For the Writing Proficiency Review, an hour-long oral review that takes place in the second year of study, students submit a scholarly paper, normally written in English and about thirty pages in length, which expands and reworks a paper written for one of their courses. The committee consists of three faculty members, including the student’s primary advisor.
The paper should be of article length (circa 8000 words), written in a style suggested by one of the leading journals in our field (e.g., German Quarterly, Germanic Review, Deutsche Vierteljahrsschrift, Monatshefte, New German Critique, Seminar, The Journal of medieval and Early Modern Studies Journal of English and German Philology, Speculum, Zeitschrift für deutsches Altertum, Zeitschrift für deutsche Philologie), and it should have been revised in consultation with the faculty member who taught the course out of which the original paper was generated or in consultation with the student’s primary advisor. It should demonstrate sustained interpretive skills, the ability to organize and develop an original argument, to engage in primary research and with current secondary literature, and an awareness of methodological and conceptual commitments and objectives.
Students are encouraged to use a software program such as Refworks, Endnotes, Citation, Evernote, or Zotero for managing primary and secondary literature. Support for learning these programs is provided at both University Libraries.
The final draft of the paper should be distributed to the committee members at least two weeks prior to the oral review. It is the responsibility of the student to arrange the time, day, and place of the oral review with the committee members, in consultation with appropriate staff.