to review the most important literary devices, as they’ll be mentioned regularly in lectures and articles, and used frequently by the authors. 

Being able to spot them will also make your reading of the great works of English Literature more enjoyable and your own writing about literature more impressive. 

Pro Tip: Grabbing a good English dictionary is another great way to prepare for your readings. I know that when I’m reading a book I’d like to avoid opening up my phone to look up a word; even just a text message from a friend can send me down a rabbit hole. 

2. Watch Crash Course English Literature 

In many of my self-education roadmaps, Crash Course earns an early spot in the steps. My fondness of the series owes mostly to the teacher’s ability to introduce academic subjects in an entertaining yet intellectual way. 

Crash Course English Literature offers 36 videos, many of them analyzing and interpreting well-known novels, plays, and poems. So it’s a simple way for the beginning autodidact in English to familiarize themself with some of the greatest works. 

As is the case for any video series in English Literature, the lectures will hit harder and be more interesting if you have already read the work the teacher is discussing.

However, you can still enjoy these videos without knowing the plots of the stories beforehand. 

Alternative Study Approach: If you’re short on time, you can also give yourself a solid education in English Lit by following this Habit-Based Literary Education Plan. Otherwise, keep trucking forth!

3. Take Some Introductory English Literature Online Course 

As an autodidact, it can help to test English Literature’s waters by taking some introductory online courses. This gives you a chance to determine if this is a subject you truly wish to study for the long haul. 

You’ll have the benefit of a professor reading the books alongside you and providing you with their interpretations, hence displaying to you astute literary analysis in action. 

Most courses work by assigning you classics to read. During the lecture portions, the teacher will point out things the uninitiated reader may miss on their first read. 

For example, in Yale’s free “The American Novel Since 1945” course, the professor opened my eyes to the fact that the protagonist’s name, Haze Motes, has a biblical significance. 

Below I’ve listed some of the introductory courses I’ve found most helpful in trying to break into English Literature. The list spans three of the main literary forms: novels, plays, and poetry. 

Taking all six courses is close to what many English Literature major’s do in their two years at University, excluding perhaps a course in English composition and gen ed courses like ECON 101.  

Introduction to American Literature 1: Beginnings to Civil War

This is one of the best courses I’ve found to learn about literature as a beginner. The NYU course is considered by faculty members and students to be the bootcamp for literature majors.

The professor, who calls himself the drill sergeant, is enthusiastic and expects a lot from his students.

I highly consider this if you want to learn about American literary tradition, American culture, interpretive techniques for reading, and to grow as a literary scholar.

The American Novel Since 1945 (Online Yale Course)

The American Novel Since 1945 is a free Yale course found on Open Yale Courses (OYC). Its 26 lectures are recordings of live classes, so it feels almost like you’re actually at University. This course was one of my first impressions of academic English Literature. I loved it.  

Throughout the course, you’ll read 14 of the greatest American novels written after 1945, tracing the major thematic and technical developments of the literary form during that period. 

Among other books, you’ll get to study these heavy hitters: 

  • Black Boy by Richard Wright (eye-opening and beautifully written)
  • On the Road by Jack Kerouac (my father’s favorite book)
  • Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy (deeply disturbing and poetic)
  • The Human Stain by Philip Roth (one of my favorite novels of all time)

My favorites were The Human Stain (really prescient of cancel culture) and Black Boy. I liked starting with this course because its works were more current and as a result easier to connect with and enjoy than works from medieval England.

I was able to use novels that engaged me to build my literary chops up to a level that enabled me to understand and appreciate older, more difficult works when the time came to read those. 

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Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Faulkner (Online Yale Course) 

Another Yale free course is Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Faulkner, which offers you the chance to study the major works of three of the most influential American writers of the early 20th century. 

Source:Open Yale Courses 

Drawing on her knowledge of US history and modernism, Professor Wai Chee Dimock examines the interconnections between these three writers and their works.

Working your way through classics like The Great Gatsby and The Sound and the Fury and watching their corresponding lectures will improve not only your ability to interpret literature, but also your understanding of US history around the turn of the 20th century. 

Shakespeare’s Hamlet (HarvardX)

Shakespeare’s Hamlet is another free, self-paced course, this time created by Harvard and hosted on edX. 


