Ariadne Mytelka ’17 (Inbox, Oct. 2) questions the value of the mandatory senior thesis. I distinctly remember thinking after finishing my third junior paper in French literature — the first that I had ever written that was 20 pages long — that next I would have to come up with a research topic for my senior thesis where I would have to write three to four such papers and that they would have to be thematically related. This was a quantum leap for my intellectual development that could not have been equaled simply by the additional coursework that she proposes as an alternative.

Ms. Mytelka labels her senior thesis a “dud.” Yet the value of a senior thesis is not circumscribed by the time frame of the senior year. An alternative outlook would recognize that this unique exercise in independent thinking and time management may well prove to be extremely useful in addressing future challenges in any profession.

Richard A. Etlin ’69 *78
New York, N.Y.