Junior Independent Work

Junior Papers

Slavic majors write two junior papers. 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.

First Junior Paper

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.

Second Junior Paper

The second junior paper is a paper in Russian (roughly 2,000 words). The Russian paper is often devoted to the analysis of a Russian short story or poem, an original translation (with commentary in Russian), or another topic of interest to be chosen by the student with help from the instructor for the junior seminar. The paper will be developed over the course of the semester in an informal, non-credit bearing, junior seminar (arranged at the convenience of the instructor and junior majors). Should a junior not yet be beyond RUS 207, an adviser will be assigned and an appropriate topic will be found in consultation with the adviser and the departmental representative.

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.

Russian Quotations

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). 

Faculty Advisor

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.