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Senior Capstones in Anthropology

Senior majors are required to write a thesis, essay, or a senior seminar paper as part of their capstone experience.

Theses: Only theses are eligible for departmental Honors. A thesis is an independent, two-semester (or more) research project. In the fall semester of their senior year, students writing a thesis should enroll in ANTH400 Cultural Analysis, a research and writing seminar in which students pursue individual research projects in a group context. In the spring semester of their senior year, thesis candidates should enroll in an individual thesis tutorial (ANTH410). It is strongly recommended that students contemplating a thesis either enroll in an individual tutorial (ANTH402) in the spring semester of their junior year, in which they would begin library research on their area of interest, or else take a course that is relevant to their research concerns.  Students wishing to write a thesis (fieldwork- or library-based) must submit a proposal to the department, due on the Friday before spring break of their junior year. Fieldwork-based thesis projects are eligible for partial funding through the department.  If students wish to compete for these funds, they should include a budget in their proposal. --> Guidelines for writing a research proposal in Anthropology

Essays: An Essay is also a serious research commitment: it is an independent, one-semester (or more) research project. Essay writers do not need to submit a research proposal in their junior year.  In most cases, essay writers should enroll in ANTH400 in the fall semester of their senior year. They will complete a draft of their essay in the fall semester, and submit a final version by the first day of the Spring semester.  Alternately, if their project is one that a particular faculty member is especially qualified (and willing) to supervise, they may take a program project or essay tutorial (ANTH403 OR ANTH404) with that person in the fall semester their senior year.

Seminar papers:  Students who select this option should take a 300-level course (or an advisor-approved 200-level course) that involves a substantial research paper in their senior year. The course will ordinarily (but not necessarily) be one that facilitates advanced work in the student's area of concentration. The course must be approved by the major advisor in the student's Major Certification Form prior to spring break of their senior year.

Ethics Questionnaire: All Anthropology majors wishing to write a thesis or essay involving fieldwork with human subjects must fill out the Questionnaire on Ethics and submit it by the Friday before Spring Break. The Anthropology Department's Ethics and Proposal Review Committee, composed of all faculty members in residence in any given spring semester, will review the Ethics Questionnaire and Thesis Research Proposals. Details regarding the review process can be found here.  All documents should be emailed to drak@wesleyan.edu