Winthrop University: Department of English at Winthrop - Goals for the Graduate Program

Mission, Goals, and Learning Objectives for the English Graduate Program


Mission Statement

The M. A. in English is an intensive graduate program that facilitates the career advancement and intellectual development of teachers, future PhDs, and lifelong learners in a community environment where students and faculty motivate and inspire one another.

Adopted May 2010


Goals for the M.A. in English Degree

Within the content knowledge area, students will demonstrate knowledge of various forms of written texts, major periods in the history of English, American, and world literatures, and the standard terminology of literary analysis. Also, students will demonstrate knowledge of professional standards of grammar and mechanics, scholarly reference methodology and tools, and various critical approaches to literary analysis.

Content Knowledge 

The student will demonstrate knowledge of

  1. various forms of written texts (including fiction, poetry, drama, essay, and other literary genres).
  2. major periods in the history of English, American, and world literature in terms of cultural contexts, styles, dominant genres, language, and subject matter.
  3. major similarities and differences among British, American, and other national literatures.
  4. professional standards of grammar, mechanics, and usage accepted in the scholarly community.
  5. standard reference tools, methods, and forms of documentation used in scholarly research.
  6. the standard terminology of literary analysis used in scholarly writing.
  7. various critical perspectives such as the formalist, structuralist, and post-structuralist approaches.
  8. the English language, including its structure, grammar, vocabulary, and historical development.
  9. writers from different cultural, ethnic, and minority backgrounds.

Skills in Analysis, Writing, and Communication 

The student will

  1. present orally the findings of research and critical analysis. 
  2. demonstrate the correct use of standard reference tools, the proper handling of primary and secondary sources, and proper documentation of all sources.
  3. write research papers and critical analyses on appropriate topics from language, literature, or pedagogy.
  4. demonstrate a publishable level of critical, creative, or pedagogical materials.
  5. sustain a high standard of written expression in lengthy critical or creative works (including but not limited to theses).
  6. demonstrate synthesizing skills through a comprehensive final examination.


Student Learning Objectives

The following four Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) were approved by the Department Graduate faculty at the Spring 2012 Graduate Faculty Retreat. 

In order to meet the rigor demanded of graduate (post-baccalaureate) study, 

  1. Students will synthesize texts, genres, nationalities, and major periods of literary history from their program of study in oral and written form.
  2. Students will identify, assess, and critique scholarly work from a variety of critical perspectives and sources.
  3. Students will use a variety of professional research tools with appropriate documentation.
  4. Students will integrate theoretical perspectives in their written and oral work. 

Last Updated: 10/4/21