About the Thesis

The thesis is the culminating project for the Masters of Arts in English.  It is ideally a deeply researched 50-60 page essay written in the student’s chosen area of concentration under the supervision of a faculty member in the field.  The thesis should differ in breadth, structure, and tone from the essays students have completed in their graduate classes and seminars, but it should grow out of work they have done during their seminars.  It is a semester-long project, but students usually begin researching and conceptualizing their topics for at least a semester before formally enrolling in the thesis course.


Some Titles of M.A. Theses Written at Montclair State

There’s No Place Like Home: The Changing Definition of Exile in Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children and Shame

Mending the Moor on the Early Modern English Stage: The Rise of Shakespeare’s Black Tragic Hero

The Bachelor Narrator Motif in the Sketches of Nathaniel Hawthorne

Disrupting Social Order: The Widows of Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility

Work, Alienation, and Humor: a Marxist Reading of Samuel Beckett's Murphy and Waiting for Godot

“But They Would not Teach Her to Play”: Child Heroines, Fantasy, and the Victorian Debate on Female Education

Film Noir, Hard-Boiled Fiction, Working Women: Depression and Postwar America

 “The Problematic Business of Living Itself”: David Mamet’s Devolving Theater

The Effects of Coauthoring on Student Writing

Unruly Wives and Dancing Girls: the Objectification of Women in Aristophanic Comedy

Problems of Connection: Englishness, Empire and Nation in Forster, Woolf, and Orwell.

Literacy Instruction and the Learning-Disabled High School Student: Ideas and Applications for a Mindful Classroom

The Trickster In Toni Morrison’s Tar Baby

Women’s Public and Private Spaces in Dubliners

Preparing Low-Income Middle and Secondary Students to Participate Effectively in Academic Discourse through Writing

The Ways of Flesh in Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock, The Heart of the Matter, and The End of the Affair

From One to Many-Sided: Negotiating an Ethics of Liberalism in Daniel Deronda

Class Indifference, A Divided Nation: Finding Common Ground through American Pragmatism and Democratic Principles in the Composition Classroom

Gods as Parental Figures in Euripides’ Alcestis, Hippolytus, Iphigenia in Aulis and Tauris

"Writing Cricket Bats": Intersections of Art and Life in Tom Stoppard’s Travesties and The Real Thing”

California Dreamin’ in the Great Depression : The Nightmare of James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity

Byron’s Manfred and Shelley’s Alastor: Narcissism and The Search for the Ideal

Mother Tongues: Bicultural Gendered Discourse in the Writings of Gloria Naylor, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Leslie Marmon Silko