- Selecting Items for the Reading List
The comprehensive exam reading list will have anywhere from 60 to 100 individual items, the exact number to be determined by each Comprehensive Examination Committee in any given year. A committee may want to view lists that previous committees have compiled but it is under no obligation to follow them. Obviously, the actual length of the items on the list-whether predominantly novels or lyric poetry-will have a bearing on the size of the bibliography. But the list should not be generically homogeneous. The student is being examined on comprehensive knowledge, which reflects representative texts from the field either historical period or geography. Roughly 80% of the items on the list should be primary sources, while the rest should be current secondary material. But again the Comprehensive Examination Committee will determine the exact percentage. Although the Comprehensive Examination Committee is ultimately responsible for drawing up the list, the student should be consulted during the process.
- Formatting the Bibliography
The bibliography of a reading list will conform to the following formatting features:
- The font will be Times New Roman at 12 pt.
- The bibliography will be divided into primary and secondary sources, with subheadings for genre; for instance, under primary sources, there might be a poetry heading, a novel heading, and a drama heading.
- The style will be MLA.
- Each bibliographic entry will be numbered under each subheading, so that, for instance, all the poems will be numbered separately from the novels.
Standardized formatting features enable the Graduate Committee to comprehend the quantities of the reading list.
- Ratification of the Reading List
The Graduate Committee ratifies each list before the Graduate Chair sends the final copy to the candidate. It is neither the responsibility nor the authority of the Graduate Committee to question the content of the reading list. The Comprehensive Examination Committee has strict control over the nature of the items selected. However, it is the Graduate Committee’s responsibility to ensure in any given year equity amongst the study loads of the PhD Candidates. To that end, the Graduate Committee may request the Comprehensive Examination Committee to modify quantities within subcategories that are obviously out of line with the quantities on other students’ reading lists.
- Timeline and Important Dates
- Deadline: February 1st-In writing to the Graduate Chair, students will identify their supervisors and their specific fields.
- Mid-February: the Graduate Chair in consultation with supervisors will search for members to serve on the Comprehensive Examination Committees.
- March-April: the different Comprehensive Examination Committees will meet to compose reading lists.
- Deadline: April 14th-the chairs on different Comprehensive Examination Committees will forward the reading lists to the Graduate Chair who will meet with the Graduate Committee to ratify the lists.
- Deadline: April 25th-the Graduate Committee will have met to ratify the reading lists and will contact the separate committees if quantities need to be a modified.
- Deadline: April 30th-the Graduate Chair will send the ratified reading lists to students.
- Please note that the student must register for this exam in April as he or she would for any other course.