5. Master's Level of Scholarship

Faculty of Education

5. Master's Level of Scholarship

Students are expected to achieve a master's level of scholarship as they progress through their program of study. Feedback on course assignments is intended to guide students in developing the expected standards.


5.1 Scholarly Criteria

By the time they complete the exit requirement, students will be expected to demonstrate the following competencies:

An in-depth understanding of the knowledge in an area of study: ability to think deeply, comprehensively, conceptually, and critically about key issues, debates, and theories in an area of study and in education
A conceptual and theoretical understanding of different research designs, methods, and traditions
An ability to work and to think independently and to have an inquiring mind
An ability to relate personal work to a body of knowledge, specifically to major writers in an area of study
An ability to make personal and global connections among different theories and/or different sources of information
An ability to make connections between theories and practice
An ability to critically reflect on personal constructs, practices, theories of use, etc. and to generate new conceptualizations An ability to conduct original research and/or to develop and articulate an original, coherent learning record
An ability to generate a finished product that demonstrates the expected skills and knowledge for a master's graduate

5.2 Scholarly Writing

Unless otherwise approved by a course instructor or project/thesis advisor, all program assignments are to follow the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). It is expected that students will purchase this manual at the beginning of their program and become intimately familiar with it as they proceed Students who follow an alternative style guide as approved by their instructor or advisor, are expected to adhere strictly to its formatting, referencing, and stylistic convention.

Students should strive to be as clear and concise when writing all all times. We are looking for evidence of the ability to think critically about the material that has been read and discussed and to organize these thoughts clearly, coherently, and cogently. Typical qualities of good writing include the following:

Evidence of an accurate interpretation and understanding of key concepts
Insightful application of these concepts to personal areas of research
A critical, personal perspective on and contribution to the issues raised
Clarity and coherence in written expression
Originality and/or creativity in approach

5.3 Writing Supports

Students are expected to follow the conventions of formal written English. Familiarity with these conventions can be obtained from style guides such as Strunk and White's (2007) The Elements of Style, Swan's (2008) Practical English Usage or other guides recommended by the advisor. Students who have difficulty with academic writing can contact Brock University's Student Development Centre (ext. 3114) regarding the availability of remediation services.

If students are unable to master the style and writing conventions, they may need to hire style and copy editors to ensure that the manuscript conforms to departmental standards for a Master of Education MRP or thesis. If so, they should confirm with the advisor and the editor the kinds of editing that are required.

Additional suggestions for writing are listed in Sections 8 and 9 of this program guide. It is helpful for students to read this section in conjunction with the information they glean from style guides. Although the writing conventions have been noted as important for the preparation of the final draft, they are equally important at all stages of the Master of Education program, and should be given explicit and careful attention for all course assignments and at the beginning of the proposal stage.


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