European Studies Capstone
All European Studies' majors are required to complete EUS 375: Independent Capstone Project.
Below you will find some basic information about the course and what is involved as well as steps that need to be taken in order to register. More detailed information may be found in the Fall 2015 Syllabus.
Important: There are four workshops and one orientation that are mandatory to attend as part of the Capstone course.
All workshops will be held in the Undergraduate Writing Center (FAC 211) on the following dates:
Friday, September 11, 2015 at 2:00 p.m.
Friday, September 18, 2015 at 3:00 p.m.
Friday, October 16, 2015 at 2:00 p.m.
Friday, October 30, 2015 at 2:00 p.m.
If after reviewing the website you have further question, please feel free to contact the Center anytime.
Steps to registering for the Capstone:
- Decide on a topic. Topics may be from any discipline but must be cumulative in nature.
- Find an advisor. Advisors must be UT faculty affiliated with CES. A complete list is available on the website.
- Have the Capstone Project Proposal Form approved by the CES' Program Coordinator, Sally Dickson after having it signed by your advisor. After you have completed the application form, including your advisor's signature, make an appointment with Sally to have the form reviewed and approved. Once done, she will contact your advisor to have you cleared to register for EUS 375.
What is the European Studies Capstone?
The European Studies Capstone (EUS 375) is a one semester independent research project that is required for any European Studies undergraduate major at UT. Students undertaking the Capstone are required to complete a 20-25 page paper and present their findings at the end of the semester. Students will be assisted by their Capstone Advisor. EUS 375 may only be taken during the fall and spring semesters.
How is the grading structured for the Capstone?
Your final grade will be calculated based on the following:
50%: Final Paper (graded by your Advisor)
15%: Attendance at Orientation and Mandatory Workshops
15%: Meeting with faculty advisor according to pre-arranged schedule
10%: Final Presentation (graded by your Advisor)
5% : Submission of completed Faculty Record Forms by deadlines
5% : Submission of second reader
What topics may I cover?
Topics may originate from any discipline - art, history, literature, policy, law, etc. The topic is intended to be interdisciplinary, reflect your overall interests, and be representative of your cumulative undergraduate experience as a European Studies major. Hence, a capstone project that examines a single writer, artist, or thinker must, for example, explore that single writer, artist, or thinker within a broader and distinctly European context. But since the paper is only 20-25 pages, the topic should be narrow enough that research can be covered in the allotted number of pages.
Who is my Capstone Advisor?
Once you have an idea for a topic, you will need to identify an advisor from a list of affiliated CES faculty who has some knowledge of the area you wish to work in. (Lecturers may be considered but you will need approval from CES before contacting a lecturer to be your advisor.) You'll need to take some time and review faculty member's areas of interest, research, and teaching topics in order to find a few you may contact.
Once you have some names in mind, contact them to ask if they are willing to be your advisor. You might want to review the Capstone Advisor page to know what is involved in case they have any questions. Feel free to direct them to the page as well or invite them to contact the Center should they have more questions. Do not be discouraged if any of them tell you no. Many faculty members are already advisors to students and are also involved in their own research. You would rather they be honest and up front rather than say yes and then have no time for you all semester!
I have a topic and an advisor. Now what?
Once you have a topic in place and a faculty member who has agreed to be your advisor, you will need to fill out a Capstone Project Proposal Form. The form should include a short description of your topic (1-2 paragraphs) as well as your advisor's signature.
Once you have completed the form, contact our Program Coordinator, Sally Dickson, to set an appointment. During your meeting, you will briefly explain your topic and give her the completed Proposal Form. If she agrees that the topic fits the criteria of the Capstone and that the advisor you have chosen is appropriate, she will sign the Proposal Form and have you cleared to register for the course.
Please note that no forms will be accepted after 3:00 p.m. on the 8th class day. If you haven't completed everything above by then, you will not be able to register for the Capstone that semester.
I'm approved and registered. Am I ready to begin?
Absolutely! Your first and most important step will be to meet with your advisor. It is best to meet with him/her before the first class day to set a schedule for the rest of the semester.
By default, you must meet with your advisor one hour per week. However, we will accept an amended schedule IF WE RECEIVE THE SCHEDULE IN WRITING FROM YOUR ADVISOR BY THE DEADLINE OUTLINED IN YOUR SYLLABUS.
