Final Project/Capstone Experience

The final project/capstone experience for the M.A. in English with a concentration in English Education should draw on the candidate's strengths as a teacher of English, a scholar in the field of English studies, and a leader in the school and community.

Remember that this project fulfills the programmatic requirement of our Graduate School that all students take a “comprehensive examination.” Please read carefully these descriptive materials so that you understand the program support available to you and know how you will be evaluated. Please consult with your advisor at the start of your program so that you can use both your core courses and your other course work to help prepare you for this culminating project.

Student Examples:

The Master’s Thesis/Project in English Education

The Master’s Thesis/Project is a formal piece of student scholarship that investigates a particular problem in English education and attempts to provide either a data-based, practical solution to that problem or a philosophical/theoretical exploration of the problem and its implications for the classroom.

Components of the Masters’ Thesis/Project:

Programmatic support for the Masters’ Thesis/Project:

  • Development of perspectives on problems in English Education in ENGL/EDUC 6274
  • Development of a tentative concept for study in ENGL/EDUC 6274 and exploration various research methodologies in ENGL/EDUC 6974
  • Development of basic educational research skills in ENGL/EDUC 6974
  • Development of scholarly research skills in content courses
  • Implementation of mini-educational research projects in professional courses and mini-scholarly exploratory studies in content courses
  • Development and completion of proposal in ENGL/EDU 6974
  • Mentoring support from peers through ENGL/EDU 6974
  • Development of final research document in ENGL/EDU 6974

Comprehensive Examination:

Presentation of Thesis Project
Scoring Rubric for the Oral Presentation for all Masters’ Candidates

Directions to Examining Committee:
This candidate’s written project has met with approval from the student’s thesis project committee. Your role will be to evaluate the student’s ability to present the findings in a professional manner at a level expected of a master teacher. Please score each item on a 1-5 Scale, with 1 representing “very weak” and 5 representing “very strong.” Please feel free to write additional comments in the space below.

Content of Thesis Project:

____ 1. Provides adequate information to set the context for understanding the project.
____ 2. Presents the most salient content from the project.
____ 3. Selects the most appropriate content for the descriptive portion of the presentation.
____ 4. Provides sufficient groundwork for conclusions and self-reflections.
____ 5. Answers most questions with responses that are well-grounded in the professional literature and in the master teachers’ research.
____ 6. Proposes substantive and compelling future plans which represent an extension of personal and professional growth.




____ 7. Shows audience awareness through eye contact, voice projection, clarity of enunciation, use of technology, and gestures that add to rather than detract from the content.
____ 8. Paces the presentation appropriately and adheres to the time limit.
____ 9. Follows a well-organized and logically-sequenced plan for the presentation.
____ 10. Demonstrates poise and confidence throughout the presentation.



Grading Scale:

A = 45-50
B= 40-44
C= 35-39
U= Below 35

Rubric Used by Thesis Committee for Thesis Approval

____ 1. Identifies an Appropriate Problem for Study
Explicitly reflects one or more program goals
Clearly important to the master teacher and the profession
____ 2. Reviews the Relevant Literature on the Problem Thorough, well-organized, reflects the writer’s voice
Research studies and scholarship are selected of excellent quality and are highly relevant to the problem
The problem appears compelling to the reader
____ 3. Chooses the Appropriate Research Questions and Methodology
The problem for study is clearly and succinctly stated
A methodology was selected suited to the problem and, where appropriate, participants, setting, instrumentation, and data collection are clearly and thoroughly described and correspond to research questions
____ 4. Analyses of the problem
The argument presented is consistent with the evidence and, where applicable, an appropriate method of data analysis was chosen and that analysis system was accurately implemented.
An appropriate balance of argument and evidence is presented, and, where applicable, an appropriate balance between narrative and tabular or graphic findings is given.
____ 5. Conclusion
Offers reasonable conclusions and interpretations and gives plausible implications of the study for teaching and learning.