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Major Research Paper, Practicum, or Practicum + Scholarly Essay

Students have the option of a Major Research Paper, a Practicum, or a Practicum + Scholarly Essay

The Major Research Paper (MRP)

With the MRP, a student researches and writes a scholarly paper of 35 to 40 pages under the supervision of a faculty member. The MRP is expected to be a sustained exploration of a clearly defined set of theoretically engaged issues. With the help of a supervisor, the student will ensure the MRP involves an original argument, solid research, a critical review of literature in the field, and a synthesis of different points of view. The final paper is assessed by the supervisor and a second reader. The MRP is evaluated according to its potential to be an article in a refereed academic journal, or an equivalent piece of work.

The Practicum

The practicum allows a student to apply theoretical and scholarly knowledge to a practical experience at an institution such as a literary magazine, an agency, a press, or an organization invested in literature or other aspects of culture. Placements are for 115 hours and take place in May, with some projects extending into June, pending the scheduling of the host institution. To fulfill the requirements of a practicum, a student must complete a placement, attend a set of mandatory seminars related to professional development, and submit a formal report (30-40 pages). The assessment by the Practicum Director is based on the student’s satisfactory completion of each component of the practicum. Past practica have been held at organizations like Book*hug, House of Anansi Press, Exclaim!, Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, Dorset Fine Arts, The Toronto Arts Foundation, Workman Arts, the Writer’s Union of Canada, CookeMcDermid literary agency, the National Ballet of Canada, the Toronto International Festival of Authors, Toronto International Film Festival, and Wattpad, among others.

The Practicum + Scholarly Essay

This option allows students to gain experience with both the practicum placement and a faculty-supervised research essay. In place of the practicum formal report described above, students will submit a brief practicum report (5 pages) and a scholarly essay (15-20 pages). The Scholarly Essay’s subject or theoretical focus should have some connection to the Practicum placement. The Scholarly Essay should involve an original approach and research, a critical review of scholarship in the field, and a synthesis of different points of view. The essay is assessed by the supervisor and a second reader. The standard to which the student should aspire is that of an article in a refereed academic journal and commensurate with other English MA program requirements.