Program Director

Dr. Lucas Hardy, Graduate Director
240 DeBartolo Hall
330-941-3420
lhardy01@ysu.edu

Program Description

The Master of Arts program in English offers courses in:

  • literature research,
  • history and theory;
  • genre and figure studies;
  • creative and professional writing;
  • linguistics and composition theory;
  • film; and
  • the teaching of writing and literature.

Faculty members strive to offer students an un­derstanding of the traditions of literary study and familiarity with the latest multicultural and interdisciplinary approaches. The M.A. in English prepares graduates to pursue opportunities in teaching, professional writing, and further graduate study.

Working closely with their advisors, students design individual programs to meet their inter­ests and goals. Students are encouraged to explore a variety of approaches to the study of literature, language, and writing and to develop their abilities as readers, critics, writers, and teachers. The program requires 30 semester hours of coursework in English, during which students complete and present a thesis or portfolio of their representative work to a faculty review committee.

Graduate Certificates

Graduate certificates in professional and technical writing, teaching of writing, literature for children and young adults, and teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) are available through the English Department. Please see the appropriate information in the Gradu­ate Certificates section of this catalog.

Advising

All students should have their schedules approved by a graduate faculty advisor every semes­ter. After initial enrollment in the program, the student and his or her advisor will establish a coursework plan including alternate course selections.

Students who anticipate graduate study beyond the M.A. are strongly advised to acquire basic reading competence in at least one foreign language.

Admission Requirements

Students must have an undergraduate English major or other preparation judged satisfactory by the department and an grade point average in undergraduate study of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). Applicants for the M.A. are required to submit a brief (750-1000 words) state­ment of purpose outlining their reasons for wishing to obtain the M.A. in English and how that degree fits into their professional goals. Applicants are also required to submit a short sample of academic prose, preferably an undergraduate class paper.

Graduate Faculty

Corey E. Andrews, Ph.D., Professor
Eighteenth-century literature; Scottish Studies; Robert Burns; poetry; bibliography; working-class studies

Diana Awad-Scrocco, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Professional and technical writing; medical rhetoric and communication; composition pedagogy; writing center theory and practice

Rebecca A. Barnhouse, Ph.D., Professor

Christopher Barzak, M.F.A., Professor
Fiction writing; fiction; contemporary British and American literature

Laura L. Beadling, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Gender, race and sexuality in American film; Native American film and culture; comics studies; television studies; rhetoric and composition

Terry Benton, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Children's literature

Philip Sean Brady, Ph.D., Professor
Modern Irish literature; creative writing; modern world literature

Jeffrey M. Buchanan, Ph.D., Chair, Professor
English education; composition; pedagogy

Suzanne Diamond, Ph.D., Professor
Cinematic literary adaptations; 19th century British literature and culture; "true crime" media; writing pedagogy

Timothy Francisco, Ph.D., Professor
Shakespeare and early modern studies; working-class and inequity studies; humanities education and public policy; media and narrative studies

Julia M. Gergits, Ph.D., Professor
Victorian literature; women’s studies; technical writing; literature and the Other

Jay L. Gordon, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Rhetoric; technical and professional communication; document design; pedagogy of writing

Steven Reese, Ph.D., Professor
Twentieth-century British literature; creative writing

Dolores V. Sisco, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
African diaspora studies; postcolonial studies; popular culture

Linda J. Strom, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Degree Requirements

All master’s degree students must complete 30 semester hours in English courses at the gradu­ate level; exceptions must have prior approval of the English Department chair and the Director of Graduate Studies. All M.A. students must take at least one course in each of two areas:

  • one theory or methods course (graduate assistants must take ENGL 6907 Teaching of Writing; ENGL 6989 Teaching Practicum may not fulfill this requirement);
  • one language, discourse, or writing course.

Students may select the literature-based M.A. or the M.A. track in Professional Writing and Editing to complete their degree.

M.A. in English

To complete this option, students must complete 30 semester hours in English courses at the graduate level; exceptions must have prior approval of the Department Chair and the Director of Graduate Studies. In addition to theory, language, discourse, or writing courses required above, students selecting this option must take at least two literature courses from a list of approved courses, as well as one of these courses:

To complete their degree requirements, students in this option may either submit a thesis or a graduate portfolio.

Students in this option are encouraged, but not required, to create a focus area with their remaining courses. Possible focus areas include:

  • literature,
  • linguistics,
  • professional writing and editing,
  • composition and rhetoric,
  • teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL), and
  • literature for children and young adults.

Students who plan on pursuing a Ph.D. in literary studies are strongly encouraged to complete a broad selection of courses in British and American litera­ture.

M.A. in English, Professional and Technical Writing Track

To complete this option, students must complete 30 semester hours of credit in the following courses. Two of these courses must also satisfy the theory, language, discourse, or writing courses required above.

COURSETITLES.H.
Required Coure Courses
ENGL 6943Technical Communication3
ENGL 6944Document Design and Production3
ENGL 6945Theory of Professional and Technical Communication3
ENGL 6992Professional Communication (special topics)3
ENGL 6953Publications Issues and Management3
ENGL 6949Professional and Technical Editing3
Select three of the following:9
Methods of Composition Research
Teaching of Writing
Sociolinguistics
Advanced Linguistics
English Grammar
Discourse Theory
ENGL 6998Professional Writing Internship3
or ENGL 6999 Thesis
Total Semester Hours30

Thesis and Portfolio Options

All M.A. students must submit a thesis or portfolio. Handouts on thesis and portfolio guide­lines and examples of past theses and portfolios are available from the departmental Director of Graduate Studies.

The thesis option is designed especially for, but is not limited to, students planning to pursue a doctorate. Students choosing this option must select a committee consisting of a thesis direc­tor and two additional graduate faculty members. This committee must approve a thesis pro­posal before the student can register for thesis credit. Students must demonstrate through the thesis a familiarity with appropriate sources and an ability to interpret the material and properly document their research. Students selecting the thesis option may count up to three semester hours of thesis credit (ENGL 6999 Thesis) toward their total of 30 semester hours of coursework.

The portfolio consists of selected work written during graduate coursework or as part of a professional internship. The student will present the portfolio to a faculty review committee no later than the eighth week of the semester in which s/he plans to graduate. Students in the Professional Writing and Editing track may count up to three semester hours of credit earned in their professional internship toward the 30 semester hour requirement.

Learning Outcomes

English graduate students will demonstrate the ability to produce professional-quality research papers that could be used as the basis for conference presentations or professional publications.

English graduate students will demonstrate the use of a variety of interpretive strategies for analyzing multiple kinds of texts, including close reading, contextual analysis, analysis of form and genre, and rhetorical analysis.

English graduate students will demonstrate the use of theories related to the representation of culture, race, class, gender, and sexuality to interpret literary texts.

English graduate students will demonstrate the ability to participate in the professional life of the filed as scholars, teachers, editors, and/or writers.

Graduate Courses

ENGL 6900    Methods of Literary Research    3 s.h.

Basic concepts and methods of literary research and analysis.

ENGL 6901    Methods of Composition Research    3 s.h.

Theories and methods of composition research; emphasis on strategies for conducting, analyzing, and writing about classroom and workplace studies.

ENGL 6902    Literary Thought    3 s.h.

May focus on particular theoretical approaches or provide an overview of literary criticism. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6906    Teaching of Literature    3 s.h.

Problems, issues, practices, and research that affect the teaching of literature at various grade levels and in college courses.

ENGL 6907    Teaching of Writing    3 s.h.

Problems, issues, practices, and research that affect the teaching of writing at various grade levels and in college courses.

ENGL 6911    The Medieval World    3 s.h.

Study of selected literary works reflecting medieval thought and culture. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6912    Sixteenth- and 17th-Century British Studies    3 s.h.

Nondramatic literature of the British Renaissance. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6913    Shakespeare and Renaissance Drama    3 s.h.

Varying emphases on the dramatic works of Shakespeare and/or his contemporaries. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6914    Restoration and 18th-Century British Studies    3 s.h.

Prose, poetry, and/or drama of the period studied in historical and cultural context and from various critical perspectives. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6915    Early American Studies    3 s.h.

