CSULA Department of English | MA Pedagogical-Portfolio Project

English MA Project/Thesis: Journal-Article Thesis

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:

  • an essay abstract clearly articulating the rationale for the
    topic and the overall argument of the essay and its scholarly
    significance in the field
  • a concise description of the ways in which the new research
    essay departs from and/or builds upon the seminar paper, if applicable
  • a works cited list of at least 10 relevant and current scholarly sources
  • a preliminary list of journals to which the research essay
    could be submitted
  • a detailed essay completion timeline

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.