Colloquia Guidelines

First-Year Interdisciplinary Honors Colloquia

These three-credit writing-intensive interdisciplinary first-year seminars are broadly conceived, generally going beyond conventional boundaries and focusing on topics of enduring significance. Just as ENGL110 is the introduction to college-level academic writing, Honors colloquia are intellectually rigorous introductions to academic thinking. They are designed to stimulate reflection and discussion on the complexity and abstraction found in many subjects. Intensive reading, thoughtful analysis, and good writing are expected of colloquia participants. Informed discussions, rather than lectures, and attention to primary sources typify Honors colloquia. All first-year Honors students, regardless of their intended college or major, are required to take one Honors colloquium to be eligible for a General Honors Award. Approximately ten colloquia are offered each semester; most of these courses satisfy college breadth requirements.

Guidelines for writing in colloquia in Honors

1. To emphasize the importance of writing in student learning, writing assignments are an integral part of the course. Writing assignments should be challenging enough to require significant revision.

2. To improve their skills in academic writing, students are required to write frequently. Consistent with the University’s requirement for first-year composition courses, the finished formal assignments in each colloquium should require at least 5,000 words, typically 3 formal essays or 2 formal essays and a research paper. To give students a number of opportunities to express their ideas, additional writing such as journals, response papers, dialogues, abstracts, and creative writing is also encouraged.

3. To stress the importance of writing as a process, writing assignments include time for students to plan, draft, and revise their writing. 4. To develop an awareness of audience, students receive feedback at appropriate stages of the writing process.

Guidelines for using Writing Fellows in Honors colloquia

1. One of the unique aspects of teaching Honors colloquia is the opportunity to work with Writing Fellows. To promote collaboration as a learning tool, faculty require students to meet with their Writing Fellow at least three times during the semester.

2. To experience the benefits of revision and collaboration, students are required to discuss with their Writing Fellow the revision of a full draft of at least one major assignment.