Dr. Don King‎ > ‎Course Syllabi‎ > ‎

English 491

http://www.montreat.edu/

Fall 2017
English 491: Senior Thesis

2 credit hours

Don W. King: Home page 
Phone 828-545-3293
dking@montreat.edu
 
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Students will develop an extensive presentation or paper, according to their English major concentration:  literature, [communications] or creative Writing.  A committee which consists of the course professor, the concentration main professor, and one member chosen by the student will specify the thesis parameters, approve the topic at the beginning of the semester, and grade the final paper.

TEXTS:

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. (7th or most recent ed.) Ed. Joseph Gibaldi.

COURSE OBJECTIVES: The central purposes of this course are 1) for you to research and 2) to write an extended literary analysis or to research for and to develop a creative project directly related to creative writing.

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

1.  That your literary analysis or creative project combine careful, thoughtful and appropriate research with effective, detailed, sustained, and writing at the level of a college senior majoring in English.

2.  That your literary analysis or creative project focus upon both the process you follow in doing research and the quality of the product itself.

3.  That your literary analysis or creative project demonstrate your ability to gather information and synthesize effectively; your work should combine summary with analysis, application with theory, and research with synthesis.

4.  That you utilize email to engage in class discussion, to communicate regularly with me, and to perform assigned research and writing tasks.

5.  That you turn in all important written assignments electronically, including the paper or project (as appropriate) via email attachments or on diskettes.

LIBRARY:

All students are encouraged to take advantage of the services and resources available from the library.  You can search the online catalog and the library’s databases by going to http://www.montreat.edu/library/.  Select “Catalog” to search the online catalog or “Electronic Resources” to search the databases.  The catalog lists all of the books in the Montreat College library as well as the holdings of five other colleges.  You may check out books from all of these libraries.  In addition, you may request books or journal articles via interlibrary loan.  From the online catalog, you can also check on reserve materials by selecting “Reserve Desk” and searching by instructor name or course name. 

The list of databases at http://library.acaweb.org/search~S22/ provides links to a variety of databases containing journal articles, online reference sources, and electronic books (ebooks).  These databases are accessible both on and off campus. You can search for journals at http://montreat.libguides.com/az.php.  Ask the library staff for a password for remote access if you live off campus.

SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS:  After an initial series of group meetings at the beginning of the semester, students will meet individually with me at mutually convenient times.

For students in the Literature Concentration:

1.  You must write a formal research paper of between 6,250 and 8,750 words, including the formal scholarly apparatus of endnotes, bibliography, and appendices,  You must demonstrate thorough research and writing skills and abilities at the level of a senior majoring in English at Montreat College.

2.  Your paper or project must utilize at least fifteen critical sources and you must observe correct documentation procedures as described in MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers; at least three of these sources must be found via an Internet search

3.  You should have three conferences with the Library Director for guidance in selecting sources for your research; this requirement is waived for students who have successfully completed EN 490, Bibliography for Research.

4.  If appropriate, you should attempt to demonstrate how Christianity informs your topic.

5.  You must give an oral presentation of your paper during the last two weeks of the course to me and to the other two faculty members serving on your evaluation committee.

6.  You must follow a timeline (see below) to develop your paper.

For students in the Creative Writing Concentration:

1.  You must write an extended work of fiction (such as short fiction or a full-length drama) of at least 4,000 words or a collection of poetry of at least 2,000 words

2.  In addition, you must write a critical introduction of at least 2,500 words that includes scholarly research, utilizing at least seven critical sources. Your introduction should discuss your development as a creative writer, examine those authors who have influenced your work, and demonstrate those influences through references to your creative piece(s).

3.  You should have three conferences with the Library Director for guidance in selecting sources for your introduction; this requirement is waived for students who have successfully completed EN 490, Bibliography for Research.

4.  If appropriate, you should attempt to demonstrate how Christianity informs your creative writing.

5.  You must give an oral presentation of your critical introduction and creative writing during the last two weeks of the course to me and to the other two faculty members serving on your evaluation committee. In addition, you should give one public reading of excerpts of your creative writing during the semester, inviting members of your evaluation committee to attend.

6.  You must follow a timeline (see below) to develop your paper.

TIMELINE:

You must meet with me weekly so that I can evaluate your progress and suggest ideas for further development; in addition, I will expect at least one e-mail (dking@montreat.edu) contact per week.

You must follow the work schedule listed below: 

  • Aug. 25, 2017, 1:00 p.m. Meet in the library with other students taking English 491 to discuss course requirements, goals, and expectations. 

     

  • Sept. 1. Meet to discuss your 250 word topic proposal that outlines your plan of study. In addition, prior to this meeting you should have your first conference with the Library Director. 

     

  • Sept. 8. Meet to discuss the results of your preliminary research and reading. In addition, your working bibliography with at least twenty entries is due via email before the meeting. 

     

  • Sept. 15 . Meet to discuss of the results of your additional research and reading. In addition, prior to this meeting you should have your second conference with the Library Director. 

     

  • Sept. 22. Meet/update to discuss your tentative thesis and writing outline.  A written draft of your thesis and writing outline is due via email at the meeting. 

     

  • Sept. 29. Meet/update to discuss your progress. 

     

  • Oct. 13. A rough draft of the first half of the thesis is due at this time. 

     

  • Oct. 27. Meet to discuss my evaluation of the first half of the thesis and to discuss suggested directions for the second half. 

     

  • Nov 3. Meet/update to discuss progress. 

     

  • Nov. 17. A draft of the complete rough draft of the thesis is due. 

     

  • Dec. 1.  Meet to discuss my evaluation of the complete rough draft. 

     

  • Dec. 6. The completed, final typed draft is due, with a copy given to each reader. 

     

  • Dec. 7-8. Meet with the members of the faculty committee in order to give an oral defense of the thesis (approximately 30 minutes long).

     

  • Dec. 8. FINAL GRADE ANNOUNCED.


FINAL REMARKS: If you would like to see examples of senior theses, contact me.

Thirty percent of your final grade will be based upon how well your follow the process of developing your thesis listed above. 

Seventy percent of your final grade will be based upon the product, or the final draft of the thesis.  Cases of academic dishonesty, including but not limited to cheating and plagiarism, will result in either of failure of the assignment or of the course. 

This is a senior-level, capstone course and thus should reflect your best effort, not some splash dash attempt to get by. Because the course is so significant, you will be evaluated carefully, with faculty readers looking to see that your effort and paper or project evidence appropriate skills and abilities for a senior majoring in English at Montreat College. Autobiographical, anecdotal, or other unpublished material should be used judiciously.

Please feel free to email me at dking@montreat.edu if you need help with any aspect of the course. 


Comments