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

English Graduate Program

Mission, Goals, and Learning Objectives

Mission Statement

The M.A. in English is an intensive graduate program that facilitates the career advancement and intellectual development of teachers, future Ph.D.s, and lifelong learners in a community environment where students and faculty motivate and inspire one another. The degree emphasizes the study of literature, while embracing the diversity of English studies. Students are able to take courses in creative writing, composition and rhetoric, linguistics, and digital writing.  

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 Outcomes

  • By completion of the M.A. in English, students will demonstrate knowledge of various forms of written texts (including fiction, poetry, drama, essay, and other literary genres); major periods in the history of English, American, and world literature in terms of cultural contexts, styles, dominant genres, language, and subject matter.  
  • By completion of the M.A. in English, students will also exhibit the ability to apply various critical perspectives toward a variety of texts and to use standard reference tools, methods, and forms of documentation used in scholarly research.  
  • By completion of the M.A. in English, students will be able to present orally the findings of research and critical analysis; write research papers and critical analyses on appropriate topics from language, composition, literature, or pedagogy; produce publishable level of critical, creative, and/or pedagogical materials; sustain a high standard of written expression in lengthy critical or creative works; and demonstrate synthesizing skills through a comprehensive final examination.  

The Student Learning Outcomes have been modified more specifically for the Continuous Improvement reports and appear as four student learning outcomes:  

  • The student will synthesize texts, genres, nationalities, and major periods of literary history from their program of study in oral and written forms;  
  • The student will demonstrate the ability to identify, assess, and critique scholarly work from a variety of critical perspectives and sources;  
  • The student will demonstrate an ability to produce scholarly or original creative work in English Studies acceptable for presentation or publication in an appropriate scholarly venue. Student work will demonstrate use of appropriate research tools and mastery of documentation; and  
  • The student will demonstrate the ability to speak in a specific, organized, concrete, professional, and coherent fashion about the works on his/her Oral Comprehensive Exam Reading List.  

Last Updated: 5/16/22