The senior essay is an extended piece of critical writing, usually focused on a theoretical problem, a motif or figure, a matter of style or thought, or both, that arises in an individual text or across several tests written in German. Comparative topics are also welcome. To research and write the essay, a student works closely with a faculty advisor in the German Department to develop a central question and to designate a methodology appropriate to it. This preliminary thinking is done during the semester before official work on the essay begins. A student then registers for the Senior essay tutorial. By the end of the 2nd week of the semester, a 1-page essay proposal is submitted to the essay advisor and the DUS. By the end of the 4th week, a 3-page plan of the work and a bibliography of critical writing should be turned in to the advisor. A rough draft is submitted at least 3-weeks prior to the final deadline. By the final deadline, an approximately 30-page essay, written in German or English, is presented to the advisor and a second reader, who each write synthetic comments on the project and together evaluate the essay and give a grade.
Descriptions of the senior essays in German Studies may also be found in the Bluebook (YCPS).