Independent Study General Guidelines

The Honors Project is the crowning achievement of the honors student in the Ina E. Gordy Honors College. HO 401 and 402 provide a formal structure for the honors project. The honors student and his or her project committee should have copies of the most recent guidelines for an honors project in the student's discipline and should follow those guidelines unless the student's project committee in consultation with the Honors Director and the Honors Faculty Committee deem a modification necessary. In addition to those discipline guidelines, the student and the project committee are expected to follow these guidelines:

1. The student should select a project committee comprised of three full-time MUW faculty members. (The project committee, though related, is not the same committee as the honors faculty committee.) The project committee should include an advisor in the research area, a reader in the department of the research area or in an appropriate related department, and a reader on the honors faculty committee in the college of the research area

2. The student should conduct a substantial, original project and use published work in the student's discipline as models.

3. The student should obey the university's policies of academic dishonesty throughout the entire project. Failure to do so will result in the immediate termination of the project.

4. In HO 401, the student should develop and propose an idea for the project and should conduct most, if not all, of the research. In some cases, that research may entail developing a research instrument, conducting an experiment, and, if appropriate, receiving permission from the Institutional Review Board. In HO 402, the student should complete the research and conduct the experiment, if appropriate and if not already completed, and should write the results of the research. Some variation may occur, depending on the student's project and discipline.

5. The student is expected to meet with his or her advisor every week and is encouraged to meet with the entire project committee at least once a semester. The student should keep a research journal in which to record comments from project committee members.

6. The poster should include whatever information best represents the student's project at the time. At the very least, the poster should include the name of the student, the names of the project committee members, the title of the project, the thesis/hypothesis, and other information, such as methods, definitions, and examples. The poster should be bold and creative and should include an appropriate mixture of text and graphics. Do NOT destroy the board in any way or do anything that alters the board's shape or condition (i.e. do not use tape, glue, glitter, spray adhesive, etc). The board should be returned to the honors office in the same condition it was taken.

7. The presentation at the Research Symposium, which should last ten minutes, should best represent the finished project and should include audio-visual aids. The student should strive for excellence in the following areas of oral presentation: clarity and organization, style of delivery, standard language usage, supporting materials, and use of audio-visual aids.

8. The student must submit all assignments in the syllabus on time to the Honors Director and to all three members of the student's project committee. The advisor may ask the student to complete supplementary assignments.