MA in English & Creative Writing - Curriculum

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English and Creative Writing (MA) Inforgraphic

An Online MA in English and Creative Writing in
12 Courses

SNHU's online MA in English and Creative Writing curriculum advances your appreciation of literature and broadens your foundation in writing. Improve your base with a deeper appreciation of literature and advance your creative and storytelling abilities. The 36-credit MA in English and Creative Writing curriculum exposes you to powerful examples of creative, compelling writing and provides you with an outlet to experiment and refine your skills.

English & Creative Writing (MA) Courses

ENG-550: Graduate Studies in English Language
This course is an introduction to the following topics in English linguistics: history of English, etymology, vocabulary 'morphology', phonology, dictionaries, syntax, semantics, dialects, discourse analysis, and child language acquisition. The course is designed for students who want to learn about the English language as preparation for teaching, or becoming better writers, or for studying literature. Students will have the opportunity to research, write about, and present on a linguistic topic of individual interest, such as the language of advertising or propaganda.
LIT-500: Graduate Studies in Literary Theory
This course is an introduction to the major schools of contemporary literary theory, and an examination of principal exponents of these theories. The student will become familiar with the most important features of psychoanalytic criticism, Marxism and feminism and examine the meaning of structuralism and post-structuralism. In addition, the course affords an opportunity to practice applying the theories to specific literary texts.

Choose 1 of the following:

ENG-670: Seminar in Writing Instruction
This course is designed to provide writers with an insight into pedagogical approaches to teaching. Students design and plan instruction that promotes improved literacy practices. By investigating and practicing a variety of writing exercises, processes, and approaches to improve writing skills, students will create a portfolio of ideas and options for teaching others.
ENG-675: Online Teaching Experience
This course is designed to provide students with practical, hands-on experience as online classroom facilitators. Through institutional support, each student will be paired with an undergraduate instructor to assist with the daily and weekly responsibilities that come with teaching. Students will learn directly from experienced professionals best practices toward identifying struggling students, fostering motivation and student engagement, determining appropriate feedback for various assignments, and grading towards established rubrics. In addition to their assistance in the undergraduate course, students in ENG 675 will be enrolled in this graduate course where they complete assignments and activities that support a variety of writing exercises, processes, and approaches to improve writing skills.
Prerequisites:
ENG-550 and GPA 3.5 or higher - contact advisor to register

Choose 3 graduate literature courses

Choose 2 of the following:

ENG-523: Screenwriting Fundamentals
In this course, writers will learn the essential elements of screenwriting, including plot structure, character, scene, dialogue, and the craft of visual storytelling. Beginning with the mechanics of scripts for television and film and the process of script outline and written synopses ("treatments"), attention is then given to storytelling through script structure with a focus on feature-length film. Existing movie scripts and films will be examined as writers create and build on scenes and dialogue in preparation for the course's final project a short one-act screenplay.
Prerequisites:
ENG-550
ENG-528: Poetry Fundamentals
This course is designed to deepen writers' understanding and mastery of elements of poetry (including tone of voice; traditional, formal, and "informal" structure; imagery; meter and rhythm; and use of sound and diction) and to introduce major movements in English and American poetry. In addition to producing their own poems, writers will read poetry and also prose about poetry by major poets.
Prerequisites:
ENG-550
ENG-529: Fiction Fundamentals
This course is designed to deepen writers' understanding and mastery of elements of fiction, including voice, point-of-view, theme, characterization, structure, reflexivity, symbolism, imagery, rhythm, and tone. Writers practice a variety of fiction writing, reading, and workshop skills. They also study major examples of the novel, novella, short story and representative critical texts.
Prerequisites:
ENG-550
ENG-530: Non-Fiction Fundamentals
In this course, writers study several genres of creative nonfiction, including reportage and memoir, personal essay and biography, travel writing and science writing, literary journalism, and biography. Writers explore and master structure and technique through critical reading of modern and contemporary sources in these subgenres and through writing workshops in which they revise their own work and comment on classmates' writing. In addition to becoming better critical readers, writers begin to develop their own unique writing voices.
Prerequisites:
ENG-550

