M.A. Project

For current information, please contact the English Department at (657) 278-3163, or see the university catalog.

Policies and Procedures Descriptions for the M.A. Project Proposal in English

PURPOSE:

The following policies and procedures are intended to assure high quality in the project as well as to clarify the responsibilities and requirements of those involved: the student, the project director, the reader, and the members of the Graduate Studies Committee.

THE PROJECT DIRECTOR:

  • The director must be a full-time professor in the Department of English, Comparative Literature, and Linguistics, unless the Graduate Adviser has approved another CSUF full-time faculty member.
  • The director should be a professor whose studies and interests qualify him or her for involvement in the project. 
  • The student is responsible for finding the director and for receiving his/her approval of the project proposal.
  • The project director will:  
    • Read drafts of the project proposal.
    • Make suggestions for appropriate revisions and corrections.
    • When the project proposal is ready for submission to the Graduate Studies Committee, signs the cover sheet.
    • Regularly consult with the project writing course instructor.

Additional Committee Members:

After consultation with the project director and the graduate adviser, the student may add additional members to his/her project committee

Any additional project committee members must approve the proposal prior to submission to the Graduate Studies Committee

THE PROJECT PROPOSAL:

The MA proposal is a clear, well-researched description and justification of a student's MA project. In the semester before submitting the proposal, students must attend a mandatory workshop on writing and submitting a proposal. In no more than five double-spaced pages, not including the Bibliography (if relevant), the proposal should present the subject matter, methods, and context that will inform the student's project and demonstrate the relevance/significance of the project to the student's field of study.

If a student intends to include human participants in the project, the student should consult the IRB website for the requirements and timeline for approval: http://www.fullerton.edu/research/research_compliance/irb/

Academic Professional Project
A successful project proposal will demonstrate that the student has a worthwhile project that fosters inquiry into an academic/professional topic and that the student has finished the preparation necessary to write this project. It should address the following elements: 

  •  A clear and convincing description of the student's argument that includes discussion of the subject matter, a statement of the emerging argument on this subject (as a tentative thesis or research questions), and definition of the scope of this argument.

  •  An understanding of the methodology that the student intends to use that includes a description of the kind of research involved (i.e., archival, historical, cultural) and the criticism and/or critical theories involved in making this argument as well as a clear sense of what has been accomplished and how the student will complete what remains.

  • A survey of relevant scholarship that reflects the student's research and outlines what has been written on this subject (i.e., the major interpretations, debates, or controversies in the ways that the subject has been addressed or a significant "gap" that the student has discovered) and how the project engages with the field of study.

  • An outline or summation of the sections/chapters of the project that provides an overview of how the student will introduce the subject, methodology, and scholarship as well as the different parts of the student's argument.

  •  An explanation of the relationship of the student's portfolio to the project that includes discussion of the student's most relevant experiences in the MA program at CSUF and description of the next step in the student's professional development.

Pedagogical Project
A successful project proposal will demonstrate that the student has a worthwhile project that fosters inquiry into a pedagogical topic and that the student has finished the preparation necessary to write this project. It should address the following elements:

  •  A clear and convincing description of the student's argument that includes discussion of the subject matter or problem, a statement of the emerging argument on this subject (as a tentative thesis or research questions), and definition of the scope of this argument.

  •  An understanding of the methodology that the student intends to use that includes a description of the kind of research involved (i.e., empirical, cultural, historical) and the critical and/or pedagogical theories involved in making this argument along with a clear timeline and explanation of how the evidence will be collected, analyzed, and validated.

  • A survey of relevant scholarship that reflects the student's research and outlines what has been written on this subject (i.e., the major interpretations, debates, or controversies in the ways that the subject has been addressed or a significant "gap" that the student has discovered) and how the project engages with the field of study.

  •  An outline or summation of the sections/chapters of the project that provides an overview of how the student will introduce the subject, methodology, and scholarship as well as the different parts of the student's argument.

  •  An explanation of the relationship of the student's portfolio to the project that includes discussion of the student's most relevant experiences in the MA program at CSUF and description of the next step in the student's professional development.

Creative/Professional Project
A successful project proposal will demonstrate that the student has a worthwhile project that fosters inquiry into a creative/professional topic and that the student has finished the preparation necessary to write this project. It should address the following elements:

  • A clear and compelling description of the student's creative/professional project that includes discussion of the subject matter, an explanation of the central conflicts, themes, and other major creative considerations, as well as an elaboration of the project's scope.

  • An explanation of the style and technique that the student will employ in developing this project, which includes description of the literary conventions that are most relevant to the genre of this project (i.e., imagery, metaphor, character) or how the project deliberately reimagines the style and techniques for significant ends.

  • An established connection between the project and the literary traditions and aesthetic principles behind the genre with which the student is engaging. Such connections might be made to major writers in those traditions and/or theorists of that genre as well as the most significant/relevant features of that genre.

  • An outline or summation of the sections/chapters of the project that provides an overview of how the student will exemplify and engage with the subject, the style, and the literary traditions.

  • An explanation of the relationship of the student's portfolio to the project that includes discussion of the student's most relevant experiences in the MA program at CSUF and a description of the next step in the student's professional development.

SUBMISSION OF THE MA PROPOSAL:

  • Students will submit five copies of the project proposal each with a signed coversheet provided by the Department of English, Comparative Literature, and Linguistics to the graduate secretary.
  • The Graduate Studies Committee will then review the project proposal.
  • If the project proposal is not approved, the Graduate Studies Committee will consult with the project director. 
  • After revising the project proposal the student may resubmit it to the project committee for approval and then to the Graduate Studies Committee.
  • Resubmitted proposals must include an updated cover sheet.
  • If the revised project proposal is not approved by the Graduate Studies Committee, the student may, after revision and consultation with the project director, resubmit the project proposal the following semester.

Project Timeline

In order to ensure that the student will complete the Master's project requirements, receiving by the end of the semester both a grade and verification that the project has been completed, the Department provides the following timetable for progress toward completion of the project. Students who miss deadlines as set forth below, will not pass the project requirement.

1. In the semester before submitting the proposal, the student will attend a mandatory workshop on writing and submitting a proposal.

2. One semester before enrolling in ENGL 595 and completing the project, the student will submit a proposal. Proposals are due by 5PM to the Graduate Studies secretary by the end of the fifth week of the regular semester (See "Submission of the MA Proposal," above). Most students begin working on their projects at this stage.

3. In the final semester, the student will enroll in ENGL 595 and complete the project and portfolio.

4. As the semester progresses, the student will maintain regular contact with the Project Director and submit drafts of portions of the project to the Project Director for response and suggestions.

5. By the end of the tenth week of classes the student will submit to the Project Director a completed draft of the project that will be read by the Director and returned to the student with suggestions for changes and revisions before the end of the twelfth week of classes.

6. Mid-week of the fourteenth week of classes or ten calendar days before the last day of classes, the student will submit one copy of the revised, final version of the project to the Project Director.

7. By the beginning of the fifteenth week of classes or two calendar days before the last day of classes, the director of the Project will have read the final version, consulted with the 595 instructor and determined the acceptability of the project.

8. By noon on the last day of classes, the student submits to the Department a bound copy of the project.

9. During the 16th week of the semester, the project defense will be conducted in the English 595 course.

Contents subject to change