Here is a link to information about our MA Portfolio project; use this to guide your work on your essay in the course.

I am happy to discuss topics and research strategies with you. Complete seminar papers will be due for students whose collaborative presentations occurred in Weeks 3, 5, and 7 on Monday, November 27th and for students whose collaborative presentations occurred in Weeks 8, 9, 10, and 12 on Monday, December 4th via email to as Word documents. We’ll conduct in-class workshops on these complete drafts in Weeks 14 and 15 of the semester. Final drafts (with abstracts) are due by 8pm on Wednesday, December 13th via email as Word documents (please include your last name and the word “final” in your file name).

Graduate-level essays include*

  • a clear, original, and tenable thesis that is in dialogue with the broader field of study of which it is a part;
  • discussion and analysis of appropriate examples based on careful readings of assigned texts as well as independently-located sources in direct support of the thesis;
  • a selection of secondary sources that are recent, and when necessary for your argument, foundational. Your use of secondary sources should also reflect your work on specific topics and theoretical concepts. A good rule of thumb: you should engage with at least as many secondary sources as there are pages in your essay;
  • critical engagement of these secondary sources – i.e., not simply a summary of sources but a response to sources that locates the essay in an ongoing scholarly conversation about the topic, the author(s), and/or or the text under study;
  • precise and proper use of facts, conventions, mechanics, proofreading, and discipline-appropriate citation style.

*co-written with Barry Milligan