English MA Project/Thesis: Journal-Article Thesis
Overview of the Project/Thesis
One expects an intellectual bridge between program coursework and the project/thesis. Notwithstanding, the culminating activity must progress substantially beyond any bridging coursework. The project/thesis has a formal beginning and end, from project/thesis proposal to final submission. Students should consult with the Graduate Adviser and their project/thesis faculty director about planning their culminating activity. Careful thought should be given to the strategic use of ENGL 599 units.
To begin a project/thesis, students must find an English faculty member who will agree to direct the project/thesis and also chair the project/thesis committee comprised of three faculty readers. The project/thesis committee and department chair must formally approve the proposed project/thesis and submit the signed form (GS 12) to the College of Arts and Letters for final approval by the Associate Dean before the project/thesis officially begins.
The submission formats of a project and of a thesis are similar. As with the thesis, the project will require a “narrative” for submission and approval. The project/thesis narrative will precede either the pedagogical portfolio or the journal article in its final form of submission. The 5-unit Thesis typically meets the narrative requirements with the introduction to the main work. The project/thesis narrative (explaining significance, objectives, methodology, and offering a conclusion or a recommendation) will likely have been foreshadowed in the justifying and explanatory language of the original project/thesis proposal. Students should submit their project/thesis narrative with their pedagogical portfolio or journal article to the project/thesis committee for final approval. Library submission of the Pedagogical-Portfolio Project and the Journal-Article Thesis will require other front matter (title page, table of contents, approval form GS 13, etc.).
Journal-Article Thesis (ENGL 599, 2 units)
Compared to the Thesis, the Journal-Article Thesis is narrower in scope and has a pre-professional component in its analysis of scholarly journals in the field. It is not appropriate for creative writing projects. (NOTE: Catalog language refers to this culminating activity as “Thesis Option A.”)
Students will produce an original, analytical essay of 20-30 pages with potential for publication or further development later in a doctoral program. The essay could be either a thorough, substantive revision of a seminar paper or a new project.
Students must submit to their thesis committee a clear and concise proposal (minimally 3 pages). The proposal for the Journal-Article Thesis should include the following:
After the proposal is approved, the thesis committee will sign a form (GS 12) requesting approval of the project by the Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Letters.
If a revision, the original, graded essay must be submitted with the final Journal-Article Thesis (for a comparative evaluation by the thesis committee). Students revising a seminar paper are, of course, expected to reconceptualize and restructure their arguments as necessary, conduct additional research, and demonstrate the contribution their argument makes to the field.
The journal article must be accompanied by a list of 2-3 journals to which the student could submit the essay, along with a detailed, written justification of the journals chosen. This written justification shall be included with the thesis narrative (required for final submission) and be prefatory to the journal article. The structure and style of the essay should adhere to those of one of the selected professional journals.
Students will form a committee of three faculty members who will evaluate the complete Journal-Article Thesis (i.e., including prefatory materials) as “passing” or “failing.” The committee chair must have expertise in the area in which the journal article is grounded. There is no oral defense of the Journal-Article Thesis.