MA Culminating Project

Procedures and Requirements

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Before graduating, a candidate for the Master of Arts degree in English must

  1. submit a Culminating Project of work for evaluation, and
  2. present selected contents of that project at a designated English Department event.

The MA Culminating Project will be due no later than the Wednesday of the ninth week of the semester in which a student plans to have it evaluated. A student may present the portfolio for evaluation after completing at least 24 credits in the program, in which case the remaining 9 credits must be completed in the graduating semester. All I and X grades (along with any other grades that candidates plan to change) must be removed from the Program of Study before the portfolio can be evaluated.

MA Culminating Project Requirements

The final MA Culminating Project must include the following elements:

  1. An introductory essay of 5-8 pages which details the student’s intellectual development during the master’s program and which places the revised seminar paper into the context of that development. The essay must also describe the choice of journal to be targeted and the process of revision in terms of the challenges faced and the strategies employed for meeting those challenges. Appropriate items for specific analytical or critical discussion include earlier course papers or projects as well as ideas or theoretical frameworks encountered by the student during the program of study. Students are urged to quote from and engage with course papers, teacher’s comments, course texts, and/or critics, theorists, scholars, and/or practitioners in the fields whose work is relevant to the student’s development and has culminated in the revised seminar paper. Students in the TESOL concentration will substitute the TESOL Exit Portfolio.
  2. An official signed copy of the candidate's Program of Study. The Program of Study will be available two weeks before the portfolio is due. Contact Becca Webb in the department office.
  3. A copy of the Culminating Project Paper Advising Form, approved by the appropriate advisor.
  4. A 120-word abstract of the revised seminar paper.
  5. A revised seminar paper, subject to the following guidelines:
    1. During the semester before the semester in which the student intends to graduate (e.g., during the fall semester if the student intends to graduate in spring), students choose one seminar paper (written originally for a seminar taken as part of the program of study toward the MA) to revise to a level appropriate for submission to a peer-reviewed academic journal.
      1. Students must propose the paper for revision by using the appropriate MA Culminating Project Advising Form (PDF) and submitting it to a) the professor who taught the seminar for which the paper was originally written (who will serve as the advisor for the project), b) the Director of Graduate Studies, and c) Becca Webb. Approval must be secured in writing from both the proposed project advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies no later than Wednesday of the twelfth week of the semester. Students should contact their advisor no later than the 8th week of the semester to set up a meeting.
      2. In consultation with the project advisor, students will target and research a specific journal appropriate as a potential publication venue for the project. This research will include learning all appropriate submission and formatting guidelines, becoming familiar with other pieces the journal has published in recent volumes, etc.
    2. During the semester at the end of which the student intends to graduate, students will revise the paper, targeting the journal the project advisor has approved. Revision needs to be substantial and thorough, and should include at least three of the following:
      1. an expanded review of secondary research, including, for example, criticism of other works by the same author;
      2. a deepening of historical and/or biographical context;
      3. a deepening of the theoretical context;
      4. a reworking of the paper’s organization to better fit its argument;
      5. an expanded sense of how the paper intervenes in its field;
      6. other suggestions from the project advisor.

Submission Requirements

All MA Culminating Projects must be submitted via email to  Students are responsible for supplying and scanning all contents of the MA Culminating Project. 

Presentation Requirements

All students submitting MA culminating projects during a given semester must present an appropriately condensed version of their papers at a conference-like event at the end of the semester. This version of the paper should be prepared for oral delivery, in consultation with the project advisor. Oral delivery of the paper should not exceed twenty minutes, and the paper should be edited with an eye toward audience comprehension. For example, this version of the paper should minimize or eliminate long quotations. Satisfactory performance at this event is a condition for graduation.


Advising Report Due Date

Culminating Project Due Date

Due Dates

Spring 2019

November 14, 2018

March 27, 2019

Fall 2019 April 3, 2019 October 23, 2019