Every junior is required to write a research paper of approximately 6,000 words (not counting notes and bibliography) during the second semester of junior tutorial.
Junior essays can serve as preliminary explorations of the senior thesis topic, but in most cases they do not. The major goal of the essay is to provide experience in doing the kind of sustained research, thinking, and writing that the senior thesis demands. The student’s tutor and an outside tutor will formally evaluate the essay, assigning it Honors, High Honors, or a Recommended for Review reading. These evaluations and the essay itself will become a permanent part of the student’s record. The essay will also be letter- graded as part of the second-semester grade for junior tutorial.
Students who study abroad may substitute another course for junior tutorial, but all students must complete the junior essay. Students who are abroad in the spring may elect to undertake a new project, to extend a written assignment they completed in the fall semester, or to submit revised and expanded work from one of their abroad courses, so long as that work meets the requirements of the junior essay and is submitted by the due date in the spring. Alternately, students may submit their junior essays in the fall before they leave. Students studying abroad should discuss their plans to complete their junior essays with the Associate Director of Studies.