Choose 2 of the following:

ENG-531: Fiction and Film
This course provides students with the opportunity to explore storytelling through two of its most popular mediums: film and literature. Students will examine basic principles of storytelling; point of view, voice, rhythm, character and plot development, theme, symbols and how those principles are represented differently or correspondingly in each form. Students will be expected to use analytical skills to dissect stories and recreate their essence through a number of creative writing exercises. They will also be expected to read their peers' writing and use constructive criticism to provide supportive feedback.
Prerequisites:
ENG-523 ENG-528 ENG-529 or ENG-530
ENG-532: Studies in Place & Setting
What is place? How does it impact storytelling? In this course, students explore the concept of place as both an internal and external factor that influences writing. Students will examine the importance of the writer's identity, or place, and how it can shape the physical space and characters within a story. Students will be expected to represent elements of voice, tone, atmosphere, point of view, and time through creative writing exercises that emphasize descriptive environments. They will also be expected to read their peers' writing, and use constructive criticism to provide supportive feedback.
Prerequisites:
ENG-523 ENG-528 ENG-529 or ENG-530
ENG-533: Genres: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and Other Popular Fiction
?What does it take to be a good sci-fi writer? How does a writer become the next Tolkien? Beyond the scope of general genres - fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and screenwriting - there are specific sub-genres to consider at the start of a novel and, in some cases, a career. In popular fiction, these genres tend to cycle through the bestsellers lists. In this course, students select a particular genre to explore in more depth, and apply that genre to their writing throughout the term. While crafting and critiquing these pieces with their peers, they develop their professional identity as authors of their genre, and research and apply methods that will help them market themselves as genre writers.
Prerequisites:
ENG-523 ENG-528 ENG-529 or ENG-530
ENG-540: Contemporary Writers and Publishing
This is a seminar in the historical and contemporary development of literary cultures. Students will examine the driving influences of the literary market, looking at the history and evolvement of the publishing industry, book review, literary organizations, literary awards, such as the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and others, and how these factors influence literary productions and careers. They will also examine the lives and the works of the most influential contemporary literary writers who have succeeded in the present culture. Additionally, students will prepare for current trends in publishing and learn how to submit their own work for publication.
ENG-542: The Editor
?Writing a story is only half the battle. What happens when the writer finishes the first draft and any subsequent revisions? When is the work finally ready for someone else's eyes? Should someone be reviewing every step in the process? With expanding opportunities in social media and self-publishing, the role of the editor may be shifting. Whether pursuing traditional publication or new media platforms, writers may be in need of editors now more than ever. In this class, we focus on the relationship between author and editor by placing students in the role of the editor. Students study the different responsibilities of each editor type - from developmental editors and proofreaders to acquisitions editors and copy editors - and where these play a part in the writing and publishing process. Students practically apply the multifaceted role of the editor and compile their feedback as the start of a professional portfolio.
Prerequisites:
ENG-523 ENG-528 ENG-529 or ENG-530

Students who elect not to concentrate on a genre also take the following courses:

ENG-690: English and Creative Writing Capstone
Students register for this course in their final term, as a culmination of their creative writing work in their chosen genres. They satisfy the requirement by completing a creative thesis, or by submitting a portfolio of their creative writing along with a retrospective evaluative essay.
Prerequisites:
Completed 30 credits in program

Plus one additional English Fundamentals course from the fundamentals list above.

Students who concentrate on a genre take the following courses:

Fiction Concentration

ENG-529: Fiction Fundamentals
This course is designed to deepen writers' understanding and mastery of elements of fiction, including voice, point-of-view, theme, characterization, structure, reflexivity, symbolism, imagery, rhythm, and tone. Writers practice a variety of fiction writing, reading, and workshop skills. They also study major examples of the novel, novella, short story and representative critical texts.
Prerequisites:
ENG-550
ENG-549: Fiction Thesis Writing
In this course, writers produce work to include in their thesis and offer constructive feedback on class members' writing. They also continue to read and discuss major texts of fiction in the English and American traditions. In addition, writers reflect on their creation and revision processes, and begin to draft a preface that not only describes their own craft, influences, and intentions, but also provides an overview of the thesis.
Prerequisites:
ENG-529
ENG-559: Fiction Thesis Completion
In this course, writers select the work they will include in their theses, continue to revise them, and complete a significant portion with a clear outline for the future of their work. They also offer constructive feedback on class members' writing and complete the preface they began in their previous coursework. In the preface, writers reflect on their craft, articulate their influences, and introduce the theses.
Prerequisites:
ENG-549

