Senior Seminar

Senior Seminar I – LIT 497

First semester of the research seminar for the production of a senior thesis. Emphasis upon significant literary texts and extensive use of scholarly source work, with faculty supervision of the research process. Completion and acceptance of a formal research proposal, an annotated bibliography, and the signed agreement of the thesis advisor are required. The proposed research will be presented as the final exam. Prerequisite: Senior standing or permission of department chair. Fall and Spring.

Senior Seminar II – LIT 498

Second semester of the research seminar emphasizing the writing process with additional research incorporated. Course taught by designated faculty member who will supervise the work with the assistance of the thesis advisor. Writing and Information Literacy competencies will be demonstrated through completion of the formal text. Presentation of research required with integration of technology throughout. Prerequisites: LIT 497; senior standing or permission of department chair. Fall and Spring.

Senior Seminar in Creative Writing – LANG 494

Literature majors with a concentration in Creative Writing are required to take LANG 494, the Senior Seminar in Creative Writing, as their capstone course in the department. Students enrolled will work with the seminar director to develop a schedule with interim deadlines, will acquire a second reader, and will craft a significant manuscript of poetry, creative non-fiction, or drama. Specific procedures and formats for each genre will be explained by the seminar director. Students are responsible for preparing and signing a Release Form as well as a Creative Writing Title Page by filling out the proper forms and submitting them with your paper.

Students will electronically submit their final papers, which will be saved as PDF files and archived in that format. Students are responsible for providing their first reader with a copy of the final paper’s cover sheet, including the signature of each faculty advisor, as well as the signed release forms allowing library archival of the essays.

Senior Creative Writing Project

Late in the junior year, students should begin planning for a significant senior project. This project must develop a minimum of a chapbook-length manuscript of poetry, short fiction, or non-fiction prose. More ambitious students can submit full-length manuscripts of poetry, non-fiction prose, a one act play or a novel.  Material from previous workshops may be used, but must reflect substantial revision. New work must be included, the amount of which will be determined by the project advisor.

The department recommends that students select a project advisor and begin discussing project options in their junior year. It is especially important to agree on the length of project and on the final (i.e., inflexible) due date before beginning work on the manuscript. Actual writing should begin no later than the semester prior to the one in which you plan to graduate. You should also select a second reader, usually from the department. The project advisor, in consultation with a second reader, is the ultimate judge of the final acceptability of the manuscript. Senior projects must stand up in comparison with the standards of contemporary literary practice.

Senior Readings

During their final semester, literature majors with the concentration in creative writing are required to give a public reading from their senior project. The program director will schedule the reading in consultation with you and other students (usually from one to three) with whom you will be reading. To facilitate scheduling, you must contact the director in the semester prior to the one in which you plan to graduate. Confer with your project advisor about appropriate material as well as about effective techniques for public reading. Select a portion or portions of your manuscript that can be shared with an audience in no more than 20 minutes.