Senior Essay Program Description

The Senior Essay Program offers qualified senior English majors in the College and General Studies the opportunity to write a substantial piece of critical writing (of approximately 10,000 words), under the guidance of a faculty member in the English Department.  It is not a requirement of the major, nor is it a requirement for receiving departmental honors.  

Program Deadlines
Final essay drafts will be due the first Monday in April. 

A preliminary draft (ca. 20 pages) will be due to supervisors on the first Monday in March.  

In addition, the Essay Seminar will have other smaller deadlines along the way.  

Evaluation and Credit

Academic credit for the course will appear on the Spring transcript as a 4-point course entitled “Senior Essay” (please let the DUS know if this presents a problem in terms of credit limits, and we can find a solution).  Faculty sponsors will submit an evaluation of the essay and a grade for the essay course to the CUE, and will also return final comments to the student.  The CUE will provide essayists with an additional set of written final comments, and will also consider Senior Essays as part of the process for determining departmental honors and prizes. 

Three of last year's prize-winning essays can be found here:

David Ehmcke (Hickey Prize), "Writing the Invisible:  Ariana Reines's Occult Poetics" & “Senior Essay Proposal – David Ehmcke

Rachel Page (Bunner Prize), "White House, Chocolate City: Reading DC in the Age of Marion Barry” & “Senior Essay Proposal – Rachel Page

Angelo Hernandez-Sias (Barratt-Brown Prize), "Winter Chemistry: Joy Williams and the Art of Coldness" & “Senior Essay Proposal Angelo Hernandez-Sias