Creative Writing

MFA Student Learning Outcomes

SLO 1 (Thesis Outcome Learning #1)

Student should be able to generate complex, original subject matter of literary quality and value:

  1. Student avoids formulaic or clich├ęd elements of content.
  2. Student effectively integrates researched material, contributing to the overall complexity and quality of the work.
  3. Student presents a preponderance of original observations and images.
  4. Student demonstrates original and/or fresh use of language and diction.

SLO 2 (Thesis Outcome Learning #2)

Student should be able to utilize form, style, and technique in effective and sophisticated ways:

  1. For a collection of essays, stories, poems, or hybrid-genre pieces, Student has organized and presented work in a form that shows overall unity and coherence.
  2. For fiction and nonfiction, Student demonstrates effective use of narrative structure, e.g., pacing, summary, scene.
  3. Student demonstrates graceful, skillful, and wide-ranging (varied) use of style, e.g. choices regarding line length, tone, voice, etc.

SLO 3: Critical Thinking (MFA Exam Learning Outcome #1)

Student should be able to write a comprehensive analysis of a literary work in his/her genre (a poem, story, or essay):

  1. Student identifies and discusses multiple aspects of form, e.g., narrative structure, line length, word choice, tone, point of view.
  2. Student illustrates his/her discussion with appropriate examples from the text.
  3. Student incorporates cited material effectively and gracefully into his/her essay.
  4. Student correctly uses standard format for citations and bibliography.
  5. Student identifies and evaluates creative choices made by the author, which may include discussion of alternative choices.
  6. Student considers the relationship between the work's form and its content (its subject matter or concerns).
  7. Student demonstrates an accurate understanding of the work's historical and stylistic context.

SLO 4: Critical Thinking (MFA Exam Learning Outcome #2)

Student should be able to articulate his/her own aesthetic as a writer:

  1. Student cites examples of at least three primary and at least two secondary sources that have influenced his/her aesthetic development.
  2. Student elucidates specific elements of form, theme, and content (subject matter) that characterize his/her own aesthetic.
  3. Student cites references from both contemporary and historical major writers in his/her genre.
  4. Student demonstrates familiarity with the historical context and development of his/her genre.