Junior & Senior Tutorials

  • The Junior Tutorial (FM 98b)
  • The Senior Tutorial for the Senior Thesis (FM 99)

The Junior Tutorial

The Junior Tutorial, Folklore and Mythology 98b, is a one-on-one tutorial with a scholar specializing in the student’s Special Field; ordinarily, it is taken in the spring semester of the junior year. The purpose of the tutorial is to provide an overview of the Special Field at its intersection with Folklore, focusing on two or three areas, one of which may be develped into the Senior Thesis.

The Junior Tutorial is designed and implemented by each student and his or her tutor. Students should meet with their tutors at the very beginning of the term to discuss the format, meeting schedule, syllabus and reading for the Tutorial. Students will be expected to write a substantial amount during the tutorial. Writing options may include several small papers, two or three medium length papers, or one long paper. A copy of the syllabus and one of the written works should be given to the Head Tutor’s office.

Students should speak with the Head Tutor and/or his or her Special Field adviser before the term begins to identify an appropriate tutor.

The Senior Tutorial for the Senior Thesis

The Senior Thesis, Folklore and Mythology 99, is required of all concentrators and is regarded as a year-long opportunity to bring the theoretical concerns common to all folklorists together with the student’s own Special Field.

 In this section you will find specific information about the thesis for those writing in the Folklore and Mythology program (e.g., requirements, deadlines, etc.) and general advice about the thesis project for all Folklore and Mythology concentrators.

Students seeking general advice about writing a thesis should be forewarned that the following recommendations are just that: recommendations. Every person has his or her own strategies for working and writing. The advice offered here is meant to serve as a guideline according to which you will be able to determine your own best approach to this substantial undertaking.

(For a reminder of Deadlines, see the main Senior Thesis page.)

Writing a senior thesis should be the culmination of a student’s undergraduate career. Work on a thesis offers an opportunity to explore an issue that engages you, to plan and direct your own work, and to draw on the knowledge of methodology and material that you have gained from course work in the concentration. Many seniors have praised the thesis project as the best learning experience of their lives. It is the intellectual adventure of shaping an idea and finding its articulate expression.

The first stages of the thesis project—choosing a topic and an adviser—are perhaps the most difficult. The cardinal rule is to begin early. You should start to think seriously about a topic area and possible advisers during the spring semester of your Junior year. We expect you to contact a potential adviser in the spring and discuss your ideas then. The faculty member can give you valuable advice at that early stage and suggest reading and research for the summer. In addition, there are a number of strategies that you can employ to help you define a topic and find an adviser.