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Pomona College    
 
    
 
  Oct 16, 2017
 
2017-2018 Pomona College Catalog

Guidelines for Japanese Senior Project Proposals


In the spring semester of their junior year, Japanese majors are required to submit proposals for their senior projects. The purpose of these proposals is to make sure that students have plans for a viable project before the beginning of their senior year. The proposals will not be graded, but students will receive feedback from the Japanese faculty designed to help them focus their projects in the most productive direction.

Students may do:

A.) a two-semester Senior Thesis or

B.) a one-semester Senior Research Paper

Schedule for the Senior Thesis and the Senior Research Paper is as follows:

Late March: Proposals due

Early-Mid April: Proposals will be evaluated by the Japanese faculty

Mid-Late April: Supervisors for projects will provide students with a written summary of the Japanese faculty’s comments and suggestions

Structure of the Two-Semester Senior Thesis Project

All Senior Thesis projects must consist of separate fall and spring semester components. There are two options for this:

(I) A translation in one semester, and in the other semester a research project that includes the translated text. For this option, normally the translation is done in the fall, and the research project in the spring. The general expectation is that the translated text should be approximately 20 pages, although the required length may be increased or decreased, at the discretion of the Japanese faculty, depending on the type of text being translated.

(II) Two semester-long research projects, one in the fall and one in the spring, on the literature of two different time periods or genres.

Faculty Supervision of Projects

With both options (I) and (II), there will be one faculty supervisor for the fall portion of the project, and one for the spring portion. Normally these will be two different professors.

The formal paperwork for obtaining a faculty supervisor will be handled in the fall of the student’s senior year for the fall portion of the project, and the spring of their senior year for the spring portion. However, in the spring of their junior year, students are expected to contact faculty members, one for each portion of their project, to secure preliminary commitments to advise them on their project. Students must have secured such a commitment before putting down a professor’s name as supervisor on their senior project proposal.

Requirements for Proposals

Proposals for option (I) should include:

(1) A description of the text to be translated, including:

(a) title

(b) author

(c) genre (e.g. novel, short story, essay, manga)

(d) full bibliographic information for the specific edition that will be used as the basis for the translation, including publisher, publication date, and any other information that would go into a bibliographic entry

(e) the specific pages that you will translate (e.g. pp. 85-105); also, indicate whether the translation is of the entire text or a portion of it

(2) A bibliography with at least 5 secondary sources (in either Japanese or English) that you will use for the research project, as well as a 1-2 page abstract of the research project that addresses the following questions:

(a) What is the topic of the project, and how does this topic relate to the translated text?

(b) Why is this an interesting topic (historically, culturally, theoretically, etc.)?

(c) In addition to the translated text, are there any other primary texts (either in Japanese or in translation) that you plan to use? If so, provide authors and titles of these texts.

(d) What are some questions you will try to answer through your research on your topic?

(e) Based on your research so far, what stance will you take on your topic? In other words, what is your preliminary thesis statement?

(f) Do you have a specific conceptual or theoretical framework that you plan to use to analyze your topic? If so, explain. If your project will take an interdisciplinary approach, what different disciplinary frameworks will it use?

(3) A list of courses that you have taken that help prepare you to research your project.

(4) Names of the faculty supervisors for each portion of the project

 

Proposals for option (II) should include:

(1) Two separate 1-2 page abstracts, one for each portion of the project, that address the following questions:

(a) What is the topic of the project?

(b) Why is this an interesting topic (historically, culturally, theoretically, etc.)?

(c) What are some primary texts (either in Japanese or in translation) that you plan to use?

(d) What are some questions you will try to answer through your research on your topic?

(e) Based on your research so far, what stance will you take on your topic? In other words, what is your preliminary thesis statement?

(f) Do you have a specific conceptual or theoretical framework that you plan to use to analyze your topic? If so, explain. If your project will take an interdisciplinary approach, what different disciplinary frameworks will it use?

(2) A bibliography with at least 10 secondary sources (in either Japanese or English), including at least 5 for each portion of the project

(3) Names of the faculty supervisors for each portion of the project

Schedule

Late March: Proposals due

Early-Mid April: Proposals will be evaluated by the Japanese faculty

Mid-Late April: Supervisors for projects will provide students with a written summary of the Japanese faculty’s comments and suggestions

Structure of the One-Semester Senior Research Paper

Senior Research Paper projects are to be completed in one semester but can be done in either the fall or the spring semester.

The senior research paper consists of an analytical paper supplemented by translations of selections from one or more texts discussed in the paper. The normal expectation is that the analytical paper will be at least 30 pages and the translation portion at least 5 pages.

The translation may be either of a continuous block of text or of a series of excerpts. If it is a series of excerpts, these should each be of substantial length (as a general guideline, they should be at least a paragraph each). Normally the translation portion will be presented as an appendix to the analytical paper. However, in some cases it may be possible instead to integrate the translations into the main body of the analytical paper.

Faculty Supervision of the Senior Research Paper

For the senior research paper students are required to have two faculty supervisors, one designated the first reader and the other the second reader.  They must also indicate whether they will be completing the paper in the fall or the spring semester.

The formal paperwork for obtaining faculty supervisors will be handled at the beginning of the semester in which the senior research paper is completed. However, in the spring of their junior year, students are expected to contact faculty members to secure preliminary commitments to advise them on their project. Students must have secured such a commitment before putting down a professor’s name as supervisor on their senior research paper proposal.

Requirements for Proposals

Proposals for the senior research paper should include:

(1) An indication of which semester the paper will be completed.

(2) A description of the text(s) to be translated, including:

(a) title

(b) author

(c) genre (e.g. novel, short story, essay, manga)

(d) full bibliographic information for the specific edition that will be used as the basis for the translation, including publisher, publication date, and any other information that would go into a bibliographic entry

(3) A bibliography with at least 5 secondary sources (in either Japanese or English) that you will use for the research project, as well as a 1-2 page abstract of the research project that addresses the following questions:

(a) What is the topic of the project, and how does this topic relate to the translated text(s)?

(b) Why is this an interesting topic (historically, culturally, theoretically, etc.)?

(c) In addition to the translated text(s), are there any other primary texts (either in Japanese or in translation) that you plan to use? If so, provide authors and titles of these texts.

(d) What are some questions you will try to answer through your research on your topic?

(e) Based on your research so far, what stance will you take on your topic? In other words, what is your preliminary thesis statement?

(f) Do you have a specific conceptual or theoretical framework that you plan to use to analyze your topic? If so, explain. If your project will take an interdisciplinary approach, what different disciplinary frameworks will it use?

(4) A list of courses that you have taken that help prepare you to research your project.

(5) Names of the first and second readers.