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Honors College Co-Curricular Workshops

Complete your honors project successfully through this workshop series. This will help students build research, writing, and presentation skills.

Workshop Preparation: Developing a Research Project

You are expected to bring with you to this workshop:

Returning Honors College Students New Honors College Students
  • A research proposal from one of your prior honors projects
  • Potential topics or themes for your current project(s)
  • General background knowledge of those topics or themes – You are expected to have done some preliminary reading/research about them
  • A laptop, tablet, or mobile device, if available
  • List of questions you may have about honors projects and/or research proposals
  • Potential topics or themes for your current project(s)
  • General background knowledge of those topics or themes – You are expected to have done some preliminary reading/research about them
  • A laptop, tablet, or mobile device, if available

You are entering into an academic conversation. As a freshman and sophomore student, you are not expected to create something new within the field of study. You are, however, expected to contribute to the conversation by thinking critically about the subject: summarize the various perspectives and evaluate it within the larger context of the field of study. This is a challenge to go beyond your comfort zone and think about the gaps or unheard voices in the conversation.

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How to Write an Honors Project Proposal

Gather Background Information

The second stage of the research process is to gather background information about your chosen topic.

During this stage, you will:

  • Search for general information on your topic
  • Start thinking of the keywords and concepts related to your topic
  • Start narrowing your topic down to a particular research question

Reference materials are a great place to learn the basics about your topic and help you refine your topic for it to be a manageable research project. The information found in reference material are generally topic summaries. Use them to learn about your topic and help you narrow down the scope of your research project.

It is an excellent resource to start collecting keywords that you will use in your searches.

Credo Logo

Cover: The casing of the book. It will include the title and author on the front and spine. Typically covers are made with a harder material that the inner pages: cardboard, cardstock paper, leather, or fabric. 

Title Page: The book's title and all the authors' names will be listed. You will also find the publisher and place of publication listed at the bottom.

Verso: Meaning "on the turn side of the page"; found on the other side of the title page. You will find the copyright and publication dates. Hint: This is also a great place to find subject headings given to the book by the Library of Congress; great keywords!

Table of Contents: A list of Chapter headings and subheadings with the page number.

List of Diagrams, Charts, Photos, or Illustrations: Found in technical books, an additional contents list offers pages for figures found throughout the books.

Foreword: Generally it is written by someone other than the author as an introduction to the subject in the book.

Acknowledgments: This is where the author gives thanks to all those who have helped him or her write the book.

Preface: Written by the author, the preface introduces you to the author's thesis or argument for the book. It will give you an idea about the author's bias and the level of research conducted.

Chapters: Books are generally broken up into sections, or chapters, to organize the thoughts, into manageable subtopics, stories, or arguments.

Afterword: Extra information on the book's topic included at the back of the book.

Notes and Appendices: Additional information, charts, resources to support the information in the main areas of the book

Bibliography: Lists of resources the author used in his or her research for the book.

Glossary: A list of terms found at the back of the book. It is organized in alphabetical order with definitions for each term; like a dictionary.

Index: Found at the back of the book, the index is a detailed list of topics, people, places, and other significant terms found throughout the book. It is organized in alphabetical order and includes the page(s) where you will find that information. This is a great place to search for your keywords to evaluate how helpful the book may be for your research.

Author's Biography: Information about the author's professional life.

Keyword Searching is how you search most web search engines, like Google. You input the most significant words relating to your topic, and the search results pull all items that include your keywords. 

Subject Headings are the official words or phrases used to represent a concept in a particular database or catalog. Use these terms when searching a database to find relevant items on the same topic.

Each database uses its own set of subject headings, and it can be difficult to guess the terms used by a certain one. Look for a "Thesaurus" or "Subject Terms" list at the top of the database page to locate subject terms. 


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