Skip to main content

Major Research Paper or Practicum

Students have the option of a Major Research Project or a Practicum


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 project is assessed by the supervisor and a second reader. With the supervisor and second reader’s consent, the MRP may deviate somewhat from a standard essay. Nevertheless, 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 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. 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 either:

  • a research paper (15-20 pages) and brief formal report (5 pages), or
  • 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 companies such as Bookthug, Broken Pencil Magazine, CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival, The Literary Review of Canada, and the Ontario Literacy Coalition.