Honors Senior Research Syllabus

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IDS 4532 and IDS 4542 Honors Sr. Seminar Research and Project Syllabus

Description of the Courses

            Students enrolled in Honors Senior Seminar will produce a substantial research or creative project at the level of an advanced undergraduate student which should possess the potential for publication or public showing/ performance. This is a two-semester process, with the first semester of research leading to the second semester of writing or otherwise producing the final project. The final project will be defended to a faculty committee.

Course Requirements

First semester:

Each student will choose a Faculty Advisor who will guide and advise the student in shaping a project that meets the requirements of the course. Advisors will provide guidance through all stages of the project and approve both the student’s prospectus and the proposed timeline. The Advisor does not have to be the student’s academic advisor, or even from the student’s major department.

Working with the Faculty Advisor, the student will produce a Prospectus which summarizes the project, outlines the research method(s) to be used, and defines the expected outcomes of the project. The Prospectus must be signed by the student and the Faculty Advisor and submitted to Dr. Long to affirm that the proposed project has the potential to fulfill the course requirements. The Faculty Advisor and the student must also agree to a contract outlining the timetable of the project. The contract must be signed by the student and the Faculty Advisor and submitted to Dr. Long.Failure to complete the Prospectus or the Contract by the due date will result in the student being withdrawn from the course.

Each week, students must meet with Dr. Long to provide an update on their progress. Sign up for a weekly meeting time at the beginning of the semester. Failure to meet regularly for these progress reports will result in a lower grade for the course.  

During the first semester, three major assignments are due: an annotated bibliography, an updated prospectus, and a preliminary outline of the project. All need to have the approval of the Faculty Advisor. Failure to complete any of these assignments by the due date may result in the student being withdrawn from the course.

Second semester:

The Faculty Advisor will continue to guide the student through the completion of the project, according to the Prospectus and Contract agreed upon during the previous semester. The Advisor must approve and sign the project before it can proceed to the Faculty Defense Committee.

Each week, students must meet with Dr. Long to provide an update on their progress. Sign up for a weekly meeting time at the beginning of the semester. Failure to meet regularly for these progress reports will result in a lower grade of the course.  

During the second semester, four major assignments are due: a revised outline, a rough draft, an updated rough draft, and the final project. The rough draft will be read by all committee members, and Dr. Long will communicate their comments to the student. If the rough draft is given favorable comments by the committee, permission will be given to move toward a final draft and a committee defense. Failure to complete any of these assignments by the due date may result in the student being withdrawn from the course.

The student will defend the project before a Faculty Defense Committee, composed of the student’s Faculty Advisor and two additional faculty members chosen by Dr. Long. The Committee will meet as a group, with the student, to assess the student’s project and question the student as they see fit, and may approve or reject the project, or may request specific revisions or changes prior to final approval. 

Three final copies of the project should be produced for the Faculty Defense Committee.  These copies should present all relevant information on the project in a clear, scholarly manner and should be suitable for being catalogued in Nash Library for archiving and lending purposes.

Grading

In conjunction with the student’s Faculty Advisor, Dr. Long will determine the grade for the semester.  The grade will be dependent upon timely progress according to the timeline that the student and Faculty Advisor have previously devised, and completion of all assigned work.  

            In the unlikely case that the final project does not pass the committee, you may be given a grade of “Incomplete” for the course. To avoid this situation, it is imperative that you see your advisor more than regularly. If your advisor does not sign off on the final work, it will not go to committee. This is bad. Keep in close contact with your advisor and this is unlikely to happen.

Project Standards

            Although the Honors Senior Seminar sequence is designed to encourage creativity and academic experimentation, all projects must meet minimal standards. All projects, including those with performance or other atypical elements, must include a scholarly written component that exemplifies the skills of academic research and writing. The written component must:

  • Be at least 30 pages in length
  • Incorporate at least 15 academic sources
  • Be free of grammatical and stylistic errors
  • Be consistent with MLA, APA, or another approved formatting style

These standards can only be modified with express permission of the faculty advisor, me, and all committee members

Final projects that do not meet these standards will not be taken to committee.

Due Dates

First Semester Due Dates*

By end of Week 1: Prospectus and Contract; sign up for a designated weekly meeting time

By end of Week 2: Weekly Report

By end of Week 3: Weekly report

By end of Week 4: Weekly report

By end of Week 5: Weekly report

By end of Week 6: Weekly report

By end of Week 7: Annotated Bibliography

By end of Week 8: Weekly report

By end of Week 9: Weekly report

By end of Week 10: Weekly report

By end of Week 11: Updated prospectus, approved by the Faculty Advisor

By end of Week 12: Weekly report

By end of Week 13: Weekly report

By end of Week 14: Preliminary Outline, approved by the Faculty Advisor

*For summer trimester, see Dr. Long for modified due dates

 

 

Second Semester*

By end of Week 1: Sign up for weekly meeting time

By end of Week 2: Weekly Report; Committees named

By end of Week 3: Revised outline

By end of Week 4: Weekly report

By end of Week 5: Weekly report

By end of Week 6: Rough draft to Committee

By end of Week 7: Meet with Dr. Long to discuss Committee comments

By end of Week 8: Weekly Report

By end of Week 9: Weekly Report

By end of Week 10: Updated Rough draft

By end of Week 11: Weekly Report

By end of Week 12: Final projects due to committee

Week 13: Defenses

Week 14: Finals Week

*For summer trimester, see Dr. Long for modified due dates