Reading Hamlet with Harvard professor Stephen Greenblatt is an excellent way to get acquainted with the Bard and what many call his greatest tragedy, for which there are numerous interpretations, as you’ll learn in the course.

The course involves video lectures, a reading of Hamlet, conversations with experts, and readings from literary scholars like James Joyce. 

Here are some things you’ll learn:


If you’re into tracking how many books you read per year, it may strike you as counterproductive to focus an entire course on one work, let alone one character in that work. 

If so, I beg you to throw that 21st century notion of efficiency away. Many great writers of old read very few books by today’s standards. Thoreau re-read Homer’s works numerous times, always finding something new. 

Just look at what he had to say in his chapter “Reading” from the book Walden: 

“Books must be read as deliberately and reservedly as they were written.” 

Some works deserve a near obsessive amount of attention, for they have influenced so many other great works of literature, and have so many life lessons, meanings, and writing techniques to offer the careful reader. Shakespeare’s Hamlet is surely one of them. Dig deep into it and you’ll be rewarded.   

Modern & Contemporary Poetry (UPenn via Coursera) 

Modern & Contemporary Poetry is a free, self-paced course created by UPenn and hosted on Coursera. It’s an introductory level poetry course that takes around 93 hours to complete and is focused on US poetry, especially the experimental types. 


By taking this course you’ll learn how to analytically read poems that you may have thought difficult beforehand. You’ll also expose yourself to famous poems by writers like Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman and John Asherby, thereby filling your mind with creative material. 

One of the best parts about this course is how you can attend weekly interactive webcasts where you can discuss the poems with other students and TAs. This feature addresses one of the major gaps in a self-education in English, the ability to discuss literature in real-time with other intelligent readers. 

Old English Literature: Language as History (The Great Courses)

Old English Literature is a self-paced online course hosted by The Great Courses, a website The Wall Street Journal called “A serious force in American Education”. 

This course will give you an understanding and appreciation of the foundations of English literary conventions and language, plus some cool knowledge about English medieval history. 

By analyzing classic texts like Beowulf and discussing the origins and nature of the English language, Professor Renee Trilling PhD takes you back in time to learn about the beginnings of the English literary tradition. 

“Studying Old English language and literature is at once challenging, fun, and an utter revelation. It’s as close to time travel as you can get.” 

-Renée R. Trilling, PhD

Exploring the language alongside the literary works it produces will reveal how the stories and words express the values and customs of the early English people, a people whose culture would soon spread across the globe. 

If you take all five of these courses, give yourself a pat on the back and go grab a beer at a pub or something English like that. You deserve it.

With freelance writing and studying to do, it took me about two months to finish just that first course. So congrats. Now let’s focus on building up your powers of literary interpretation and analysis. 

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4. Grab a Copy of How to Read Literature Like a Professor

Noticing my recent uptick in novel consumption, my friend gifted me this handy book, How to Read Literature Like a Professor. It serves as a sort of crash course in literary analysis.

By walking you through common symbols (vampires, weather, illness, etc) and sources of intertextuality (Shakespeare and the Bible), Professor Thomas Foster teaches you how to find the deeper meanings within literary works. 

For example, one chapter is about vampires, where Foster discusses how vampires in literature often represent not just a scary character, but also a man trying to steal the innocence of a younger woman. 

Definitely grab a copy of this book and either read through the whole thing or use it as a reference guide when you read great works. 

5. Get Acquainted with Literary Theory & Criticism 

University students usually have to take one course in literary theory and another in literary criticism. Although the two disciplines are closely related, they do differ. 

Literary criticism is the act of interpreting, appreciating, and evaluating a work of literature. It’s practical. In many of the online courses you’ll take the lecturer is sharing their literary criticism as they discuss the work. 

Source:H-B Woodlawn 

Literary theory, on the other hand, represents the different literary lenses through which you can view a work of literature. It’s therefore theoretical. It provides approaches you can use to get meaning out of literature and do literary criticism. 

For example, a literary critic using Marxist literary theory to analyze 1984 will come up with different interpretations of the book than someone operating under formalism, a school of criticism which treats works as separate from their social and historical context.  

