Advice for seniors stressing over their SCEs

By Emma Russell

Student Life Editor

At this point in the spring semester most underclassmen are studying for upcoming unit tests or planning out their first papers, but seniors are balancing not only their class obligations, but also their Senior Capstone Experience’s as well. 

According to the website thoughtco.com, a reference website with a 20+ year focus on expert-created education content, students need to carefully organize the time they spend working on their SCE.

“Plan to spend half of your time researching and the other half writing,” senior academic advisor at Georgia Southern University Grace Fleming said.

“Often, students spend too much time researching and then find themselves in a crunch, madly writing in the final hours. Give yourself goals to reach along certain ‘signposts,’ such as the number of hours you want to have invested each week or by a certain date or how much you want to have completed in those same timeframes,” she said.

Fleming also advises students to keep a close eye on the sources they’re using and said students should compose their bibliography page as they work on the paper. “You don’t want to end up at the very end of the project and not know what day you looked at a particular website or have to search through a hard-copy book looking for a quote that you included in the paper.”

Seniors should also make sure to consult with their instructor. “Remember that your instructor is the final authority on the details and requirements of your paper,” Fleming said. “Have a cheat sheet or checklist of this information; don’t expect yourself to remember all year every question you asked or instruction you were given.”

Instructors aren’t the only resources Washington College has to offer for seniors who are working on their SCE.

The Writing Center is closed for in-person appointments due to the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual sessions can be made by appointment at least two days in advance. 

According to their page on the WC website, the Writing Center’s goal is to offer “individualized, peer facilitated writing sessions in a setting that encourages conversation, reflection, and revision, [to] contribute to the college’s mission to develop in students the habits of analytic thought, clear communication, and aesthetic insight.” 

The Writing Center also offers resources for students to use on their page, including tips for MLA format, five-minute solutions which offer, “answers to frequently asked writing questions and strategies that you can apply to your own work,” and helpful websites such as the Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab.  

Students looking for a quiet place to study can reserve a space in Miller Library using LibCal, available on the LAT Services page on the WC website. Students must present a valid WC ID and a green Emocha badge before entering the building. 

Due to COVID-19, all students are restricted to the first floor of Miller Library. If students require access to a book on the second or ground floor, they should put in a request via One Search for LAT staff to retrieve. 

For help with research or to ask a question of a librarian, students are encouraged to use the Ask a Librarian form on the LAT Services page on the WC website. 

According to the LAT Services page, “A librarian will get back to you with an answer or with a request to set up a time to talk further. Librarians can hold one-on-one appointments via Zoom or by telephone, depending on your preference, or can use email to talk asynchronously.”

Seniors are also encouraged to keep in contact with their thesis advisor to talk through their ideas, get advice about the process, and keep on track with deadlines.

Counseling Services are available to students who need to focus on their mental health. To set up an appointment, contact Miranda Altman at maltman2@washcoll.edu.

Featured Photo caption: Although the Writing Center is closed for in-person appointments, they’re still able to assist any student working on their SCE virtually. Photo by Rebecca Kanaskie.

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