The Doctoral Research Project–not to be confused with the dissertation beginning in the third year–has a twofold purpose: to serve as a second comprehensive examination with a narrower focus attuned to the student’s research interests and to introduce the student to the challenges of researching and composing a scholarly paper of publishable length and quality. In the essay, the student should demonstrate his or her research’s relationship to existing scholarship and current debates. Although a student under his or her supervisor’s guidance may choose not to pursue a project directly within his or her primary field of expertise, ENGL 6901 provides the student with a valuable opportunity to prepare material and skills related to his or her anticipated dissertation topic.