Exam Reading Lists

For the comprehensive exams, students, in consultation with the exam committee, will compile a reading list with a minimum of 50 sources (books and articles, appropriate to the field). The reading list may be organized by a primary field and a focus area within that field, categories of grouped readings, and/or areas of specialization or focus. Please consult the comprehensive exam categories as you are compiling your reading list to ensure that you have sources to support your essay responses related to your literature review, application of pedagogy, revision plan, and research design, methods, and methodologies.

Example Lists

Below are a few examples of comprehensive exam reading lists by students in our program. They are intended as a model for how to organize and develop a set of readings around a topic of interest in the field, and students preparing their own lists might use them as a starting place for compiling their own research but will ultimately develop their own list, in consultation with their committee, related to their particular interests in the field.

Cristine Busser’s Comprehensive Exam List

  • Fields: Writing Program Administration (WPA), Composition Theory and Pedagogy
  • Focus: Retention / Higher Education Policies

Beth Topping’s Comprehensive Exam List

  • Areas of Focus: Archival Research, Literacy Studies, and Public Sphere Theory

Filing Your Exam Intent Form

After obtaining feedback with your chair and committee members on your reading lists, you will need to attach your reading list and obtain committee signatures on the English Department’s Comprehensive Exam Intent Formdue Apr. 15th for Fall exams or Oct. 15th for Spring exams.