Junior Independent Work
Slavic majors write two junior papers. The first, 5,000-6,000 words in English (20-25 pages), can be on any topic related to Russian literature, culture, linguistics, language, history, or society. Russian sources must be used, although the extent of Russian will be determined largely by the individual student's linguistic background. Students who wish to write about other Slavic traditions (e.g., Czech or Polish), assuming they have the linguistic competence, are encouraged to do so. The second paper is a choice of either a paper in Russian (2,000 words), or a paper in English (3,000 words). The Russian paper is normally devoted to the analysis of a Russian short story or poem chosen by the student (in consultation with the adviser). For the paper in English, students provide a critique of an English translation (or possibly two English translations) of a poem, based on a close reading of the Russian original.
Depending on the amount of Russian studied, level of competence and other factors (such as absence from campus for study abroad), the order of these papers can be reversed.
Students are assigned a faculty adviser, to whom they are encouraged to submit drafts. In the case of the Russian paper, students will meet individually on a regular basis with their adviser to review translations they have prepared from the chosen text. After they have finished reading the text, they will begin work writing the essay. They must submit a draft no later than two weeks before the paper is due. This draft will be returned with grammatical errors underlined (but not corrected). The student is then to rewrite the paper and resubmit it.
For the English paper, quotations from Russian sources may be typed in Cyrillic or in transliteration (speak with the departmental representative about which system should be used). The Russian paper must be written on computer. Russian fonts are available here.