Think ‘English’ - our top tips!


Considering studying either English Literature or Creative Writing at undergraduate level?

Person sitting reading a book alongside the King William Courtyard

Looking for some tips to get you thinking about one of these areas? If so, look no further - our subject teaching teams have a few suggestions which might help.

Creative Writing: Watch, think and then create

  • Get reading: The best writers are often also the best readers. Read as widely as you can - try both new authors and new types of writing. Why not start by checking out some of our very own Creative Writing students’ work from 2020? Always reflect on what you’ve read and have a go at trying to write something like it yourself - don’t worry if it doesn’t turn out right, that’s all part of the process (and the fun!).
  • Pay attention: The world around you is crammed with inspiring material - places, characters, stories, images - and it’s all free! Instead of browsing social media, try watching people around you, look out for interesting things and use ALL your senses. Even a bus journey can provide a poem, short story or idea for a play - if you’re alert to its possibilities.
  • Write: Writers write! Carry a notebook and pen wherever you go. When inspiration strikes, write it down or - if you're struggling for ideas - write about what’s around you. Do it all day, every day - and if you go on to join us on a Creative Writing course, you’ll have material you may be able to use in your studies. Don’t worry if your writing seems not as you want - if you join us, we’ll show you how to improve it.

English Literature: Start to think and act like a literary scholar

  • Read widely: It’s obvious, really, but there's no better way to expand your literary horizons. Perhaps start with a contemporary novel - maybe one shortlisted for a literary prize - or browse your local library/charity shop shelves for intriguing, possibly neglected, classics. Remember - as well as novels - there’s a wealth of poetry, drama and literary criticism out there waiting to be discovered.
  • Visit places of interest: This will depend on where you are (and whether Covid restrictions are in place). Look for places of literary interest local to you. If you’re in London, the British Library, the Dickens Museum and Keats House are three suggestions but lots of places have literary connections for you to discover.
  • Events: Whether it’s a new author on the publicity treadmill, meeting readers and signing books, or a critic or an expert talking about their area of interest, events can help you to start to build a frame of literary reference. Pre-pandemic, live events were commonplace and while there may not be the number of live events there were previously (or live events may not be permitted where you are) look out for any opportunities to hear from authors, including online events.

Whether its English Literature or Creative Writing that fascinates, we hope some of the pointers above help to get you thinking a little more about the area that interests you.

To find out about Greenwich's range of undergraduate English courses, click here.

General public; Prospective students


Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences