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:

  • Literary Themes, Genres and Theories
  • Creative Writing
  • Professional, Public and Technical Writing
  • Linguistics, TESOL and TEFL
  • Film
  • Teaching of Literature, Language and Writing

The English M.A. prepares graduates for careers in public, professional and technical writing; teaching positions in the U.S. and abroad; and equips them with the critical thinking and cultural literacy skills needed for success in nonprofit and private-sector careers.

Graduate Certificates

Graduate certificates in Professional and Technical Writing, Teaching of Writing, and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) are available through the Department of English & World Languages. Please see the appropriate information in the Gradu­ate Certificates section of this catalog.

Advising

All students should have their schedules approved by the departmental Director of Graduate Studies every semes­ter. 

Admission Requirements

Applicants for the English M.A. are required to submit a 1-2 page state­ment of purpose explaining why they wish to obtain the M.A. in English. Applicants are required also 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., Associate Professor
Professional and technical writing; medical rhetoric and communication; composition pedagogy; writing center theory and practice

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

Jennifer Behney, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Grammatical gender acquisition; facilitation and inhibition in spoken word recognition; eye-tracking and gender agreement marking; L2 syntactic priming; working memory, inhibition, and interaction; form-meaning connections in lexical access; and dialect/minority language preservation

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

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

Maria Conti Maravillas, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

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

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

Stacy Graber, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Popular culture; pedagogy; critical theory; semiotics

Lucas D. Hardy, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Early American literature and culture; early modern philosophy; history of medicine

Nicole Pettitt, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Immigrant/refugee education; minority language research ethics

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

Degree Requirements

All M.A. students must complete 30 semester hours in English (or related) courses at the gradu­ate level; exceptions must have prior approval of the Director of Graduate Studies.

All M.A. students must take:

  • 2 courses in Writing, Language, and Discourse (Category A)
  • 2 courses in Literature, Text, and Visual Culture (Category B)
  • 2 courses in Theory, Method, and Teaching (Category C)
  • 4 electives from any of the three categories (A, B, C)
  • All M.A. students must complete either a master's portfolio or thesis prior to graduation. 

Category A: Writing, Language, and Discourse  

COURSE TITLE S.H.
ENGL 6944Document Design and Production3
ENGL 6946Historical Editing3
ENGL 6947Proposal Writing3
ENGL 6948Healthcare Communication3
ENGL 6949Professional and Technical Editing3
ENGL 6950Sociolinguistics3
ENGL 6951Language Acquisition3
ENGL 6953Publications Issues and Management3
ENGL 6955Advanced Linguistics3
ENGL 6958English Grammar3
ENGL 6966Writing of Poetry3
ENGL 6967Writing of Prose3
ENGL 6969Writing the Youth Novel3
ENGL 6992Professional Communication3
ENGL 6998Professional Writing Internship1-3
ENGL 6999Thesis1-3

Category B: Literature, Text, and Visual Culture 

COURSE TITLE S.H.
ENGL 6911The Medieval World3
ENGL 6912Sixteenth- and 17th-Century British Studies3
ENGL 6913Shakespeare and Renaissance Drama3
ENGL 6914Restoration and 18th-Century British Studies3
ENGL 6915Early American Studies3
ENGL 6916Nineteenth-Century British Studies3
ENGL 6917Nineteenth-Century American Studies3
ENGL 6918Studies in Children's Literature3
ENGL 6919Studies in Young Adult Literature3
ENGL 6920Twentieth-Century British Studies3
ENGL 6922Twentieth-Century American3
ENGL 6923Working Class Literature3
ENGL 6927Historical Survey of Literature for Young People3
ENGL 6935Studies in Romanticism3
ENGL 6968Studies in Literary Form3
ENGL 6963Perspectives in Multicultural Studies3
ENGL 6965Studies in Film3

Category C: Theory, Method, and Teaching 

COURSE TITLE S.H.
ENGL 6900Methods of Literary Research3
ENGL 6901Methods of Composition Research3
ENGL 6902Literary Thought3
ENGL 6906Teaching of Literature3
ENGL 6907Teaching of Writing (Required for Teaching Assistants )3
ENGL 6943Public and Professional Writing3
ENGL 6945Theory of Professional and Technical Communication3
ENGL 6952Linguistics of Literacy3
ENGL 6956TESOL Methods (Prerequisite: ENGL 6951 Language Acquisition )3
ENGL 6957TESOL Practicum (Prerequisite: ENGL 6956 TESOL Methods)3
ENGL 6960Studies in Linguistics3
ENGL 6989Teaching Practicum (Open only to Teaching Assistants; Required for Teaching Assistants)1-3
ENGL 6976Studies in English Education3
ENGL 6993Discourse Theory3

Thesis and Portfolio Options

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

Students must select a committee consisting of a direc­tor and two additional graduate faculty members. This committee must approve a portfolio/thesis pro­posal. Students must demonstrate through the portfolio/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. Students will present the portfolio to a faculty review committee no later than the eighth week of the semester in which they plan to graduate.

Learning Outcomes

English graduate students will demonstrate the ability to produce professional-quality research projects that can 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 discipline as scholars, teachers, editors, and 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 6919X    Studies Young Adult Literature XR    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    Public and Professional Writing    3 s.h.

Exploration of scholarly and practical approaches for writing for public, professional, and technical audiences. Students examine the use of writing in public and professional organizations, government, nonprofit sectors, safety and health professions, and political and social campaigns. With an emphasis on theories and practices of approaching audience and purpose, students consider rhetorical and ethical demands of writing in public, professional and technical contexts.

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 6947    Proposal Writing    3 s.h.

Graduate level introduction to the structural, rhetorical, and linguistic aspects of professional proposals, with a focus on grant proposals. Students examine the role of proposals in serving the needs and interests of organizations and individuals. Requirements include writing one grant proposal for a client and one other type of proposal (e.g., a research project proposal or book prospectus).

ENGL 6948    Healthcare Communication    3 s.h.

Graduate level introduction to how healthcare information is conveyed by healthcare researchers, providers, and writers, to experts and non-experts. Students examine how people find and use medical information in making healthcare decisions. Students consider issues of health literacy, research methods, ethics, public and private clinical communication, patient education, and visual design. Requirements include writing a report on a medical talk, a healthcare-related press release, and a client-based healthcare communication project.

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 6954    Language Assessment    3 s.h.

This course seeks to develop the language assessment literacy of teachers and TESOL Endorsement candidates. The content of the course emphasizes theoretical and practical study of instruments and procedures for assessing culturally and linguistically diverse students. Candidates will design and use standardized (formal) and instructional (informal) evaluative methods to learn to assess students’ linguistic and academic development, and will conduct critical analyses of existing tools for assessment in terms of their reliability, bias, and validity. Candidates will be able to use assessment to distinguish between levels of language proficiency in decisions of educational plan or placement.

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.