Nonfiction Concentration

ENG-530: Non-Fiction Fundamentals
In this course, writers study several genres of creative nonfiction, including reportage and memoir, personal essay and biography, travel writing and science writing, literary journalism, and biography. Writers explore and master structure and technique through critical reading of modern and contemporary sources in these subgenres and through writing workshops in which they revise their own work and comment on classmates' writing. In addition to becoming better critical readers, writers begin to develop their own unique writing voices.
Prerequisites:
ENG-550
ENG-541: Non-Fiction Thesis Writing
In this course, writers produce and revise work to include in their theses, continue to offer constructive feedback on class members' writing, and read and discuss major texts of creative nonfiction. Writers also reflect on their creation and revision processes, and begin to draft a preface that not only describes their own craft, influences, and intentions, but also provides an overview of the thesis.
Prerequisites:
ENG-530
ENG-551: Nonfiction Thesis Writing II
Writers select the work they will include in their theses, continue to revise them, and complete a significant portion with a clear outline for the future of their work. They also offer constructive feedback on class members' writing and complete the preface they began in their previous coursework. In the preface, writers reflect on their craft, articulate their influences, and introduce the thesis.
Prerequisites:
ENG-541

Poetry Concentration

ENG-528: Poetry Fundamentals
This course is designed to deepen writers' understanding and mastery of elements of poetry (including tone of voice; traditional, formal, and "informal" structure; imagery; meter and rhythm; and use of sound and diction) and to introduce major movements in English and American poetry. In addition to producing their own poems, writers will read poetry and also prose about poetry by major poets.
Prerequisites:
ENG-550
ENG-548: Poetry Thesis Writing
In this course, writers will produce work to include in their theses and offer constructive feedback on class members' writing. Writers will also read and discuss seminal poems in the English and American traditions. In addition, writers will reflect on their creation and revision processes, and begin to draft a preface that articulates their own poetic and provides an overview of the thesis.
Prerequisites:
ENG-528
ENG-558: Poetry Thesis Completion
In this course, writers will select the work they will include in their theses, continue to revise them, and offer constructive feedback on class members' writing. Writers will complete the preface they began in their previous coursework, in which they will articulate their own poetic choices, identify the major works in the thesis, and explain why they included these works, and why they sequenced them as they did.
Prerequisites:
ENG-548

Screenwriting Concentration

ENG-523: Screenwriting Fundamentals
In this course, writers will learn the essential elements of screenwriting, including plot structure, character, scene, dialogue, and the craft of visual storytelling. Beginning with the mechanics of scripts for television and film and the process of script outline and written synopses ("treatments"), attention is then given to storytelling through script structure with a focus on feature-length film. Existing movie scripts and films will be examined as writers create and build on scenes and dialogue in preparation for the course's final project a short one-act screenplay.
Prerequisites:
ENG-550
ENG-547: Screenwriting Thesis
This workshop-oriented course is designed for writers who seek to write a feature-length screenplay for their theses. Writers will share script treatments (plot summaries), outlines, and written script pages, and offer constructive feedback on other class members' scripts, as well as watch films, read scripts, and discuss screenplays. Through the writing and revision process, writers will submit final feature-length script treatments, outlines, and the first act of their feature-length screenplay theses.
Prerequisites:
ENG-523
ENG-557: Screenwriting Thesis Part II
In this course, writers will work on their screenplay theses through rewrites and group feedback, and offer constructive feedback on other class members' scripts. Focus at this stage will be given to examining character development, motivation, and subtext through visual storytelling, and in identifying plot inconsistencies and weaknesses. Writers will complete their feature-length screenplay theses.
Prerequisites:
ENG-547

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