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Arkistoitu opetusohjelma 2015–2016
Selaat vanhentunutta opetusohjelmaa. Voimassa olevan opetusohjelman löydät täältä.
ENGS4 MA Thesis Seminar 5 ECTS
Period I Period II Period II Period IV
Language of instruction
Type or level of studies
Advanced studies
Course unit descriptions in the curriculum
Englannin kielen, kirjallisuuden ja kääntämisen tutkinto-ohjelma
School of Language, Translation and Literary Studies

General description

Lecturer Norri’s seminar

My seminar is primarily meant for students who are interested in doing research on English vocabulary, English word-formation, dictionaries of English, and English for Specific Purposes (English as used in various types of scientific writing). In seminar papers dealing with vocabulary, it is possible to concentrate either on Present-day English or on chronological developments in English vocabulary and dictionaries of English. The following are some examples of topics covered in recent MA theses: film-related neologisms in the magazine Total Film; slogans used in refractive surgery advertising; the offensiveness and usage of the lexemes bitch and son of a bitch; insulting nationality words in some British and American dictionaries and in the British National Corpus.

In the autumn term, we will concentrate on finding a topic for you to write on and on putting together a research proposal (circa five to ten pages). Practical questions relating to the writing of an MA thesis will also be addressed, as will various ways of finding research material for your study (corpora and other electronic sources, printed books, etc.).

During the spring term, students are expected to write a seminar paper (approximately twenty pages, but longer contributions are also welcome), to be presented and discussed in our meetings. The seminar paper is usually a first draft of the MA thesis, and our purpose should be to lay a solid foundation for the final thesis in our sessions, ideally completing a significant portion of the thesis in the course of the academic year.

To apply for a place in my seminar, please act according to the instructions. I would appreciate it if those who are interested in attending the seminar sent me an email (juhani.norri@uta.fi) to arrange for an appointment before the seminar officially begins. It would be good to discuss your topic and your approach to it as early as possible. (My summer holiday runs from July 13th till August 16th; meetings are possible both before and after it.)

Lecturer Piipponen’s Seminar

This seminar is open for students interested in literary analysis and cultural studies. I would like to recommend this seminar especially for those students who are interested in women’s writing and gender/queer studies, popular literature (especially detective fiction), the study of genres and generic conventions, American literature (1900-), and literary works dealing with imperialism, postcolonialism and ethnicity.

During the autumn, participants start working on their thesis and write a research proposal in which they specify the primary material, research question and theoretical approach of the thesis (approximately five pages); the proposal is then presented to and discussed by the seminar group. During the spring, participants continue their work and present their seminar paper (which ideally consists of one or two chapters of the actual thesis). The goal of the seminar is to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to complete the thesis and to offer support and practical advice during the writing process. Besides the seminar sessions, also individual consultation sessions will be arranged according to the needs of the participants.

To apply for a place, please act as instructed; if you want to start working on your thesis before the autumn, please send me an email as soon as possible (maarit.piipponen@uta.fi).

Professor Klemola's Seminar

Linguistics, especially language variation and change

My seminar is open for students interested in all kinds of linguistics topics. However, I would recommend the seminar especially for those students who are interested in corpus-based studies of variation and change in English. Possible seminar (and pro gradu) projects may focus, for example, on grammatical variation in regional varieties of English. The study of regional variation in English is facilitated by the recent International Corpus of English (ICE) family of corpora, which provide an easy access to a wide range of varieties of English from all over the English-speaking world.

The main task during the autumn term will be to write and present a research proposal (five to ten pages). In addition, each student will be expected to draft—in consultation with me—a personal study and research plan for the whole academic year. We will also focus on practical questions linked with writing a thesis, look at some examples of recent gradus completed in the English department, and read a number of articles linked with the topics you are working on.

During the spring term, each student will write a seminar paper (20+ pages), to be presented and discussed in the group. Ideally, the seminar paper will function as the first draft of your pro gradu thesis.

