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MA Qualifying Exams

Schedule for the Exam

MA students take one five-hour qualifying examination that is administered on a single day. It is given each September and February, on the fifth Saturday of the semester. 

Students must submit a signed notice of intent to take the examination by the end of the first week of classes.

Students must take the exams on the Stillwater campus. No exams are offered during the summer.

Reading Lists

Questions are based on reading lists provided by the department.

Composition and Rhetoric
General Linguistics
MA, TESL Option
Professional Writing
Screen Studies
Sociolinguistics
Teaching English as a Second Language

Graduate Student News

2013-2014

Honors and Awards

Jessica Glover: Won the 2013 Rash Awards sponsored by Broad River Review, the 2013 Mississippi Valley National Poetry Contest, and the Hard Times Memoir Writing Contest sponsored by The Writers’ Workshop (Asheville, North Carolina). Jessica took second place in the 2013 International Judge’s Prize sponsored Magma Poetry (London, United Kingdom) and received honorable mention in the 2013 Provincetown Outermost National Poetry Contest, the Muriel Craft Bailey Memorial Award sponsored by The Comstock Review, the Aquillrella Poetry Contest, and the Lucille Clifton Poetry Prize Competition sponsored by Backbone Press. Jessica was also a finalist in the 2013 International Creative Works Competition sponsored by Aesthetica (York, United Kingdom), the Southwest Writers International Contest, The Janet McCabe Poetry Prize sponsored by Ruminate Magazine, and the 2013 Rumi Prize in Poetry Competition sponsored by Arts & Letters. Her chapbook, Hunger House, was a finalist in Finishing Line Press’s New Women’s Voices Chapbook Competition and the 2013 Chapbook Contest sponsored by Iron Horse Literary Review. Glover also received the 2014 Arrington Creative Writing Scholarship in Poetry, the 2014 Academy of American Poets Prize, and the 2014 Houston-Traux-Wentz Graduate Student Travel Award from OSU. Jessica was honored by City of Springfield Public Works by having her poem “Sky Lanterns” stamped into the concrete sidewalk at Missouri State University’s Brick City in downtown Springfield, MO on April 25, 2014.

 

Brian Brooks (PhD, Literature), James Seth (PhD, Liteature), and Jason Higgins (PhD Composition/Rhetoric), all recieved Newbury Library Travel Awards.

 

James Brubaker's (PhD, Creative Writing, '13)  Liner Notes was selected by Stephan Graham Jones for the Subito Prose Prize by Subito Press, out the University of Colorado at Boulder. His collection of short stories will be published in 2014. For more info, check out http://www.subitopress.org/archives/740

 

Melody Denny (PhD Student, Composition and Rhetoric, '14)  won the 2014 Women's Research Council Award from the Women's Faculty Council.

 

William Korver's (PhD Student, Literature) paper, "Over There and Back Again: Somme Echoes Within the Life and Writings of J.R.R. Tolkien," was selected for the "Richard Tuerk 'Out of this World'  Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy 2014 Graduate Student Awards" at the Southwest/Texas PCA/ACA conference, presented February 21, 2014. The award also included $300.

 

Publications

Jessica Glover: Published her poetry in the following journals: So to Speak, Broad River Review, Kindred, Magma Poetry, Weave Magazine, Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual, The Comstock Review, Backbone Poetry Journal, Reed Magazine, NEO Portmanteau, and Salome Magazine.

 

Conference Presentations

Jessica Glover: Presented the following papers: “Cowgirl Guidance at the White Horse Ranch: Steps Toward Higher Education” Oklahoma Women in Higher Education Conference, University of Central Oklahoma(Edmond, Oklahoma, November 15, 2013); “Perspectives on the ‘Veiled Politicals’ in Nawal el-Saadawi’s ‘Twelve Women in a Cell’.” Rhetoric of the Wisewoman and the Madwoman: Perspectives on Confined Women Throughout History, South Atlantic Modern Language Association (Atlanta, Georgia, November 8-10, 2013); “Cowgirl Guidance: Equine Therapy and the Mentoring Services Practiced by the White Horse Ranch.” Mentoring Conference: Impact and Effectiveness of Developmental Relationships, University of New Mexico’s Mentoring Institute (Albuquerque, New Mexico, October 29-November 1, 2014).

 

2012-2013

Spring and Summer 2013 Graduates

Azza Abugharsa: PhD in TESL. Dissertation: "Non-Native Language as the Dominant Code in the Utterances of Billingual Libyan Children from Non-Immigrant Families in the USA."

