Senior Seminar & Research Workshop Description

The Senior Seminar & Research Workshop is an immersive, year-long, research and writing methods course. Its aim is to prepare Rice English majors to produce a significant piece of independent work, critical and/or creative. Unlike the previous capstone requirement, this course has no specific content. Instead, students decide on their project's content depending on their own interests and goals! Each year, the Senior Seminar & Research Workshop will be co-taught by three English faculty members from different areas of expertise, including one creative writer. Beginning with the graduating class of 2023, the course will be a requirement for all matriculating English majors. For students graduating between 2020 and 2022, the Senior Seminar & Research Workshop will be optional but recommended.

The Fall Senior Seminar will guide each year’s senior cohort through the methods and best-practices that invigorate longer-forms of creative inquiry and research. The Spring Research Workshop functions as a more hybridized course, with some classes exploring topics relevant to the entire cohort, and others geared towards smaller, workshop-style discussions. At strategic points throughout the Spring writing process, students will meet individually with one of the faculty instructors, as well as with an outside faculty reader in their field of interest. All students will have the opportunity to present and celebrate their work at an end-of-the-year departmental symposium.

The culmination of the course is an in-depth critical or creative work with the potential for public-facing components (e.g., performances, websites, e-zines, podcasts, community events), as well as collaborations with a student’s secondary major or minor. While some projects will grow out of previous coursework in students’ area of specialization, or in the creative writing concentration, we would hope that others will use the project as a way to articulate creative intersections between your other intellectual pursuits and/or your professional areas of interest.

Similar to other senior design and research courses throughout the university, the Senior Seminar & Research Workshop engages students in the deeper and more rewarding processes of sustained writing and research. The course helps students regard both forms of inquiry as powerful skills within their professional set.

Note: For students who intend to graduate in December or who plan to study abroad in their senior year, the senior seminar may be begun in the junior year and completed in the senior year. Special circumstances such as this one will be advised by the director of undergraduate studies.