Page from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, 1476,
Museum of London
M.A. COMPREHENSIVE AND ORAL EXAMS GUIDELINES
- The student shall respond in writing to two questions prepared by his or her advisory committee. The first question will ask the student to discuss some of the teaching techniques he or she has used, or to discuss the ways he or she would present information from the thesis or the project paper in a seminar. The second question will ask the student to relate what he or she learned in writing the thesis or project paper to literary movements or critical theories or writers not covered in the thesis or project paper. If the thesis or project paper deals with pedagogical issues, the student will discuss other theories not included in the research. The student will have one and one-half hours to respond to each question.
- The student’s advisory committee shall conduct an oral examination/thesis or project paper defense with the student. This oral exam/defense shall have two parts. First, the student will give a public presentation on his or her thesis or project paper. This public presentation will last 20-30 minutes and be open to all members of the English department (at the discretion of the student’s committee chair, guests may ask questions). Next, at the conclusion of this public presentation, all guests not members of the student’s advisory committee shall be dismissed and the student’s advisory committee shall then conduct and evaluate the thesis or project paper defense.
- The student’s advisory committee will evaluate his or her performance in items 1 and 2 above. A majority vote of the advisory committee shall determine whether the student passes or fails the comprehensive exam and the thesis or project paper defense.