Core Requirements – Writing
- Writing (Four WAC-designated courses, 12 credits)
- Writing Portfolio
A list of WAC courses is available online.
One of the most important skills students acquire is the ability to communicate effectively. Clear writing is inseparable from clear and coherent thinking. Honors College courses
are writing-intensive and provide guidance in researching, composing, editing, and revising papers. Students do substantial writing in different disciplines and in formats as diverse
as essays, research papers, lab reports, and debate briefs. A senior Honors thesis or the written component of a senior Honors project will interweave the research, analytical, and
writing skills acquired in the first three years.
As part of the Honors College’s writing-intensive curriculum, students must take 4 ‘Writing Across the Curriculum’ (WAC) courses. WAC courses are discipline-based courses students
may use to satisfy other core or concentration requirements but they are designated as WAC because they provide special attention to the writing and revision process. Students
entering prior to Fall 2011 may elect to satisfy the writing requirement instead by completing three core writing courses, at least one of which must be a Writing in the Disciplines
(WID) course; these students still must satisfy the state’s requirement of 4 Gordon Rule writing courses. WAC courses satisfy the Gordon Rule requirement. ENC 1123 may count as one
of the four WAC courses or three Core writing courses.
All Honors College students will have a mid-career assessment of their writing at the end of their sophomore year. This involves assessment by a committee of faculty of a writing
portfolio. The portfolio will consist of essays with professors comments, and should be turned in to Jeremy Hoyt in the Honors College Dean’s Suite no later than the last day of
the spring semester of the sophomore year.
The writing portfolio consists of the student's Forum paper (which the Dean's office keeps on file), and at least ONE ESSAY THAT YOU SUBMIT TO THE DEAN'S OFFICE.
This essay must meet the following four requirements:
- It was written in your 1st or 2nd years at the Honors College;
- It should be a scholarly essay that demonstrates your ability to incorporate evidence from secondary sources and/or analyze a primary text;
- It should have your professor's comments on it, if possible;
- It should be at least five (5) pages in length.
If you do not turn in your writing portfolio by the deadline, your advisor will not lift your advising hold for the next registration period until you submit your portfolio.
The point of the writing portfolio is to ensure that you are prepared to write the Honors Thesis in your senior year. You will receive feedback indicating whether you are progressing
at a level that indicates you will be ready to successfully complete an Honors Thesis in your senior year or whether you should do additional coursework in writing in your junior year
in order to strengthen your writing before embarking on the thesis project.
The Honors College no longer requires a cover sheet to be submitted with your writing samples. Just be sure your name is on your submission.
Core Requirements - Areas of Study
- Mathematics (6-8 credits, two courses)
- Natural Sciences (6-8 credits, two courses)
- Social and Behavioral Analysis (3 credits, one course)
- Culture, Ideas, and Values (3 credits, one course)
- Literature (3 credits, one course)
- Arts (3 credits, one course)
Mathematics (6-8 credits, two courses)
One goal of the honors core is to help foster mathematical literacy. Mathematics is the languages of science and technology and increasingly of the social sciences.
By virtue of its precision, mathematics allows a clear understanding of the world and our place within it. Indeed, important health and environmental issues (acid rain, water management,
greenhouse effect) cannot be understood without mathematical literacy. By taking two courses in mathematics students will sharpen their critical thinking skills, learning to distinguish
evidence from anecdote, and causality from correlation.
Natural Sciences (6-8 credits, two courses)
By taking two courses in two distinct disciplines within the natural sciences, students will gain an appreciation and understanding of the natural world
as well as our place in it. At least one of these courses will include a laboratory section to give students hands-on experience and allow them to understand the meaning
of science in both theory and practice.
Social and Behavioral Analysis (3 credits, one course)
The courses in social and behavioral analysis familiarize students with different approaches to the study of individual behavior and social institutions,
and introduce them to some of the concepts and methods of the social sciences. The courses aim at an understanding of the reciprocal relations among people, societies and
institutions, and encourage students to think critically and systematically about how these societies and institutions can best be arranged.
Culture, Ideas, and Values (3 credits, one course)
The courses in culture, ideas and values seek to help students understand and think critically about different value and belief systems across cultural
and historical boundaries. Students will examine questions such as "what is the life worth living?", or "what is the basis for distinguishing knowledge from belief?"
Some courses emphasize how these questions have been approached throughout history, others focus on how different cultures have addressed these questions, and some grapple
with these questions without regard to their historical or cultural context. In any case, students will be asked to articulate, evaluate, and defend moral, aesthetic, or
other value judgments, such as judgments about how one ought to live and claims about the validity of knowledge.
Literature (3 credits, one course)
Courses in literature are intended to develop students' ability to appreciate and understand literature, looking at texts in their historical and cultural
contexts or examining themes, approaches, and generic conventions across time.
Arts (3 credits, one course)
Courses in arts are intended to develop students' ability to create and appreciate the arts in all of their forms, to enhance sensitivity to artistic expression
and to increase familiarity with theories central to these forms. Courses may be structured historically, culturally (e.g., Chinese Art), or thematically.