Independent Work

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

The Junior Seminar

An introduction to the methods of research and the arts of criticism, taken in the fall of junior year. Concentrators are placed in one of five 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 Seminar, under the guidance of the seminar instructor. During spring semester they continue work on the paper, with their seminar instructor as JP advisor. The JP is 20-30 pages in length, and 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 instructor, 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 to learn more about the process of and the options for senior theses. Students can find model senior theses under Undergraduate Research.

Critical-Creative Thesis Application (Class of 2020)

Senior Thesis Dropbox Folder