Independent Work

Concentrators write one junior paper, in conjunction with the fall junior seminar. The senior thesis is written with an adviser chosen in the spring of junior year.

The Junior Seminar

An introduction to the methods of research and the arts of criticism, taken in the fall of junior year. Concentrators choose one from a menu of five or six seminars when they sign into the department as sophomores. The courses are topical (ranging from Emily Dickinson to "Theater and Sacrifice"), but all of them involve intensive practice in the reading and writing of literary criticism. The fall junior paper is written in conjunction with the seminar, with the seminar instructor as adviser.

During the junior fall, students should plan a program of departmental courses for the next two years. The planned course work for the junior spring and senior year should be discussed with the junior seminar leader, who signs the TiberHub sheet and acts as the junior adviser during the fall term.

The Senior Theses

For English concentrators, senior theses are 60-75 pages in length, on a topic chosen in collaboration with the thesis adviser and approved by the committee of departmental studies. One chapter or 20 pages of the thesis is due in December.

Students should consult the department Guide to Independent Work and can find model senior theses under Undergraduate Research.