Prose, poetry, and/or drama from the colonial period up to the early 19th century examined in their historical and cultural contexts. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6916    Nineteenth-Century British Studies    3 s.h.

Prose, poetry, and/or drama of the period studied in historical and cultural context and from various critical perspectives. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6917    Nineteenth-Century American Studies    3 s.h.

Examines 19th-century American literature and culture through particular themes, genres, styles, periods, and/or figures. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6918    Studies in Children's Literature    3 s.h.

Contemporary children's literature. Emphasis may be on development, trends, critical standards, cultural context, classroom selection and use. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6919    Studies in Young Adult Literature    3 s.h.

Contemporary young adult literature. Emphasis may be on development, trends, critical standards, cultural context, classroom selection and use. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6920    Twentieth-Century British Studies    3 s.h.

Prose, poetry, and/or drama of the period studied in historical and cultural context and from various critical perspectives. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6922    Twentieth-Century American    3 s.h.

Studies. Examines works in relation to the history and social and cultural developments of the period. Nonliterary texts may be included, such as film, visual arts, and music. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6923    Working Class Literature    3 s.h.

A study of working-class literature, culture, and artistic production, with emphasis on the literary history, the material conditions, and the intersection of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation in the works of literature by and about the working class.

ENGL 6927    Historical Survey of Literature for Young People    3 s.h.

Survey of historical developments from the 18th through mid-20th centuries in British and American literature for young people.

ENGL 6935    Studies in Romanticism    3 s.h.

Prose, poetry, and/or drama of the period studied in historical and cultural context and from various critical perspectives. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6943    Technical Communication    3 s.h.

In-depth discussion of audience, format, document design, and corporate structure. Focus on refining skills and providing theoretical support for practical applications.
Prereq.: ENGL 3743 Professional and Technical Communication and ENGL 4849 Professional and Technical Editing or ENGL 6949.

ENGL 6944    Document Design and Production    3 s.h.

Application of computer software and hardware to design and produce professional/technical documents.

ENGL 6945    Theory of Professional and Technical Communication    3 s.h.

Examines theory and research in professional and technical communication with emphasis on the application of theoretical concepts and empirical findings to practical problems in the field. Introduces students to theories and research methods through reading in current literature and through class research projects.

ENGL 6946    Historical Editing    3 s.h.

Project-based approach to theoretical and practical aspects of editing historical and literary documents for both print and digital contexts. Topics include document selection, transcription, verification, and annotation, as well as the implications for teaching and learning using traditional print and electronic archives and texts.
Cross-listed: HIST 6946.

ENGL 6949    Professional and Technical Editing    3 s.h.

A study of the skills needed to make appropriate changes in the content, grammar, mechanics, style, format, and organization of manuscripts for scholarly, trade, journalistic, and other professional publications. The course deals with stages in the publishing process, hard-copy versus online editing, mechanical and substantive editing, and the use of house and press styles.

ENGL 6950    Sociolinguistics    3 s.h.

An investigation of the relationship between language and society. Includes discussion of dialects and standard languages, language planning, linguistic identity, multi- and bilingualism, class, gender, ethnicity, and social interaction.

ENGL 6951    Language Acquisition    3 s.h.

A study of research on the learning of first and second languages. Topics include developmental sequences, learner variables, critical periods and conditions for learning, and the roles of input and interaction. The course is designed for those planning to teach languages.

ENGL 6952    Linguistics of Literacy    3 s.h.

An investigation of the linguistic, social, and cultural dimensions of literacy. The course covers theoretical frameworks of language and literacy, the relationship between speech and writing, cultural notions of literacy, and the acquisition of literacy in first and additional languages.

ENGL 6953    Publications Issues and Management    3 s.h.

Exploration of the issues involved in managing and producing professional publications, including publications in students' own fields. Focus on organizational, editorial, and authorial voice; editorial policies; audience analysis; and the processes by which publications are conceived, designed, and produced.

ENGL 6955    Advanced Linguistics    3 s.h.

In-depth study of selected issues in contemporary linguistic theory.