For the dedicated autodidact of English Literature, it’s a good idea to get a basic grasp of these two disciplines. This enhances your reading experience and enables you to think and write more effectively about literature. 

Here are some ways to study the fundamentals literary theory and criticism: 

  • Take Yale’s Introduction to Literary Theory: This free online course surveys the main trends in literary theory over the last hundred years. It tackles questions like what is literature, what is its purpose, and how does it relate to the reader? 
  • Read Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction: If short on time grab this book from the Oxford series of very short introductions. 
  • Review An Introduction to Literature, Theory, and Criticism: This beginner-level textbook will get you thinking about the biggest questions in literary theory and criticism.
  • Peruse Essays of Literary Criticism on Your Favorite Work: You can often find books, articles, or essays of literary criticism on certain works. For example, I found this LOTR criticism book Tolkien and the Study of His Sources: Critical Essays

If you’re really interested in these topics, then Benjamin Mcevoy, a brilliant literary essayist and Oxford graduate in English Literature, recommends the books listed below for learning about literary criticism and theory like you would at Oxford: 

Source:Benjamin Mcevoy 

I highly recommend checking out his YouTube channel or joining his book club Hardcore Literature as well. They’re excellent resources for the self-educator in English Literature. 

Hey, and if you like thinking in the theoretical, consider checking out my philosophy self-eduction roadmap. This is a great thing to study alongside literature.

6. Study an Annotated Copy of a Classic Work

At this point, consider reading an annotated copy of a great work, perhaps your favorite novel, so that you can see literary analysis in action as you go through the book. 

In writing alongside the text, the annotator points out things like historical references, narrative techniques, underlying meanings, and other subtleties you may have missed reading it on your own. 

For example, here’s an annotated copy of Pride and Prejudice, which shows the original text on the left page and the annotations on the right one: 

Annotations such as these are meant to enhance your understanding and appreciation of the work. Some copies also give you questions that will help you think more deeply about the text. 

In her Medium Article, Author Amy Teegan (MA English) argues that reading annotated works is one of the best ways to learn to read and think about literature like an academic: 

“Studying the annotations closely will not only teach you about that particular book, but it will also teach you what to look for in other books. What kinds of common symbolism literary critics recognize. What kinds of word play is notable and what kind of historical context these writers are operating in.”

To get an annotated copy, simply google “annotated copy of {work’s title}.” If it’s a well-known work, you’ll likely find one. 

As you read, take your time and think critically about the annotations. Do you agree? What evidence is there to support the claim? And if you don’t, what annotation would you make instead? 

Are you a beginner in the classics? Learn how I transformed from non-reader to avid reader of the classics in my article out my guide How to Start Reading the Classics (10 Steps for Beginners).

7. Form the Habit of Writing Book Reviews or Critical Essays

Now that you have a good basic education in English Literature, consider starting a blog or YouTube channel where you write book reviews or critical essays and publish them publicly on the internet. 

This serves as an accountability mechanism, which is often missing in self-education programs. The simple knowledge that someone will see your work, even if it’s just friends and family, forces you to take studying the work more seriously. 

As you read, you’re more likely to do the following active reading habits: 

  • Take Better Notes: You’ll write your own reflections on the prose or scene because those thoughts will be valuable when you write your review. 
  • Ask More Questions: You’ll mark down questions to investigate later for your piece, such as “why did this author choose this odd scene as their climax?” 
  • Read More Closely: You’ll inspect everything with a detective’s eye, searching to find something unique to share in your essay. 

Then, when you go to write the review, you’ll have to revisit the notes and underlines you made when reading. This act of returning helps you lock the information into your brain. You’re less likely to have that moment of frustration that occurs when someone asks what the book was about and you blank. 

Writing reviews also forces you to think more deeply about the book in order to create a final piece that expresses an informed and sophisticated opinion. 

As you write and rewrite, questions will arise like “is that argument supportable?” and “how does that symbol I underlined enhance the scene?” 

Plus, to answer these questions you might have to explore what other writers and scholars have said about the piece of literature in their essays or reviews, which in turn enhances your own understanding of the work. 

As an added benefit of publishing online, you may even be able to monetize your YouTube channel or blog down the line through ads or affiliate marketing, where you can get a commission cut if someone buys the book in your review. Perhaps you’ll get so good that you can make a career out of being a literary critic. 

