Core Course and Capstone Paper Requirement

Core Course

As a part of the requirements for the Certificate in the Study of Arts and Sciences Through Primary Texts you must take the core course DAS 300: The Great Conversation/Primary Texts Core course. This is a team-taught course featuring some of the best professors at K-State teaching their favorite topics. Professors from fields such as Latin Classics, Theatre, Political Science, History and Philosophy come in for two weeks each, and the class is supervised and graded by the program director, Laurie Johnson. The class is taught seminar-style, so students have a chance to converse with the professors and each other! Books and materials are paid for by the program. For the latest syllabus, email Dr Johnson at

Capstone Paper

Before receiving the certificate, students must write a capstone paper. It should be submitted no later than one month before the end the last semester in which they take classes in the 18 hour program of study. The paper should allow students to sum up their experience in the program, demonstrating insights from the primary texts and course discussions they have encountered. The paper should be sevent to ten pages long, double spaced, with reasonable margins and a consistent method of citation, if citation is being used. There are two ways in which this paper can be completed:

1. In consultation with the program director, students may write their own original paper. Capstones must address one or more texts they have read in at least two primary texts courses and demonstrate some reflection about the experience of taking those courses. Students should submit the paper to the director of the program. The director must be provided with a final copy of the approved paper to keep as a part of the student's file, and a copy must be uploaded to the Primary Texts program's Canvas page under the capstone assignment.

2. Students may submit a paper written for any class they have taken in the program. If they do so, they will need to revise the paper so that it incorporates insights from two to three other primary texts courses. The paper must address one or more texts the student has read in at least one other primary texts course, and demonstrate some reflection about the experience of taking that course. Papers like this should be submitted as described in option 1.

Here are some pointers:

–The paper may be, but does not need to be a "research paper" with extensive citations. If the paper takes the "essay" form, it should at least refer to authors and titles of primary texts using parentheses (e.g., Plato, Republic).

–The paper should be free of spelling and grammatical errors.

–Your work's suitability for the capstone paper will be judged on whether it adequately pulls together texts and topics from primary texts courses the student deems to especially significant to their theme. They need not incorporate every primary text they have read in their course of study.

–If you need additional guidance, please consult with the program director, Dr. Laurie Johnson,