The Senior Essay Requirement

During the senior year, all students must satisfy a senior requirement consisting of a major research project that uses Chinese, Japanese, or Korean-language materials, reflects an up-to-date understanding of the region, and demonstrates a strong command of written English. The faculty advisor should be a professor associated with the Council on East Asian Studies with a reading knowledge of the target language materials consulted for the essay.

The nature of the senior essay requirement makes it imperative that students begin thinking about and planning for their projects early. The senior essay requirement can be met in one of the following three ways:

1) A senior-year seminar, culminating in a senior thesis.

You must inform your professor that you will be writing your senior essay in his/her course. It is your responsibility to inform both your professor and the DUS of this arrangement. Your professor will determine the length of the senior essay as well as the expected use of primary materials (whether in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or English) based on overall course requirements. Summary of secondary material is not acceptable. Please note that you must submit a copy of your senior thesis to your instructor, as well as an electronic (PDF) copy to the Council on East Asian Studies by the date set by the DUS.

OR

2) In EAST 480, a one-term senior essay, with preparation under the guidance of a faculty advisor.

Students must receive the prior agreement of the DUS and of the faculty member who will serve as the senior essay advisor. Students must arrange to meet with their advisor on a regular basis throughout the term. A senior paper completed in EAST 480 will generally run 8,000 words (about thirty pages) in length. Essays should be based on primary material, whether in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or English. Summary of secondary material is not acceptable. Please note that you must submit a copy of your senior essay to your advisor, as well as an electronic (PDF) copy to the Council on East Asian Studies by the date set by the DUS.

OR

3) Completion of EAST 491 and EAST 492, the senior research project, a two-term independent research project supervised by a ladder faculty member.

The senior research project is an independent research project undertaken with the consent and guidance of a faculty advisor that will count as one credit toward the thirteen required in the major for graduation. A senior research project will generally run 8,000 to 12,000 words (about thirty to fifty pages) in length. Essays should be based on primary material, whether in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or English. Summary of secondary material is not acceptable. Please note that you must submit a copy of your senior thesis to your instructor, as well as an electronic (PDF) copy to the Council on East Asian Studies by the date set by the DUS.


CEAS does not provide specific departmental guidelines for senior essays. You should follow the senior essay guidelines of your advisor. The DUS is also always available for consultation. Students can find assistance and specialized tutorial sessions for their senior essay through their residential colleges and at the Yale College Writing Center.


Joint Senior Essay in East Asian Studies and Second Major

It is possible for a student to write a joint senior essay in East Asian Studies and a second major.  Consultation with the DUSs of both majors is required before the joint senior essay can be pursued.

If the DUSs are agreeable to the proposed project the student must then present a written statement detailing how the project will meet the minimum requirements of both majors.  To confirm DUS approval, this statement is then signed by both DUSs and attached to the student’s Double Major form.  A copy must also be provided to the Registrars of both majors.

The joint senior essay must be completed as a year-long project.  The student will enroll for one term each in EAST 480 and a comparable senior essay course in the second major.  The final paper must be at least as long as the combined minimum suggested page length for the senior essays for both majors.  Additional essay requirements will be determined by the DUSs and the student’s senior essay advisor(s).

IMPORTANT NOTE: Additional overlap in course credits between the two majors is not permitted.