 

Mokhtar Al-Zuraiki: PhD in Linguistics. Dissertation: “Dancing on the Heads of Snakes: An Intertextual Analysis of Political Metaphor in Yemen.”

 

Jon Bakos:  PhD in Linguistics. Dissertation: “A Comparison of the Speech Patterns and Dialect Attitudes of Oklahoma.”

 

James Brubaker: PhD in Creative Writing. Dissertation: Liner Notes: A Collection of Short Stories.

 

Stephen Buerger:  MA with Option in TESL. Creative Component: "A phonetic, phonological, and acoustic analysis of Karamojong consonants." Stephen will be working with OSU Career Services with a focus on advising graduate and international students.

 

Elkie Burnside: PhD in Rhetoric and Professional Writing. Dissertation: “Exploring Multimodal Composing: A Techno-Pedagogical Study.”  Elkie is the Curriculum Technology Manager at OSU Fire Protection Publications and has accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric at the University of Findlay.

 

Luella D’Amico: Ph.D. in Literature. Dissertation:  "Fallen Angels, or the Other Republican Mothers:  Adolescent Pregnancy in Nineteenth-Century American Literature."   Luella has accepted a position as Assistant Professor of English in Nineteenth and Early Twentieth-Century American Literature at Whitworth University. 

 

Elizabeth Desimone: MFA in Fiction. Thesis: Eros in New Orleans and Other Stories.

 

Margaux Griffith: MFA in Poetry. Thesis: This House is an Orchard.

 

Brianna Hook: MA in TESL. Creative Component: “A Study of ESL Students' Perceptions of their English Accent.”

 

Brandon Kyle: MA in Literature. Thesis: “Archive and Encyclopedia: Derrida, Novalis, and the Possibility of Organized Knowledge.”

 

Terri Moore: PhD in Literature. Dissertation: "The Widow Figure in Early Modern Drama."

 

Joe Myers: MFA in Fiction. Thesis: Rounds Down Range.

 

Tim O'Neil: MA in Literature. Thesis: “'What was I to do in Jamaica with two Guineas, and no Cloaths?': The Ig-Noble History of Miss Katty N."

 

John Rodrigue:  Ph.D. in Literature.  Disseration:  "Rewritten to Aftertimes: Adaptations of John Milton's Poetry, 1674-1767."

 

David Schaap: MA with Option in Professional Writing. David is an Instructional Developer with OSU Fire Protection Publications.

 

Danielle Smorol:  MA with Option in Professional Writing.  Danielle will be working with the OSU Technology Development Center as a writer.

 

Phillip Weirich: MA in Linguistics. Thesis: "Watching hocks: A study of vowel mergers in Oklahoma."

 

Honors and Awards

Jenna Bazzell: Winner of the Janemarie Luecke Memorial scholarship for the 2012-2013 school year.

 

James Brubaker: Winner of the Sally Hinrich PhD Scholarship andthe Clinton C. Keeler Scholarship in English Studies for the 2012-2013 school year. James also placed second in the English Department's Creative Writing Scholarship in Fiction for 2012-2013.

 

Joshua Cross: Placed third in the Oklahoma State University English Department's Creative Writing Scholarship in Fiction.

 

Jessica Fokken: Winner of the Oklahoma State University English Department's Creative Writing Scholarship in Fiction.

 

Jessica Glover:  Winner of the Edwin Markham National Poetry Prize for 2012 sponsored by Reed Magazine. Jessica was also a finalist in the 2012 American Literary Awards Poetry Contest sponsored by American Literary Review and was awarded the 2013 Women’s Faculty Council Research Award for exemplary research toward the completion of her collection of poetry entitled Nothing Sacred.

 

Justin McBride: Summer 2013 Robberson Dissertation Fellowship. The Fellowship consists of a $5,000 stipend and 3 credit hour tuition waiver.

 

John Rodrigue: Winner of the Edward Jones Milton or Textual Studies Scholarship, the Edward Walkiewicz Contemporary Studies Scholarship, and the May Wilson Woods Scholarship for the 2012-2013 school year.

 

Karen Sisk: Winner of the Academy of American Poets Prize for the 2012-2013 school year.

 

Benjamin Smith: Winner of the Audre Chapman Scholarship for Teaching Excellence and Curriculum Development, and the Audre Chapman Scholarship for Teaching Excellence in Composition for the 2012-2013 school year.

