Master of Arts in English

Writing Sample Guidelines

Beginning the Spring 2008 admissions, the following regulations will be
applicable:

1. No GRE is required
2. A writing sample of 12- 20 pages should accompany your application, due by September 15. You should send the writing sample directly to the Graduate Advisor.
3. The writing sample must entail one 12-20 page essay that
demonstrates

--a sustained analysis of literature;
--clarity, comprehensibility, and organization;
--appropriate research; and
--an ability to incorporate secondary and primary sources and to
cite them according to MLA style guidelines.

4. Two members of the English graduate faculty will evaluate the
sample, and if these evaluators approve an applicant's writing sample,
and if a review of transcripts and other submitted application
materials so allows, the M.A. Graduate Coordinator will recommend the student be admitted under fully classified standing. If one member
approves the writing sample, and another fails to pass it, then a
third faculty member will evaluate the sample. Two members of the
English graduate faculty must approve the sample.

5. Those applicants whose writing samples are not deemed acceptable
by the faculty may be admitted under conditionally classified standing
under the following conditions:

-- Applicants with a B.A. in English will, in consultation with the
Graduate Advisor, enroll in an appropriate upper-division English
course (which may satisfy a breadth requirement) and will, at the
conclusion of the course, submit a writing sample of 12-20 pages,
which will be evaluated according to the same criteria listed above.
This course will serve as a prerequisite to further graduate study and
may not be used toward the total number of units needed to earn an
M.A. in English.

-- Applicants without a B.A. in English will enroll in English 105
and will, at the conclusion of the course, submit a writing sample of
12-20 pages, which will be evaluated according to the same criteria
listed above. This course will serve as a prerequisite to further
graduate study and may not be used toward the total number of units
needed to earn an M.A. in English.

-- If this porfolio is deemed unacceptable by two English graduate
faculty members, then the applicant will not be admitted to classified
standing (and thus will not be permitted to pursue their M.A. in
English).

6. The department will have evaluated all writing samples by April 1
(for Fall semester admissions) and by November 1 (for spring semester admissions) so that the M.A. Graduate Advisor can communicate to the Graduate Division which students are to be admitted under classified standing and which are to be admitted conditionally.

For more information or an appointment with the Graduate Adviser in M.A. contact the Assistant to the Advisers, at 559.278.6573.