Here’s a cool video about how to get book reviews published in literary journals (although it’s for new books). 

In sum, publishing online about the books you read forces you to be a deeper reader and a better writer, and may open up professional pathways in literature. 

8. Pick One Literary Giant & Read Everything They’ve Written

Now that you have a basic understanding of literary criticism, theory, and analysis, as well as exposure to some of the great works of English literature, it may be a good idea to do what Oxford English Lit students call the Special Author Module. 

This is where you pick one author and read everything they’ve written. Doing this allows you to get a deep understanding of one of your favorite authors. You become an expert in them, especially if you’re reading critical essays about the writer’s works as well. This expertise can be a real boon to your confidence. 

Also, by reading an author’s entire corpus you are able to see an overarching message that the writer is trying to communicate and note how they developed as a writer, especially if you read them chronologically. You can see where they improved and how their ideas changed over time. 

As for which author to pick, it’s best to pick an author you enjoy who is also influential in English Literature. In his video on how to get an Oxford English Education for Free, Benjamin Mcevoy states that he did Joseph Conrad for his special author program.

Here were the other options for special authors when he was at Oxford: 

Source:Benjamin Mcevoy 

Like any list of great authors, this one is missing some big names, so if you have someone else in mind like Fitzgerald or Zadie Smith, go right ahead. 

9. Familiarize Yourself with Some of Shakespeare’s Works

Shakespeare introduced 1,700 new words into the English language, and many of the cliches we use today in everyday conversation find their origin in his works. “Dead as a doornail” is from Henry IV. 


And many later writers drew source material from Shakespeare, whether they meant to for effect, or whether they did so unknowingly. 

Just look at all the common phrases we may say without citing their true creator:

Because of his influence on language and later writers, familiarizing yourself with Shakespeare will enable you to spot references and nods to the great bard as you read later works, hence adding depths of meaning to the works. 

Now, if you’re anything like I was, you’re a bit daunted by the task of reading Shakespeare. His writing is complex, poetic, and old. To allay your concerns, check out this guide by Oxford on how to read Shakespeare for pleasure

According to Rewire the West, these are the five best plays for beginners: 

  • Romeo and Juliet
  • Hamlet
  • Much Ado About Nothing
  • Macbeth
  • A Midsummer’s Night Dream 

The author of the article also recommends watching the plays before reading them, since Shakespeare’s plays weren’t written to be read. They were written for the stage. 

Many film adaptations are available online. Of course, if it’s possible, attending live plays is the best way to experience Shakespeare, and in doing so you also support local theater groups. 

Pro Tip: Consider reading the King James Bible as well. The Bible had a tremendous amount of influence on the poets, novelists, playwrights of the English literary tradition.

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10. Read Through the Great Works of English Literature 

Step 10 is the longest and most challenging step in the journey towards acquiring a deep and wide foundation in English Literature. It’s where you become well-read in English literature.

It’s time to put your critical thinking powers and reading skills to the test and listen to that advice English teachers love to give to the new student: “read everything!”. 

Of course, by everything they mean the great works of English literature, the canonical works. But this advice spawns two questions — what are the greatest works and in what order should I read them?

Different scholars have different answers to the question. 

A retired Phd who’s fed up with structure from their days in academia might tell you to just follow your curiosity or to find a reputable list online of the greatest novels ever written and read those in no specific order.  

Others, like Jason Slavin (M.A. in English Lit), might recommend a more systematic, chronological approach. The key, however, is to read as much as you can, and to fashion a reading program that will keep you motivated.

Because every self-learner is different, I’ve listed a few reading strategies for the beginner in English Lit:

  • Chronological Approach: Grab the Norton Anthology of English Literature and read through it from start to finish. 
  • Lite Chronological Approach: Use Susan Wise Bauer’s Novel reading list from her book The Well Educated Mind, reading one genre chronologically before starting the next genre. Note some are outside of the English tradition, like Dostoevsky.
  • Oxford Approach: Read the works in the order in which Oxford English Literature students read them. 
  • Curiosity-Dominant Approach: Design your own reading list based on other reputable book lists and your interests, and then read within the confines of that list, but in no particular order. 