 

Danielle Smorol: Selected as one of four A&S Honorary Commencement Marshalls in recognition for her contribution to OSU’s land-grant mission. Danielle also won the Harry Campbell Scholarship and a Professional Writing Scholarship for the 2012-2013 school year.

 

Andrew Terhune: Winner of the Leonard J. Leff Film or Media Studies Award, and winner of the Oklahoma State University English Department's Creative Writing Scholarship in Poetry.

 

Publications

Jenna Bazzell: Jenna's poems “Wet Field” and  “Into the Damp Woods” have recently been anthologized in Apocalypse Now: Poems and Prose from the End of Days by Upper Boot Press.  Her poem “Bubba’s Pub” received semi-finalist for Naugatuck River Review’s 4th annual Narrative Poetry Contest and received publication.  “Out of Reach” was published in Sou’wester in Spring 2013, and her poem "Thirty-Eight" was first runner up for the Southern Indiana Review Mary C. Mohr Editors’ Award with publication.  She also published interviews with poets Eugene Gloria, Mari Esperance, Megan Snyder-Camp, Michael McGriff, and Seth Brady Tucker in  www.poemoftheweek.org.

 

James Brubaker: Three of James' short stories have appeared this year, with more stories and a prose chapbook from sunnyoutside forthcoming:  “The People’s Museum of Musical Heritage”in SPECS 5; “700 Stitches: Phil Spector in Five Scenes” in West Wind Review; and “Five Pilots for Television Sitcoms” in Vector Press 1.

 

Jen Edwards:  Three of Jen’s poems appeared in Spring 13: "Slave Trade," in The Watershed Review  and "Mean Season," and "Reunion" in The Pinch.

 

Jessica Glover: The poems "Alone with Her Reflection" and "Skywalk" were published in the 2012-2013 edition of American Literary Review. 

 

Brandon Hobson: His essay, "Yellow Sky," appeared in The Paris Review Daily and the short story "Cohasset River" was published this year in Midwestern Gothic.

 

Conference Participation

Alys Alvos-Rivera gave papers at two conferences in Spring 13: “Language learning histories in the EFL-ESL transition” at the AnnualConference of the American Association of Applied Linguistics and “Mexican learners in the EFL-ESL transition” at the Annual OSU Humanities Conference.

 

Amy Aurillo gave a presentation on  "Arts Integration in the ESL Classroom" at the Multicultural Education Institute's Spring 2013 Conference.

 

Jon Bakos presented “Bringing the thunder: A first look at the vowel system of Oklahoma” at the national meeting of the American Dialect Society.

 

Jeaneen Canfield presented her paper, "First-Year Composition:  Bridging the Gap Between Instruction and Tutoring," at this year's Annual OSU Humanities Conference and participated at the national CCCC's Research Network Forum with a work-in-progress entitled, " "But I'm a Writing Instructor, Not a Writing Tutor . . . or Am I?"

 

Andrew Davis gave two papers in Spring 13: “The Decline of New Queer Cinema: Analyzing the Co-optation and Mainstreaming of LGBT Independent Cinema” at the Popular Culture and American Culture Associations Conference and “Fantasies and Fairytales: Narrative Structure in David Lynch’s Mulholland Dr.” at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies.

 

Elizabeth Desimone presented a staged reading of her play Danegeld to the Arkansas Philological Association.

 

Clayton Dillard in addition to publishing several book reviews for Slant webzine, Clayton recently presented his paper “The Carnivalesque 'Post-Continuity' of Neveldine/Taylor” at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies National Conference. He was also Roundtable Chair for New Horror Auteurs: Imports, Indies, and Industries at the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association.

 

Dillon Hawkins presented his paper "Too Big to Fail: The Titanic Myth in 21st Century Media" at the Popular Culture and American Culture Associations Conference.

 

Brandon Kyle attended the meeting of the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association where he presented his paper, “’Turn thee, surpassing Spirit’: Revolution and Shelley's 'Queen Mab.'"

 

Justin McBride presented his paper, “Legitimating Metaphors in Native American Language Policy Discourse” at the American Association of Applied Linguistics Conference, and another paper, “American Indian English in Oklahoma” at the Annual OSU Humanities Conference.

 

Dustin Morris spoke on “A Public Image of Hope: Redefining Authenticity in the Digital Age” at  the  College Composition and Communication Conference.

