Department of American Studies ELTE
Department of American Studies US flag
Eötvös Loránd University

B.A. Specialization American Writing Program:
American Journalism, Academic and Creative Writing


This 50-credit specialization course (i.e., equivalent with a minor program) in American Journalism is aimed primarily at those B.A. students who have taken the American Studies track and are not enrolled in any other minor program. Nevertheless, application is open to students studying in the English track, too.

The main aims of the course are the following:

(i) to promote and train students in a broader range of writing styles leading to excellence in printed communication within various genres of American English;
(ii) to establish and develop students’ critical thinking skills in the analysis of various texts and genres;
(iii) to expand students’ knowledge of U.S. culture indispensable for a better production and understanding of the written word.

(i) Certain courses will aid students to further develop their American English vocabulary and grammar skills, and to learn to formulate their thoughts and ideas in viable mass media formats based on an American standard. The teaching of various writing styles and genres is intricately related to the teaching of thinking itself: the ways thought is carved, so to speak, in language and, as a consequence, the ways thought is being communicated in journalistic, academic, or creative writing.

(ii) A number of the courses are directed at the acquisition of critical thinking, without which neither the understanding nor the composition of texts is possible. By acquiring the complex analytical skills that are indispensable to critical thinking, students will gain much-needed confidence in the comprehension and evaluation of texts.

(iii) The specialization course also aims to broaden and systematize students’ knowledge of American culture. Accordingly, certain courses will focus on the role and influence of journalism (and the media in general) in American culture, on controversial issues that divide American society, and on the structure and range of activities of the American public sphere.

By the end of the specialization program, students will have learned the practical, yet technical American style writing skills used in journalism, as well as academic and creative writing that are applicable to many professions. Journalists, academics, and creative writers all depend on the acquisition, exploitation, and placement of the printed word to capture history, document research, educate, and entertain. Being an American English specialty, the first in Hungary, it is a hallmark program to draw the attention of potential employers who will court students as they get close to graduating. In addition to preparing students for further study at an advanced degree level, this program will prepare them for fruitful and practical employment opportunities.

Anticipated outcomes for successful students who have elected this option are:

  • to analyze critically their responses to research, reporting, and writing;
  • to evaluate the research they have gathered and use it in an organized method with fairness and balance in their writing;
  • to understand the relationship between their writing and the community for which they write;
  • to work in cooperation with others by developing their own organizational skills and information literacy;
  • to become self-reliant and confident in their abilities to assume a position as a journalist or writer.


1st semester (6 seminars, total: 17 credits)
Academic Writing in the Writing Center (mandatory, 3 credits)
Critical Thinking and Analysis (mandatory, 3 credits)
Introduction to Journalism (mandatory, 3 credits)
Race and Ethnicity in Journalism I (mandatory, 3 credits)
Grammar and Vocabulary Development (mandatory, 3 credits)
Typing (mandatory, 2 credits)

2nd semester (5 seminars, total: 15 credits)
American English in Journalism (mandatory, 3 credits)
Writing the Op-Ed (mandatory, 3 credits)
Library research methods (mandatory, 3 credits)
Race and Ethnicity in Journalism II (mandatory, 3 credits)
Introduction to Creative Writing (mandatory, 3 credits)

3rd semester (6 seminars, total: 18 credits)
Grant Writing (mandatory, 3 credits)
Reading and Writing the Memoir (mandatory, 3 credits)
Ethics in Journalism (mandatory, 3 credits)
TBA (mandatory, 3 credits)
Elective (mandatory, 3 credits)*
Journalism Internship or Special Project (mandatory, 3 credits)

*Elective courses:
Magazine writing, Mass Communication and the American Image, Arts and Leisure Review and Writing, Images of Journalism in American Film, Blogging: 21st Century Journalism