Honors: General Information

For those doing Honors work

This material is intended for those advanced undergraduate who have been accepted into the honors/capstone program. As you will be expected to complete a book-length creative manuscript before graduating, we wanted to give you some advice at the outset of this process.

Your advisor will play an important role in this process. You should approach that person as soon as you can, and begin to plan how you are going to complete your thesis/project. The advisor selected you as someone s/he is willing to advise; however, if you want to work with another member of the literary arts faculty, you may approach that person. It is up to the faculty members themselves to agree to take you on. It is the obligation of the instructor to say, "I'm sorry, but I cannot work with you" if s/he is already overloaded with advisees.

A graduate student may not serve as advisor.

Once you have settled on an advisor, you should complete the "Student Advisor Form" (a copy of which will be provided to you upon being accepted into the program).

You may want to begin work on the project as soon as possible. With your advisor's permission, you may sign up for an independent study for your seventh semester (LITR 1310) and/or for your final semester (LITR 1510). You may only use LITR 1510 in your final semester.

You may also be interested in taking one of the LITR 1410 honors/capstone workshop sections, to be offered in the spring semester. Entry into these sections is at the discretion of the instructors.

You should expect to meet with your advisor at regular intervals to discuss your progress. Different projects require different types of advising at different intervals. You should work with your advisor to work out what would be most appropriate. In most cases, writers have found that meeting with an advisor about twice a month is appropriate. Meetings may last as little as 15 minutes and as long as an hour-but usually not for a set length of time.

You may find that there are periods in the process where you need different types of help-where a suggested reading or exercise may be more necessary than a close reading. It will be up to both you and your advisor to be aware of what the project needs.

Some writers find it useful to set up a time line, working backwards from the date the project is due. Again, this is more useful for some writers (and some projects) than others. Not everyone thinks in terms of self-imposed deadlines, but you need to be reminded that the final deadline is for a finished work, not a draft. You submit two copies of your project to the program office on the date when projects are due no later than 4 p.m.

Once you turn in your project, your advisor will have a limited amount of time to read your work and decide whether or not it meets the program's standards for honors or capstone certification. Your advisor will write up a paragraph recommendation, which will be submitted to the program, and then, to the college. You will also get a copy of your advisor's recommendation.

Once you've received your advisor's comments, we encourage you to set up a meeting to discuss those comments. If you have specific questions, you should ask at that time.

To end each academic year, the program sponsors the Honors/Capstone reading series. You'll be notified of the dates available for sign-up. This marks the primary celebration of your long and hard work. We hope that you find the event festive-and we encourage you to attend the readings of your colleagues.

If you have any questions along the way, please discuss them with your advisor or with Gale Nelson, room 109.

Second Readers

Many candidates find it useful to have a second reader. You should feel free to approach a member of the faculty to seek input in this capacity. This may be especially useful if you intend to cross the boundaries of genre in your project; or if you have worked closely with two different faculty members, and know that both would provide valuable insights into your project.

For administrative purposes, the program will only record and track your first reader.