 

Shahriar Mirshahidi and Hooman Saeli co-authored and presented three papers this spring: “ESL vs. native speaker student writers’ perception of form-focused feedback in the writing class: Does the source of feedback matter?” at the TALGS 10th Annual Conference; “Construct validation of speaking proficiency in TOEFL iBT, IELTS, and The International Teaching Assistant (ITA) Test” at the Annual OSU Humanities Conference; and “How native and nonnative ESL teachers differ: The case of teaching styles and teacher motivation” at the Thirtieth Annual Multicultural Education Institute.

 

Steven Pedersen gave his paper, “Eco-Mythic Rhetoric in Plato’s Phaedrus” at the 2013 Southwest Texas Popular Culture Conference.

 

Ben Smith gave a presentation entitled, “When Shields Become Weapons: The Rhetoric of Strength in Captain America” at the College Composition and Communication Conference.

 

Danielle Smorol gave her paper, “A Rural Ghost Bike: Exploring the Intersection of Material Rhetoric and Place as Rhetoric” at the College Composition and Communication Conference.

 

Seungmin Yun gave her paper, “Compliment responses across cultures: a comparative study of Korean and English interactions,” at the American Association for Applied Linguistics.

Admission Requirements for MA (Professional Writing Option)

Admission to the MA program in English requires a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree from an accredited institution of higher learning. Other qualifications and application materials appear below. Applicants should be mindful that meeting the minimum standards for admission does not guarantee admission.

Admission Qualifications and Application Materials

  • Applicants should have maintained an undergraduate grade-point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, particularly in English courses.
  • Applicants must have an undergraduate degree appropriate to the specialization they will follow. For the specialization in Literature, they must have a minimum of 24 hours in English (excluding first-year composition).
  • Applicants must submit two letters of recommendation.
  • Applicants must submit a written statement of approximately 250 words identifying the specific program to which he or she is applying, particular interests in the field, reasons for undertaking graduate study in this area, relevant work experience, and future career plans.
  • Applicants must submit one of the following:
    • Writing Sample: A 7- to 15-page paper recently written in an upper-level seminar in an appropriate area of study.
    • GRE scores are not required, but may be sent as part of the application. (Institution code: 6546).
  • Applicants who are not native speakers of English must submit a score on the TOEFL iBT, or TOEFL and TWE, or IELTS, as part of their application. 

Students are admitted to the MA program with an option in Professional Writing. If a student wishes to move from this one area of specialization to another, the student must submit an application to and receive approval for that change from the Admissions Committee. The application must included a new statement of purpose and a new writing sample, which will be considered along with the rest of the student’s graduate file. Since this application will be an internal English Department matter, students will not pay an application fee. If the Admissions Committee does not grant the request, the student will have the option of continuing in the Professional Writing option. 

If a student wishes to move from one degree program into another degree program, the student must submit a new application through the Graduate College. 

Admission Checklist:

1.) OSU's English Department requires three letters of reference, please contact your references prior to beginning your application, and obtain their email addresses.  
2.) Apply to OSU Graduate College. 
3.) You will complete your entire application electronically. 
4.) Non-native English speakers must also submit TOEFL ibt, TOEFL and TWE, or IELTS scores to the Graduate College. 
5.) Apply for funding through a teach assistantship, if desired.

Application Deadline

For fall admissions, January 15 is the Priority Placement deadline for applications. Applications received prior to January 15 will be given first consideration for assistantships and financial incentives. We will continue to accept applications until March 1, but the availability of assistantships and incentive packages diminishes after the Priority Placement deadline on January 15. 

For spring admissions, the application deadline is October 15. Students admitted in spring are typically not be eligible for departmental funding, including assistantships, until the following fall semester.

Course Offerings for Rhetoric and Professional Writing

The RPW program offers courses that ensure students gain not only core knowledge of their chosen concentration, but breadth of knowledge as well. In addition, graduate students have opportunities for hands-on experiences through teaching assistantships, Assistant Directorships in the First-Year Composition program or the Technical Writing multi-section program, tutor training, and work in the Writing Center. In addition, we help both undergraduate and graduate students concentrating on professional writing seek opportunities for internships in local and national companies.

