Student Outcome Assessments
Graduate Program (M.A.) in English—Literature Emphasis
NOTE: The Graduate Faculty in Literature have agreed that this document represents
“baseline indicators” for outcomes of our emphasis in the program. However, we value a
number of individual, diverse expressions of literacy that we believe cannot be accounted for in
a document of this form. For example, students whose work offers original, innovative
creations and interpretations exemplify a desired outcome, but because such students are
extraordinary, there is no room for their abilities and accomplishments to be reflected in a
document that describes the program in general; rather, such students serve as models for what
our program hopes, in the future, increasingly to produce.
In each section below, the goal is underlined, the outcomes to be measured are listed beneath it,
and the artifacts are italicized at the conclusion of the list.
Critical Interpretation
 To discuss, in both oral and written forms, literature and/or literary theory in ways that
demonstrate originality of thought
 To discuss, in both oral and written forms, literature and/or literary theory in ways that
demonstrate understanding of the critical tradition
 To integrate existing interpretations from multiple perspectives in original work
 To sustain and conclude arguments and/or interpretations throughout seminar-length
papers (20-30 pages) or thesis-length projects
 Comprehensive Examination, including the Major Texts (written) Examination and the
Specialty (oral) Examination; Seminar Papers; Theses or Research Papers and Writing
Portfolios
Literary Research
 To define graduate-level topics for research
 To locate, evaluate, and draw from a variety of sources, including, when appropriate,
manuscript sources, print sources, and electronic sources
 To contextualize research findings in terms of interpretive and/or theoretical traditions
 To synthesize existing research and to develop original arguments based on that
research
 To develop original arguments appropriate to foundational and recent studies in the
discipline
 Theses or Research Papers and Writing Portfolios; Specialty Examination section of
the Comprehensive Examination
Academic Writing
 To demonstrate a command of traditional English
 To write in various professional modes, including the scholarly manuscript (the critical
essay) and the conference presentation
 To demonstrate facility with the MLA documentation style
 Brief Essays and Seminar Papers; Major Texts Examination; Theses or Research
Papers and Writing Portfolios
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Student Outcome Assessments Graduate Program (M.A.) in English—Literature Emphasis