Our Course

ENGL 511 | Fall 2021 | MYBK 104 | W: 6:00 – 8:45 (every other week)

This course offers a practical introduction to research and writing for graduate study in English. Everything that we cover in this course will be something that you can put to use in your future MA classes. We will cover theoretical approaches to literary and cultural interpretation; the discovery, analysis, evaluation, and integration of primary and secondary sources; and strategies for and strategies for generating, composing, and revising sophisticated arguments. This course also seeks to broaden awareness of career paths and professional development opportunities for graduates of our MA program.

Student Learning Outcomes

Course Outcomes

Students successfully completing this course will be able to:

  1. Understand and effectively practice basic rhetorical conventions of contemporary literary and cultural criticism.
  2. Summarize contemporary scholarly and critical writing.
  3. Understand the practice of criticism through the metaphor of conversation and demonstrate this understanding in their own critical writing.
  4. Recognize a range of contemporary theoretical models for analyzing and interpreting texts and incorporate theoretical perspectives into their own writing.
  5. Develop a research question and design and conduct appropriate primary and secondary research to answer it.
  6. Reflect on how MA-level work in English Studies and in the joint program may serve their personal goals and can serve as preparation and a credential for a number of occupations/careers.

Required Texts

Bennett and Royle, An Introduction to Literature, Criticism, and Theory (5th ed.)

Karen Tei Yamashitia, The Tropic of Orange (2017 edition)

Eric Hayot, The Elements of Academic Style: Writing for the Humanities (2014)

Additional readings will be posted on OAKS in the Readings module and on individual week modules.


While this course website hosted by WordPress hosts our primary syllabus with the course schedule, this class will employ OAKS, the College’s online learning management system. We will use OAKS for additional required readings, discussions, and the grade book function. 

MA Program Outcomes

In addition to the above, students who successfully complete this class will have demonstrated the ability to:

  • Use close reading and textual analysis to interpret literary and cultural texts.
  • Discover and employ relevant professional literary and cultural criticism and scholarship within the context of specific assignments or projects.
  • Engage professional literary and cultural criticism and scholarship in order to establish or engage in extant critical and/or scholarly conversation around literary and cultural texts.
  • Recognize a range of options for career goals or paths and understand how the MA can serve as preparation and/or credential for at least one particular career or for advancement within a current career.

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