What are the guidelines for writing the 500-word description of the project?

This description functions as a “proposal” and as a “work-in-progress report”; we do not use either term, however, because each student may be at a different stage of the process when the Intent to Complete an Honors Project is filed. The description, however, must accomplish the following:

  • State the goal of the project. The goal of the project should be stated within the context of the critical problem, research question, or creative idea the student addresses by doing this project. Thus, your statement should reflect knowledge of the relevant literature in your area of study.
  • State how the project is to be accomplished: What are you going to do? How are you going to do it? Why are you doing it this way? If your project is based on work previously completed, state what you have done, how you have done it, and why you have done the work this way. If the project is based on work already completed for a “for-credit” course, it is imperative that you then describe the additional work you will do to expand the scope and substance of the initial project to complete a work eligible for honors consideration.
  • State what will be accomplished by completing this project. You might consider what you will learn by doing this project and how this work contributes to the area of study, your understanding of it, and/or your educational or personal goals.
  • Justify the proposed project as worthy of honors consideration (i.e., “a difficult challenge of some importance”).

In this description, you are addressing the Academic Status Committee, which comprises faculty members from different areas of study across the College. Your description, then, should be aimed at nonspecialists, which means that you should define key terms and be very clear about the context, scope, and importance of your project.

To accomplish all this in only 500 words means that you will have to be in command of your project enough to be selective and precise in stating your goals and purposes. Be sure to begin drafting this work by mid-September to allow yourself time to review it with your director and to make appropriate revisions.

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