Major Research Paper (MRP) Progam Option
Students who select the MRP option will complete an independent reading and research project under the guidance of two faculty members. A faculty member, designated as First Reader (the Supervisor), will assume primary responsibilities in helping the student with the completion of the MRP.
Specifically, the Supervisor is ultimately responsible for approving the MRP topic and outline, and for submitting the grade for the MRP. Another faculty member, designated as Second Reader, is expected to serve as additional resources to the student when researching and writing the MRP. Part-time students choosing the MRP option complete their paper during their last four terms in the program; full-time students complete the MRP during their third and fourth terms.
Students who started the MFAc program in September of 2009, and who choose the Major Research Paper option, must indicate that choice by the end of fourth semester for part-time srtudents or the end of second semester for full-time students by completing the MRP Approval Form and forwarding it to the MFAc office (221 B Atkinson). The purpose of this form is to ensure that all students have a supervisor and second reader and that all students have a proposed topic for the major research paper.
The Supervisor (the first reader) must be a member of the MFAc Teaching Faculty. Students are expected to work with an MPR supervisory committee composed of the supervisor and a second reader who is a faculty member appointed to any graduate program at York, and/or with an external reader who could be an experienced public official, or a faculty member at another university. The second reader is expected to have a practical or theoretical expertise that complements the expertise of the Supervisor and could enhance the student's learning experience. The grade for the Major Research Paper is determined by the Supervisor.
To help you successfully complete your MRP in a timely manner, students are required to hand in a MRP draft proposal, normally after the completion of two semesters for full-time students or four semesters for part-time students. Students will need to submit the draft proposal to a supervisor who has indicated expertise and interest in your topic. The draft proposal must be at least five pages in length, and must indicate the topic, the proposed argument, a point-form outline of the subjects to be covered in the paper, and a list of at least ten academic sources.
If the research involves interviews with human participants, the appropriate forms for York University Research Ethics Board approval must be received prior to finalizing the outline/proposal. The Research Ethics Board Approval process takes several weeks or longer, and documentation of the approval must be included with the proposal. The student must submit a completed MRP Proposal Approval Form to the MFAc office. This form shows that the Supervisor has approved the MRP proposal. If the topic changes or if the proposal changes substantially, the student must submit a new form to the MFAc office, which must be signed by the Supervisor.
Finally, students will orally present the findings of their MRP in a student seminar series that will normally occur in the eighth term for part-time and the fourth term for full-time students. Individual presentations, including discussion, will be about 40 minutes in length, and will be attended by members of supervisory committees and fellow students. Other faculty members may also attend.
The Major Research Paper project is treated as a course so that the fulfillment of this requirement will show on the student's transcript.
The MRP must be 40-50 pages in length (about 11,200 to 14,000 words), with the text double-spaced with 12-point font. References and footnotes are single-spaced.
Role of the Supervisor: The Supervisor is ultimately responsible for approving the MRP topic, MRP proposal and for submitting the grade for the MRP. Decisions about these matters will be made in consultation with the second reader.
Role of the second reader: The second reader serves as additional resources to the student when researching and writing the MRP.