I’ll go over each of these reading strategies more in-depth to help you decide which is right for your goals and learning style. 

Because this is such a long goal, it can help to read some of your books using audiobooks. This way you can listen to them as you drive, commute, or go about your chores.

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The Chronological Reading Approach 

In this strategy you start in the middle ages and work your way through the ages to the present day. By doing so, you’re able to trace the thematic and technical development of English Literature. 

This is what Jason Slavin recommends in his response to self-learning English Lit: 

You also get the benefit of reading contemporaries alongside each other. You spot parallels in their narrative techniques and see references they make about one another, both of which provide useful material for literary essays and book reviews. 

You’ll find a lot of people on Quora recommending the same approach. Many of them also tell you to get a copy of the Norton Anthology of English Literature, which is a staple in English classes around the world. 

This 3,192 page tome is a collection of the greatest works of English Literature and spans from Beowulf to the 21st century. 

It includes many of the most renowned essays, poems, plays, novels, and short fiction in the English language and arranges them by authors in chronological order according to when they were born. Each time period (Middle Ages, Romantic Period, etc.) and author have their own introductions. 

According to Slavin, if you read through this entire backbreaking book and followed his procedure of creating a booklet of synopses for each time period, section, and major work, you’d be well-suited for a Phd program in English Lit. 

The Lite Chronological Approach (And For One Literary Genre at a Time)

Feeling that I, an economics major, missed out on some liberal arts benefits in my college education, I read the Well Educated Mind, A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had.

In the Book, Susan Wise Bauer, English Instructor and Author, teaches you how to intelligently read five of the major literary genres: history, novels, autobiography, poems, and drama, each of which requires a distinct reading approach. 

She also provides reading lists for each of the literary genres, which are in chronological order. If you took this approach, you could work through 31 of the most influential novels of all time, then tackle the poems, then the dramas, and then the autobiographies.

I should note that not all of the works are written by native English-speaking authors, so if you want a strictly English Literature education, perhaps go with the Norton Anthology approach. 

But, as a self-educator, you have freedom. And reading a few writers from outside of English-speaking countries will broaden your perspective and lend you a bit of worldliness, and perhaps some wanderlust. Plus, the best works of Tolstoy, Flaubert, and others are well translated into English.   

The Oxford Approach

Oxford’s English department has a reputation for assigning a brutal amount of reading to their undergraduate students, as if they’re testing their dedication to the English Language. 

In his video on how to get an English Lit Oxford Education, Benjamin Mcevoy states that they nearly beat the love of literature out of him for good — he didn’t read a book for an entire year after graduating. 

That said, as an autodidact, you get to determine your own time frame for your studies. There are only self-imposed deadlines for readings. So there’s no need to torture yourself, unless you’d like to.

If you want to study English with the curriculum of an Oxford student, check out his video and follow his reading plan:

As a preview, you’ll be reading the greatest English-language writers from the following eras: 

  • Modern: 1984, Heart of Darkness, Brave New World, etc. 
  • Old English: Beowulf, The Battle of Maldon, The Riddles, etc. 
  • Middle English: The Canterbury Tales, Sir Gaiwan the Green Knight, etc. 
  • Renaissance: Utopia, Doctor Faustus, Essays of Sir Francis Bacon, etc.
  • Restoration: Paradise Lost, The Pilgrim’s Progress, Gulliver’s Travels
  • Romantic: Poems by Wordsworth, Blake, Keats, Shelley – Pride & Prejudice 

He also recommends some books on the English language and literary theory. This is a great option for someone who often feels doubt about their method of learning and wants to therefore follow one designed by a prestigious institution so they have confidence and stick with their self-directed studies.  

The Curiosity-Dominant Approach 

If you work best with as few rules as possible, consider using what I’ll call the curiosity-dominant approach, where you create a list of the greatest works you want to read, and then read them in no particular order, letting your curiosity pick what you read next. 

That way, if you were planning to read Great Expectations next, but you see a video about Thomas Hardy that gets you excited about his work, you have the freedom to alter your course. 

There’s enough structure to keep you from feeling like you’re not making any progress, something I’ve felt before as an autodidact when just reading without a program, but not too much structure that you feel oppressed and ultimately discouraged from the venture because you can’t read what you want to read at the moment.