ENGL 6956    TESOL Methods    3 s.h.

Introduction to teaching English as a second language (ESL), including reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Focus will be on using communicative methods with nonnative speakers.

ENGL 6957    TESOL Practicum    3 s.h.

Supervised teaching in an English as a second language (ESL) program. Additionally, weekly seminar attendance is required.

ENGL 6958    English Grammar    3 s.h.

Descriptions and analysis of English grammar structure.

ENGL 6960    Studies in Linguistics    3 s.h.

Examines a specific topic such as stylistics, semantics, sociolinguistics, second language acquisition, TESOL, or computational linguistics. May be repeated twice with a different topic.

ENGL 6963    Perspectives in Multicultural Studies    3 s.h.

An advanced study of primary and secondary texts from the field of multicultural literature and multicultural education. The course will emphasize the formation of social identities, the intersections of race, class, and gender, relationships among dominant and nondominant subjects in U.S. and other global cultures. The course will pay special attention to the theory and application of multiculturalist paradigms to education, professional work, and graduate study. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6965    Studies in Film    3 s.h.

Analysis of motion pictures and their creators; topics may include classic and contemporary styles, genres, and methods of production, as well as film theory and criticism. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6966    Writing of Poetry    3 s.h.

Discussion and application of approaches, techniques, and forms involved in the writing of poetry. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6967    Writing of Prose    3 s.h.

Discussion and application of approaches, techniques, and forms involved in the writing of fiction and/or nonfiction. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6968    Studies in Literary Form    3 s.h.

Examines forms such as poetry, the novel, the short story, essay, biography, autobiography, or travel literature. Emphasis may be on definition, development, cultural context, figures, or themes. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6969    Writing the Youth Novel    3 s.h.

Discussion and application of approaches, techniques, and forms involved in the writing of novels.

ENGL 6974    English Education Workshop    1-3 s.h.

Intensive study and activity in a topic related to teaching English and the language arts. Does not count toward degree credit. Grading is S/U. May be repeated.

ENGL 6975    English Education Seminar    1-3 s.h.

Approaches to teaching English and the language arts. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6976    Studies in English Education    3 s.h.

Theories, issues, and/or criticism in the teaching of English. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6989    Teaching Practicum    1-3 s.h.

Techniques and strategies for teaching college composition, including course design and classroom practice. Required of and limited to graduate assistants who are teaching in the English Department. First-year graduate assistants must register for three semester hours of Teaching Practicum in two successive semesters for a total of six semester hours. Does not count toward degree credit. Grading is S/U.

ENGL 6990    Special Topics    3 s.h.

May be repeated once.

ENGL 6991    Special Topics MFA    3 s.h.

Special topics in literature and creative writing for students in the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program in creative writing. May be repeated once.
Prereq.: Acceptance in the MFA program.

ENGL 6992    Professional Communication    3 s.h.

Focus on a selected topic in technical writing or professional communication (e.g., proposal writing, science writing, computer documentation, nonfiction prose). May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6993    Discourse Theory    3 s.h.

Examination and discussion of contemporary theories of discourse analysis, with some attention to the history and development of rhetorical theory.

ENGL 6997    English Internship    1-3 s.h.

Supervised work-and-learning experience in English under the direction of an English Department faculty member and an employee of a participating firm. Ten to 20 hours a week of student time are expected. Enrollment is contingent upon the availability of internships. Students are selected on the basis of personal qualifications, including GPA, courses taken, recommendations, and an interview. Either ENGL 6997 or ENGL 6998 may count toward the degree, not both.

ENGL 6998    Professional Writing Internship    1-3 s.h.

Supervised work-and-learning experience in professional communication under the direction of a University faculty member and an employee of a participating firm. Ten to 20 hours a week of student time are expected. Enrollment is contingent upon the availability of internships. Students are selected on the basis of personal qualifications, including GPA, courses taken, recommendations, and an interview. Either ENGL 6997 or ENGL 6998 may count toward the degree-not both.

ENGL 6999    Thesis    1-3 s.h.

Thesis.
Prereq.: Thesis proposal accepted by departmental committee.