Unless you decide to prepare a Senior Honors Thesis, each student will, during the senior year, choose one course at the 4100-level or above, which will become the context in which the Senior Essay will be developed, researched, written and defended. This course will be designated as the “senior seminar”. It must be taken ON CAMPUS. (Work done on a Education Abroad program cannot replace this seminar. The senior seminar must be taken after return to CU when Education Abroad is completed. The Senior Essay may not be done as Independent Study.)
Preferably during the fall semester of the senior year, you shall register for a course at the 4100-level or above, choosing from among that semester’s offerings, which you will re-register for as FREN 4990 (senior seminar). This must be done no later than the end of the “drop-add” period. With the guidance of the instructor of that seminar, you will write your senior essay as the major paper for that course, submitting it instead of one of the course’s required papers. (Registration Form located above.)
Senior Essay and Oral Presentation
The senior essay is a 15- to 20-page original research paper to be written in French by each graduating French major. This paper will be done under the direction of a faculty member (the instructor of your senior seminar) who will work closely with you during the semester, and read the essay at least once in draft form before you submit your final version. When completed, your essay will also be read and evaluated by at least one other faculty member, to be selected by the department, in consultation with you, if you desire.
This essay will be done as part of the normal writing load of the senior seminar. (i.e., If the seminar requires four 5-page papers, you will write a 15-page senior essay and one 5-page paper.)
It must be submitted not later than three weeks before the end of classes in the semester the senior seminar is taken, so it can be read by both members of your committee, who will, if necessary, make recommendations for improvements. When the paper is acceptable to the committee members, you will make a 20-minute oral presentation IN FRENCH to the students in your senior seminar, on the topic of your essay, and answer questions, if any, from the audience. The members of your committee will attend this presentation, which must be made during a normal class period and scheduled with the class instructor. Your committee will then meet to decide whether your senior essay and oral presentation are acceptable. You will be informed of their decision in a timely manner, and in any case before the beginning of the examination period in the semester the work is done.
It is recommended that you do this work during the first semester of the senior year. Thus, should any problem be encountered with your senior essay, you will have a second opportunity to complete your degree by taking another senior seminar in the second semester.