If you’re going to use this approach, consider going through multiple lists like the greatest plays ever written or The Guardian’s 100 Best Novels Written in English, and selecting about 50-100 of your own to read. Try to get a nice mix of genres, but mostly pick from the ones you enjoy most. 

This will be your reading program for at least a year (unless it’s all short stories and poems), and after finishing the list you’ll have transformed into quite the literary butterfly. 

When you read classic novels, slowing down will help you get more out of them. Consider checking out my article on my 3-phase approach for deep reading classic novels to learn how to read novels for better retention, understanding, and intellectual development.

11. Supplement Your Readings with Other Online Resources

As you’re reading the great works, consider using other resources to enhance your understanding of each work, to gain insight into the historical and cultural context in which it was produced, or simply to learn something new in the world of literature. 

Sometimes this means listening to a YouTube video or reading an article interpreting an especially confusing novel that you just slammed down onto the floor in a fit of fury. 

SparkNotes for The Sound and the Fury

Other times it involves reading numerous literary essays to fuel your own critical thinking about one of your favorite works. It might mean watching a writer give a lecture or partake in an interview. 

Typically, the more a work thrills or confuses you the more you’ll want to consult outside sources about that work and the author who wrote it. 

Below are some resources to use to help you get more out of your self-directed readings and learn more about English Literature: 

  • CliffNotes & SparkNotes: These websites provide helpful plot summaries and interpretations of famous works of literature. In middle school, when my love for reading had been briefly taken from me, I frequented these sites before exams. 
  • Literary Podcasts: There are many literary podcasts that feature intelligent people discussing great works of English literature. A few to check out are the On the Road with Penguin Classics Podcast and The Great Books Podcast
  • Online Courses: There are plenty of online courses that can give you a scholarly perspective on the work you’re reading or help you learn about some topic ostensibly disconnected from your current read, like this Udemy course on Edgar Allen Poe
  • YouTube Channels: Check out what booktubers have to say about the work you’re reading. 

Reading a lot of literature written hundreds of years ago is rewarding but can at times be pretty tiresome, so it’s nice to have some other learning devices to fall back on when you want to be a bit more passive in your studies, like after a long day’s work. 

Hearing what other people have to say about a novel or poem will also inform your own opinion and broaden your perspective.  

I write more about the benefits of secondary literature in my article One Piece of Bad Advice Preventing You From Enjoying the Classics.

12. Follow Your Curiosity  

As you get deeper into your studies, it’s crucial that you let curiosity be your main guide.

With a foundation in English Literature, you can start to focus on more specific topics that capture your interest. Perhaps that means taking a course on The Life and Works of Jane Austen, or one on something a bit more philosophical like Postcolonial Literary Theory

Whatever pulls at your attention should get heavy consideration as you go about your studies. Following your curiosity is the best way to stay motivated as a self-taught scholar. 

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So, You Read a Lot of English Literature — Now What? 

As you increase your exposure to great works, improve your critical thinking skills, and heighten your sensitivity to language, you’ll no doubt find yourself more masterful in the art of expression. 

You’ll find poetic sentences flowing form your mouth at the bar, or from your pen in an email to a colleague. 

You might also start to think about pursuing new career paths where you can use and cultivate these literary talents. 

For example, you might find yourself desirous of attending a graduate program in English, or self educating yourself in another subject.

If so, check out the self-education roadmaps part of the website to find guides for sociology, philosophy, history, and other related fields.

Or perhaps you’ll want to become a writer. If so, start writing in whatever genre you find most heart-wrenchingly satisfying.

Maybe you’ll feel the urge to become an editor or agent who helps bring new great stories and poems into this world. 

Whether or not this self-education in Literature has drawn you to a new career, you’ll have developed communication skills and worldly knowledge that will help you succeed in your current profession and live a deeper, richer, more thoughtful life. 

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After graduating college with an econ degree I realized I was still anything but well-educated. Over the last 4 years, I've been trying to fix that, autodidact-mode — by reading books and engaging in self-directed study across multiple subjects. On this blog, my goal is to share my learnings and help others get a well-rounded education outside of school. Education, after all, is a lifelong process, one well worth the investment.

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