Sample Letter:  Final Guidelines for the Senior Essay

Hello Suzy,

First, congratulations for having come so close.  We’ll meet on Friday, Dec. 12, 2003, 3:00 p.m., 2nd floor, 5700 Cass (ISP) (location to be determined; default--Moti's office).

The oral examination itself will last about 1 hour.  It will begin with a 5-10 minute presentation by you.  The presentation must be spoken, not read.  Here you’ll tell us why you chose this project, re-live your struggles to get through, distill your main personal, lifelong lessons from it, and talk about any other items which, in your view, belong to that presentation.  This will be followed by questions from the panelists (see your Coursepack, p. 20, for examples of questions we may ask).  I’ve already asked enough, so, for the most part, it will be Profs Hulbert’s and Lynch’s show.  At the end, you’ll be asked to leave the room, and the panelists will independently grade your essay.  The grades will be averaged, and that average will constitute 60% of your final grade for this class. 

Please don’t forget to have the front page of your essay signed by all three panelists at the end of our meeting so that you’ll not need to worry about finding us later on.  Use that signed original as the front page of your bound copy.

The other 40% of the final grade will be determined by such things as the quality of your earlier story (and play) drafts, your ability to learn from your mistakes and improve your creative writing, effort, originality and readability of story.

After the oral examination, you’ll probably need to revise the paper one more time (incorporating suggestions of the two invited panelists—I’m done!).  The final, bound and signed copy should reach me within a week after the oral.  This signed copy will be deposited at the ISP archives.  As well, within a week you’ll need to send me an attachment of the paper (if possible, as an .htm file; if not, as a .doc file).  The grade will be submitted only after these two items are in my hands.

If you are unclear about the binding procedure, you can step by the ISP office to see what’s an acceptable binding.  We need nothing fancy; anything presentable and long-lasting will do.

Sorry about all these formalities, but that’s the way it must be, sometimes.  The important thing of course is that you have written your story and that you are almost there!

Thanks, Moti

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