Multicultural and Transnational Literatures

Devoted to MTL at ECU and beyond

Non-Thesis Options

The Comprehensive Assessment Project options require an additional 6 s.h. of coursework (to replace thesis hours).  These can be any appropriate courses in ENGL or another Department, as long as all other requirements for the MA have been met.  (Note:  No more than 6 s.h. total taken outside the English Department can count towards the MA.)  CAPs should be formatted according to MLA style.

A.  The Portfolio option involves:

  • A Planning Meeting with a committee of three faculty from the Dept. of English at which the student presents a Draft Portfolio of 6-8 representative seminar papers or projects that the student is considering for revision and inclusion in the Portfolio (these should include professors’ comments and grades) and a Working Bibliography for the Framing Essay. This meeting will be held no later than the third week of classes during the semester in which the student plans to defend. The Planning Meeting may be conducted by conference call for DE students.
  • The Revised Portfolio, which includes the portfolio papers/projects, edited in accordance with the recommendations of the committee at the Planning Meeting, and an 8-10 page Framing Essay that synthesizes the Portfolio papers within the context of the student’s program of study. The Revised Portfolio and Framing Essay will be submitted to the committee no less than two weeks before the oral defense is scheduled.
  • An Oral Defense meeting with the committee (1-1 ½ hours), during which the student discusses with the committee the Portfolio in relationship to the Framing Essay and the student’s graduate coursework. The Defense may be conducted by conference call or videoconference for DE students.

B.  The Professional Project option might be chosen by students with specific professional needs or interests, such as the design of a curriculum, a teaching unit, or other workplace project.  The Project requires an additional 6 s.h. hours of coursework (one of which may be a Directed Reading related to Project research) and:

  • A Planning Meeting, with a committee of three English faculty chosen according to procedures outlined for the Thesis Committee, to be held no later than the third week of classes during the semester in which the student plans to complete the Project.  At this meeting the student presents a Project Outline (2-3 pp.) and a Working Bibliography of sources. The Planning Meeting may be conducted by email and/or conference call for DE students.
  • A Framing Essay (5-6 pp.) relating the project to the Bibliography and explaining the theoretical framework of the project; and the Project itself (18-25 pp.) to be submitted to the committee no less than two weeks before the Defense is scheduled.
  • An Oral Defense (1-1 ½ hrs.), at which the student presents the Project and its theoretical framework to the committee and answers questions posed by the committee related to the problem the project addresses, the methodology used, the utility of the project/application in curriculum or other work environments, and the relationship of the project to the student’s graduate coursework.  The Defense may be conducted by conference call or videoconference for DE students.


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