Lecturer McGinley's Seminar

This course is for students interested in literary study and is designed to help in writing your MA thesis and to give experience of academic literary analysis, discussion and debate. Throughout the course there will be classes addressing research methods, style, structure, and composition. But the predominant emphasis will be on the actual writing of your thesis. The first half of the course will see you defining your topic and submitting an abstract for discussion with your supervisor early in the course, and building towards a presentation of the thesis proposal (12-15 pages) and discussion of it with other students. The second half of the course will involve writing a draft of your thesis (about 5000-7000 words), and again presenting it to the class for comment and discussion. During the presentation sessions, each student will also serve as commentator on another student’s thesis, giving constructive feedback on the presentation before the discussion is opened and the other students invited to share their thoughts. Assessment will be by completion of assignments (abstracts, research proposals, and thesis drafts) and ‘participation’, which will include attendance, fulfillment of all presentation requirements, performance as commentator, and contribution to class discussions.

Professor Pahta's Seminar

Language in context, genre and discourse studies, applied linguistics

This seminar runs for the next calendar year, starting in January 2016. The seminar is intended for students who are interested in analyzing language use in context, i.e. in relation to various language-external factors, using qualitative or quantitative methods, including discourse analysis or corpus linguistics. The students’ interests can relate, for example, to English in specific social or situational contexts, English as a global language in non-Anglophone contexts, bi- and multilingualism, computer-mediated communication, or language use in the history of English. Students interested in studying English in the context of learning and teaching are also welcome.

The seminar offers practical advice, guidance and support during the process of planning and writing the thesis, addressing each step in the research process. As working methods we will use collaborative group work, including discussions of relevant reading and the students’ own projects, and a course diary.

During the spring term, students are expected to produce a research proposal, specifying the main elements of their pro gradu thesis, to present it to the seminar group, and to start working on their thesis. In the autumn term, students continue to work on their thesis. The aim during the seminar year is to finish a draft version of the entire thesis; the minimum requirement is to produce at least 3-4 draft chapters of the thesis, serving as “the seminar paper”. Towards the end of the seminar year, each student’s thesis draft is discussed in class.

To apply for a place, please act as instructed. If you want to attend this seminar, please send me an email in August before the seminar enrollment ends to arrange for an appointment to discuss your thesis project. The appointments will take place in September (paivi . pahta  @  uta . fi).

Enrolment for University Studies

Enrolment time has expired


Juhani Norri, Teacher responsible
Maarit Piipponen, Teacher responsible
Juhani Klemola, Teacher responsible
Kevin McGinley, Teacher responsible
Päivi Pahta, Teacher responsible


7-Sep-2015 – 25-May-2016
Group 1 (Norri)
Mon 7-Sep-2015 - 12-Oct-2015 weekly at 16-18, PinniB 4034
Mon 26-Oct-2015 - 14-Dec-2015 weekly at 16-18, PinniB 4034
Mon 11-Jan-2016 - 23-May-2016 weekly at 16-18, Pinni B 4034
Group 2 (Piipponen)
Tue 8-Sep-2015 - 13-Oct-2015 weekly at 14-16, PinniB 4118
Tue 27-Oct-2015 - 15-Dec-2015 weekly at 14-16, PinniB 4118
Tue 12-Jan-2016 - 24-May-2016 weekly at 14-16, Pinni A 2089
Group 3 (Klemola)
Wed 9-Sep-2015 - 14-Oct-2015 weekly at 16-18, PinniB 4034
Wed 28-Oct-2015 - 16-Dec-2015 weekly at 16-18, PinniB 4034
Wed 13-Jan-2016 - 25-May-2016 weekly at 16-18, Pinni B 4034
Group 4 (McGinley)
Wed 9-Sep-2015 - 14-Oct-2015 weekly at 16-18, PinniB 4031
Wed 28-Oct-2015 - 16-Dec-2015 weekly at 16-18, PinniB 4031
Wed 13-Jan-2016 - 25-May-2016 weekly at 16-18, Pinni B 4031
Group 5 (Pahta. Starts in period III.)
Wed 13-Jan-2016 - 25-May-2016 weekly at 16-18, Pinni B 4086


Numeric 1-5.