English concentrators undertake three independent projects with the department: the fall junior paper, the spring junior paper, and the senior thesis.
The fall junior paper is written in conjunction with the junior seminar, which introduces students to research methods and the arts of criticism.
The spring junior paper is written under the supervision of a faculty advisor, assigned by matching student interests and preferences with faculty expertise at the end of the fall semester.
The senior thesis is the capstone of a concentrator’s career in the department, a long work of literary or cultural criticism that combines original thinking and scholarly research. Like the spring junior paper, it is written under the supervision of a faculty advisor, assigned at the end of the junior spring. Rising seniors often begin work over the summer, and the college and the department both offer support for research and travel.