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English 403 is a Writing Capstone class where students take on independent projects and present them at the English Showcase. This semester the class has been hard at work in perfecting their projects to prepare for the event!  

Students have the option to choose between writing a research paper or focusing on a creative writing project. Students who choose the creative route usually decided to continue developing a project they have already started, like senior English Major Hannah Bagley, 

 “I actually started working on this story back in ENG 325, which is the Fiction Writing Workshop, and then I worked on it again in the ENG 335 course which is the Advanced Fiction Workshop, and now I am putting it all together.” Hannah explained. She also decided to pursue a research project. When I asked what it would be about, she said “My project is about the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and how they treat their female characters poorly in comparison to their male characters. I am essentially looking at the MCU from a feminist lens to figure out how the male and female characters are portrayed differently and how it impacts the audience reactions.”  

Two ENG 403 Capstone students presenting their work at the English Showcase

(Image: Hannah Bagley (left) and Janel Heasley (right) present their projects at the English Showcase. Photo: Meagan Nyland.)

I then asked her what inspired her to write about the MCU universe. “I have spent a great deal of my life being interested in the MCU and I always have a great time talking about it (or complaining about it), and now I have a way to do that and make educated claims about it. I’ve done a few projects focusing on the MCU, and this all just feels like pulling those threads together and creating one big, well informed, project about these female characters that I have spent so much time looking into,” she explained. 

Halli Powers, another senior English Major opted to do a research project. When asked what her paper would be about, Hali said “My project is about how the events of World War I impacted literature, specifically through the changing outlook on life by groups such as the Lost Generation.” She later told me she chose this topic because of her love for The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. “I wanted to find a way to incorporate it into one of the last big projects of my academic career,” she explained. 

I asked both students if they were facing any challenges when it came to the project. Hannah said that so far everything was smooth sailing. “I have chosen a topic that is pretty well debated amongst scholars and looking into feminism and film is also something that is just generally well talked about,” she said. 

Halli on the other hand has faced a few bumps in the road when it comes to narrowing down her research. “I'm writing about texts written around 100 years ago, so there are tons of information I could use, so I've really had to narrow things down and prioritize certain things as opposed to others.” 

Overall, both students are happy with the progression of their projects so far and can't wait to present them at this year's English Showcase with the rest of the 403 class! 

ENG 403 students Meagan Ovungal (left) and Jasmine Holman (right) present their projects at the English Showcase.

(ENG 403 students Megan Ovungal and Jasmine Holman present their projects at the English Showcase.)