The general goal for this course is to prepare the honors student for the task of successfully completing the Senior Honors Project (HON 496), a two-semester, independent course of study involving research or creative work under the supervision of a faculty adviser. In this course, participants will explore potential topics for their project, ultimately writing and presenting a formal proposal that is appropriate to their field at Proposal Conference, scheduled for April 23, 2011.
By participating in this course students should:
The approach to this course is pragmatic: it is designed to give students direction and support as they develop projects that are appropriate to their field. Guest speakers will be invited to share their experiences and answer questions, and the instructor will give brief lectures on key topics. Most classes will be conducted in the style of a workshop, however, with the instructor providing guidance and suggestions as students work on components of their proposals for the Senior Honors Project. Emphasis is on practice: constant revision of writing and practice of oral presentations with feedback from peers and the instructor. Each assignment builds on the next as students refine components of their proposal until they present it to the class and at Proposal Conference.
For the paper and the poster, written feedback is provided in the form of written assessments by peers and the instructor, and through a personal conference with the instructor after each draft. Similarly, peers and instructor will provide written evaluations and comments on presentations, while the instructor will personally conference with each student after each rehearsal of a presentation. Students will receive overall assessment for the class in the form of a written report at the end of the semester. This evaluation will be submitted to the Honors Program and will be used by the Honors Council, among other materials, in determining the final designation with which you will graduate (i.e. with "No Honors," "Honors," "High Honors," or "Highest Honors").
Students will be expected to attend all scheduled class sessions or provide written excuses at least 24 hours prior to the missed class, except in the case of genuine medical or personal emergencies. You will be letting others down if you do not come to class on time, so you will be allowed only one “free” unexcused tardy.
Students must also attend at least three individual conferences with the instructor over the course of the semester to discuss their progress in written and oral work. These meetings will be in Week 2 and Week 7, with a final conference to be held in Finals Week.
Students are expected to keep up with the readings in order to contribute regularly and positively to class discussion; students will engage critically but constructively in evaluation of their peers’ written work and oral presentations; and students will provide support for each other’s endeavors. Participation will be assessed through a combination of peer and instructor evaluations using a standardized rubric which will be shared with the class.
Written assignments are designed for two main purposes: first, as separate and combined components of a research proposal; and, second, ways to introduce your scholarship to a potential mentor. Examples of the former include: the Project Abstract; Annotated Bibliography; Literature Review; Research Methods; Draft Proposal; and Final Proposal. Examples of the latter include: the Academic CV; and Letter of Introduction.
Due dates and grades for each written assignment are listed below.
Please note that this class satisfies the Writing Intensive (W) Focus Requirement of General Education and, as such, students do a substantial amount of writing which contributes significantly to each student’s overall assessment for the course. You will be expected to write multiple drafts of your work and to meet with the instructor to conference on your writing throughout the semester.
Short oral presentations include a statement of academic and professional goals; a sketch of a Project; a problem statement; a reflection on finding a mentor; and a review of changes to your project. In addition you will perform a rehearsal of your presentation for Proposal Conference as well as the final presentation at Proposal Conference. Due dates and grades for each oral assignment are listed below.
Please note that this class satisfies the Oral Communication (O) Focus Requirement of General Education and, as such, students will receive explicit training in oral communication skills and specific feedback from peers and the instructor.
There are two poster assignments involving audio-visual presentation of your work. First you will do an outline of your poster presentation, which will be followed by a rehearsal for your participation in the Proposal Conference. The final poster presentation is given at Proposal Conference.
Please note the there will be a workshop on poster presentations hosted by the University Research Council and the Honors Program about two-thirds through the semester.
|Type of Assignment||Name of Assignment||Due Date|
|Oral Assignment 1||Academic and Professional goals|
|Written Assignment 1||Academic CV and Personal Information|
|Written Assignment 2||Preliminary Bibliography|
|Oral Assignment 2||Sketch of a Project|
|Written Assignment 3||Project Abstract 1|
|Written Assignment 4||Letter of Introduction|
|Oral Assignment 3||Problem Statement|
|Oral Assignment 4||Finding My Mentor|
|Written Assignment 5||Annotated bibliography|
|Written Assignment 6||Outline of Literature Review|
|Written Assignment 7||Research Methods|
|Oral Assignment 5||My Changing Project|
|Written Assignment 8||Project Abstract 2|
|Poster Assignment 1||Poster Outline|
|Oral Assignment 6||Rehearsals for Fall Forum|
|Written Assignment 9||Literature Review|
|Written Assignment 10||Proposal Complete Draft|
|Written Assignment 11||Final Proposal|
|Oral Assignment 7||Fall Forum|
|Poster Assignment 2||Fall Forum|
This is a CR/NC class so students and encouraged to take risks and think beyond grades, but for consistency and comparability all assignments will be graded out of 20 points and weighted accordingly. Extra credit is not provided. Grades are assigned as follows:
There are two required texts and a series of recommended texts which are on reserve. There will be occasional supplementary reading, mostly of on-line documents.