Independent Work

Concentrators write one year-long Junior Paper over the course of the fall and spring semesters, advised by their Junior Seminar Leader.

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 "Dickinson and Thoreau" and "Death and Literature"), but all of them involve intensive practice in the reading and writing of literary criticism.  Students begin researching and drafting the junior paper during the Junior Research Seminar, under the guidance of the seminar leader. During spring semester they continue work on the paper, with their seminar leader as JP advisor. The paper is due in April.

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.

Junior Paper (JP) Dropbox Folder

The Senior Thesis

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.

Senior Thesis Dropbox Folder