Your advisor is there to offer you guidance and discuss issues with you such as the scope of your project, its academic suitability, methodologies and resources, and sources of information. Advisors are not expected to tell you what to research, how to research, or what to write about, but they are there to help you. The Capstone Handbook offers suggestions about the structure of your paper and what constitutes a successful Capstone Project. Discuss this with your advisor to see if he/she would prefer you use a different style for your final paper. The Handbook is only a guide is your advisor has no preference.
What are the Faculty Record Forms?
The Faculty Record Forms are a way for you to keep track of every meeting with your advisor. They are divided into the first and second halves of the semester.
Begin with the Faculty Record Form #1. Each time you meet, have your advisor sign and date the form. Turn in the Faculty Record Form #1 to the Center by the due date outlined in the course syllabus.
Then begin using Faculty Record Form #2. Turn this form into the Center with a copy of your final paper by the deadline as outlined in the Syllabus. Failure to turn in either completed form will mean a deduction from your final grade.
What are the workshops?
If you are registered for the Capstone course, you must attend the orientation and workshops. The orientation is held at the beginning of the semester and gives an overview of the Capstone and what is expected. The workshops are held throughout the semester and give guidance on research, writing, and presentations. All workshops are mandatory. Failure to attend will be reflected in your final grade.
Who is the Second Reader?
Your Second Reader will be another faculty member at UT who has agreed to read your draft and your final paper. Second Readers primarily offer you suggestions and notes on your draft in order to help you when writing your final paper. Your Second Reader will also offer his/her insights to your Advisor in order to help with the formulation of your grade. Second Readers are encouraged to attend your final presentation although their presence is not required.
You will find your second reader very much the way you did your Advisor. However, it is not required that Second Readers be an affiliated member of CES. They do, however, have to be faculty members at UT Austin. Your best start would be to ask your Advisor for suggestions of faculty you may contact (again, lecturers must be preapproved by CES.) You will need to find your Second Reader and e-mail the name to CES by the deadline. Please also follow the deadline dates for turning in copies of your rough draft and final paper to your Second Reader.
Now that I'm working on the paper, what should I do?
Throughout the semester, you will meet with your advisor based on your pre-arranged schedule to get guidance on your research and writing. You will turn in a rough draft of your paper to your advisor by the due date listed in the syllabus. With this, he/she can see how well you have researched the topic and if you have a strong argument. Your advisor will give you notes based on this first draft. It is important to take these notes into account when editing your paper. You will then turn in a second draft to both your advisor and your second reader by the deadline outlined in the course syllabus. Again, both will provide you with notes to help you write a strong paper which you should use when working on your final draft.
Ask your advisor what style he/she prefers. For instance, some faculty prefer footnotes while others want references within the text. Your Capstone Handbook gives suggestions for formatting but they are only suggestions. Be sure to discuss it with your advisor.
Once I've finished the paper. Then what?
Final copies of your paper are due by 5:00 p.m. on the last class day. You must turn in one copy to your advisor, one copy to your second reader, and one copy to the Center (along with Faculty Record Form #2). If you would like to send an electronic copy, confirm with your advisor and second reader that this is acceptable or if they would prefer hard copies. You must turn in a hard copy to the Center (MEZ 3.304).
We will make absolutely no exceptions to this deadline. Failure to turn in all three copies by 5:00 p.m. on the deadline will result in failure of the class.
I'm having trouble with my advisor. What should I do?
If you have any trouble during the semester with your advisor such as failure to keep appointments, lack of guidance on research, etc, please contact the Sally Dickson at the Center. We are here to help you and will work with you and your advisor to find a solution to the problem. In extreme cases, we will assist you with finding a different advisor if this becomes necessary.
I have an unforeseen problem and can't keep up with the Capstone. What should I do?
We know that unforeseen problems such as illness, accidents, or emergencies in the family can occur and cause you to miss some appointments with your advisor. If something like this occurs, please contact both your advisor and the Center right away to inform us of the situation. Once you do, we can work with you and your advisor to assess the situation and decide if an alternate schedule is possible.
Do not wait until weeks after to contact your advisor or the Center. At that point we would be unable to help you and it would affect your grade. Please be sure to contact us at the onset of the situation.
What is the Capstone Presentation?
During the last week of classes, every student undertaking the Capstone will make a formal presentation to their peers, their Advisor and Second Reader, and others interested in your topic. CES will schedule presentations based on student and faculty classes and make every effort to accommodate everyone's schedule. Students must attend all presentations.
Presentations should last 12-15 minutes followed by a 5 minute Q&A. You may wish to use PowerPoint or other media. No more than 2-3 minutes of video should be used if included in your presentation. There is more detailed information about presentations in the Capstone Handbook.