Plan B and Plan C students are required to write a Scholarly Paper (SP) before competing the MA degree. This is usually based on previously written term papers which have been subject to review and criticism. The quality of a SP should reflect that of articles normally appearing in the standard research journals of the field. Scholarly papers are evaluated by two faculty members in terms of the significance of the problem addressed, scholarship, objectivity, soundness of procedure and method, clarity of presentation, insight and perspective. Some scholarly papers have been accepted for inclusion in the Department’s Working Papers in SLS , a publication which is distributed to selected universities and libraries. Other scholarly papers have been selected for publication in major journals.
The SP process involves several steps. First, the student should consult with her or his advisor or other faculty members about the topic that is of interest. As noted above, this might start as a discussion related to work done previously in a course. The student should begin this normally at least in the semester prior to the expected graduation date. The student will then ask a faculty member to become the first reader of and, SP advisor for, the paper. Generally, the SP advisor will read at least one draft of the paper, and it will have been revised, before the student selects a second reader for the paper. Both readers should be familiar with the student’s area of specialization.
The student should attempt to have the final revised version of the paper finished April 15 for Spring Semester and November 15 for Fall Semester graduation. This means, however, that relatively complete versions should be considered by the advisor well in advance of these dates. It is important for the student to keep the SP advisor aware of the progress that is being made.
Current Students: Scholarly Paper Guidelines