Our courses are listed below:

Undergraduate Courses

  • ENGL 2233: Writing as a Profession
  • ENGL 3203: Advanced Composition
  • ENGL 3223: Professional Writing Theory
  • ENGL 3323: Technical Writing
  • ENGL 3903: One-to-One Writing Instruction: Theory & Practice
  • ENGL 4523: Prof Writing Internship
  • ENGL 4530: Studies in Professional Writing
  • ENGL 4543: Style and Editing
  • ENGL 4553: Visual Rhetoric & Design
  • ENGL 4563: Scientific & Technical Literatur

Graduate Courses

  • ENGL 5013: Introduction to Graduate Studies
  • ENGL 5213: Composition Theory and Pedagogy
  • ENGL 5223: Professional Writing Theory and Pedagogy
  • ENGL 5340: Studies in Discourse Analysis
  • ENGL 5353: Studies in the History of Rhetoric
  • ENGL 5520: Professional Writing Internship
  • ENGL 5523: Genres in Professional Writing
  • ENGL 5553: Studies in Visual Rhetoric and Design
  • ENGL 5560: Seminar in Professional Writing
  • ENGL 5583: Environmental Writing
  • ENGL 5593: Seminar in Style and Editing
  • ENGL 6350: Topics in Rhetorical Theory
  • ENGL 6500: Topics in Professional Writing 

Topics courses offered include:

  • Writing in the Transnational World
  • Genre, Language, and Writing
  • Narrative Inquiries in Professional Writing: Storying the Profession
  • Literacies in the Digital Age
  • Theorizing Professional Writing
  • Multimodal Discourse Writing
  • Irrationality, Situated Reason, and Materialist Rhetoric
  • History of Scientific Rhetoric
  • Rhetorical Theory: Classical Rhetoric
  • Rhetoric and Radicalism
  • (Re)Framing Ethics: Writing in Internet Age English
  • Image/Sound/Word: Multimodal Theory and Pedagogy
  • Resistance, Rhetoric, and Politic of Literacy
  • Discovering the Means of Persuasion: Writing and Argument
  • Rhetoric Outside the Mind: Posthuman Approaches to Rhetorical Theory
  • Researching in the Writing Center

Admission Requirements for MA (TESL Option)

Admission to the MA program in English requires a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree from an accredited institution of higher learning. Other qualifications and application materials appear below. Applicants should be mindful that meeting the minimum standards for admission does not guarantee admission. 

Admission Qualifications and Application Materials

  • Applicants should have maintained an undergraduate grade-point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, particularly in English courses.
  • Applicants must have an undergraduate degree appropriate to the specialization they will follow. For the specialization in Literature, they must have a minimum of 24 hours in English (excluding first-year composition).
  • Applicants must submit two letters of recommendation.
  • Applicants must submit a written statement of approximately 250 words identifying the specific program to which he or she is applying, particular interests in the field, reasons for undertaking graduate study in this area, relevant work experience, and future career plans.
  • Applicants must submit one of the following:
    • Writing Sample: A 7- to 15-page paper recently written in an upper-level seminar in an appropriate area of study.
    • GRE scores are not required, but may be sent as part of the application. (Institution code: 6546).
  • Applicants who are not native speakers of English must submit a score on the TOEFL iBT, or TOEFL and TWE, or IELTS, as part of their application.

Students are admitted to the MA program with an option in TESL. If a student wishes to move from this degree program into another degree program, the student must submit an application to and receive approval for that change from the Admissions Committee. The application must included a new statement of purpose and a new writing sample, which will be considered along with the rest of the student’s graduate file. Since this application will be an internal English Department matter, students will not pay an application fee. If the Admissions Committee does not grant the request, the student will have the option of continuing in the TESL degree program. 

Admission Checklist:

1.) OSU's English Department requires three letters of reference, please contact your references prior to beginning your application, and obtain their email addresses.  
2.) Apply to OSU Graduate College. 
3.) You will complete your entire application electronically. 
4.) Non-native English speakers must also submit TOEFL ibt, TOEFL and TWE, or IELTS scores to the Graduate College. 
5.) Apply for funding through a teach assistantship, if desired.

Application Deadline

For fall admissions, January 15 is the Priority Placement deadline for applications. Applications received prior to January 15 will be given first consideration for assistantships and financial incentives. We will continue to accept applications until March 1, but the availability of assistantships and incentive packages diminishes after the Priority Placement deadline on January 15. 

For spring admissions, the application deadline is October 15. Students admitted in spring are typically not be eligible for departmental funding, including assistantships, until the following fall semester.