All English Majors at Dickinson complete both a senior seminar on an advanced literary topic, and write a senior thesis. Students compose and revise the thesis — an independent piece of critical writing of about 50 pages — in the challenging and supportive company of the senior workshop. Each week in workshop the text is one's own and other senior majors's writing; both students and the professor critique and edit sequential drafts of the project.
In addition to class time, students meet the professor in individual conferences. They also find they talk to their roommates a lot. At the end of the term, they present their work in a public forum and submit two copies of the thesis — one bound for the department collection, and one unbound to be catalogued in the Special Collections of the May Morris Room in the Waidner-Spahr Library.
Click here for instructions on how to search for the senior theses in Dickinson's collection.
During this year-long sequence of classes, students usually remain with the same professor and group of peers. Because there is no other way to describe this transformative process of becoming an author, we call it the Senior Experience. Just ask any one who's lived through it.
Click here to read how current students describe their 404 projects for Spring 2003.