What is Senior Project?

What is Senior Project?

The 4 Ps: The Paper, the Project, the Portfolio, the Presentation

The Paper

  • The paper component of Senior Project is a collegiate-level paper of seven (minimum) to eleven (maximum) pages in length on a topic chosen by the student.
  • Deep research is required, and a specified number of sources are needed to complete the paper.
  • The paper will be handed in three times: the first two will be drafts for correction by the Senior Project English teacher, and the third draft is the final copy.
  • The final copy is graded by a committee selected by the SP teachers; it may include some of the members of the Senior Project team, but will not include the Senior Project English teachers themselves. The grade generated by the paper will be put in the grade pool for both English and government classes as a major exam grade. Students will be brought to a local college to be shown effective collegiate-level research techniques and databases. These newly-acquired skills will then be used by the SP students when writing their paper.
  • Some class time will be given to work on the research and the writing of the paper, but the majority of the work is done by the student independently.
  • The first step in the paper phase of Senior Project is to generate a topic in the form of a thesis statement. This topic/thesis statement must be broad yet specific enough to acquire articles with valid information.
  • The topic must be approved by the Senior Project team before a student can begin working on the research/paper.

The Project

  • During the project phase (also known as “product”), students apply the knowledge gained during their research by defining, designing, and producing a related project.
  • For example, Katie W.’s overall project was about welding. Her final product was a hand-made iron bench. 
  • In addition, you must also find a mentor who will work alongside you during the creation of your product. A mentor is a person who has expertise in the field and is willing to “show you the ropes.” This individual may not be a family member.
  • Choosing your project is the initial step in the overall Senior Project Program.

The Portfolio

  • The portfolio chronicles the student’s experience with the overall project. Placed in a binder, it contains all of the important documentation, pictures, letters, etc., anything related to the project itself.
  • Before the judges listen to a senior’s presentation, they preview the senior’s portfolio as a means of getting an idea as to what they are going to hear during the presentations.
  • Hint: Don’t throw anything related to your Senior Project out! It may be needed for the portfolio at a later date.

The Presentation

  • The final phase, known as the Senior Boards, requires seniors to speak in front of a board of judges from the staff and the community. Anywhere from three to five judges are present.
  • During Senior Boards, students give a formal, rehearsed presentation about their experience.
  • The speech is followed by an informal question and answer session guided by the judges.
  • Seniors must not only demonstrate knowledge of the chosen subject but also show competent speaking skills and an ability to think on their feet.
  • The Senior Boards speech will be practiced in class the week prior to the Boards. In addition, students will do other fun oral presentations to help them prepare.