Skip to Main Content
Skidmore College
English Department

Departmental Senior Seminars in Literary Studies and Advanced Projects in Creative Writing: Honors and Works of Distinction Procedures and Timeline


This page provides a summary of departmental honors and works of distinction procedures for senior seminars in literary studies and advanced projects in creative writing. It also offers a recommended timeline for meeting these goals.

Procedures for honors and works of distinction

  1. In order to receive Honors, students must have a GPA of at least 3.5 in the major and 3.0 overall after no fewer than three semesters at Skidmore. Work by students who have a GPA below 3.5 may still qualify as a Work of Distinction. Only work that earns an A or an A+ are eligible for Honors or Works of Distinction.
  2. All students submit their work at least one week before the final day of class.
  3. The chair will appoint a second reader for work that merits consideration for Honors or as a Work of Distinction.
  4. The second reader will have no effect on the assignment of an honors or work of distinction designation.
  5. The second reader reads the final work and participates in a coda conference with the student and the instructor.

Recommended timeline

  • Students submit their work at least one week before the final day of class. This allows instructors:

    • sufficient time to identify honors and works of distinction projects and locate second readers

    • a final class meeting to synthesize the coda experience

  • In the weeks preceding submission of final projects, the instructor may notify the chair of promising work so as to begin the process of identifying potential second readers. Second-reader determinations can also be made as the instructor reads the final versions.

  • The seminar instructor, the second reader, and the student participate in a coda conference, ideally sometime between the final day of class and the final day of the semester. In the event of early departures from campus, coda conferences could be conducted remotely.

coda conference rationale and goals

The coda conference signals to students the degree of respect that the English Department ascribes to their labors. In this sense, the coda conference is the most significant moment in which the department honors the work of our best and most industrious students. The role of the second reader in this conference is not to suggest short-term revision (which students will already be engaged in throughout their coda seminar) but rather to serve as a sophisticated interlocutor who might help the student think further about the scholarly and real-world implications of their labors.