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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Fall 2009

GOV 679HA • Honors Tutorial Course

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
39350 W
3:00 PM-6:00 PM
CAL 21
Hooker, J

Course Description

Restricted enrollment: contact the department for permission to register for this course. The Honors Tutorial is a year-long course designed to provide undergraduates with an opportunity to write a political theory thesis on a topic of their choice. The seminar will introduce students to a variety of models for how to ask and answer questions in political theory and function as a forum in which students will be able to develop a thesis project, test out ideas, and present their work in a structured, collegial setting. This is a demanding course designed for dedicated students who already possess good analytical, research, and writing skills and are prepared to develop them further in pursuit of their thesis topics. As with any independent research project, much of the work will be self-directed. In addition, each student will be expected to complete all required readings before class, participate actively in class discussions, meet regularly with their individual thesis advisor, and hand in written assignments on time. By the end of the academic year, students are expected to complete a thesis under the supervision of the Honors Advisor (Fall) and the individual thesis advisor of their choice (Spring). The Honors Thesis project is intended to: 1) provide students with experience in developing and undertaking an independent research project; 2) allow students to analyze a topic and conduct original research in an area of particular interest; 3) create a context in which students will be engaged in scholarly exchange with peers in the honors seminar and Government Department faculty; and 4) expose students to the kinds of challenges involved in research and analysis at the graduate level.

Honors theses are much more substantial than term papers written for an upper-division government class, but are not expected to reach the dimensions of an M.A. thesis - unless you are ambitious. In general, students will be expected to have a strong working knowledge of the most prominent literature in the field immediately related to their topic. The thesis itself will combine this knowledge with a measure of originality in terms of interpretation and/or subject matter, and stand as a notable personal and scholarly achievement at the close of the course. Completion of the tutorial may (but will not necessarily) enable the student to graduate with "Special Honors in Government." The Honors Advisor and each student's individual advisor will evaluate the quality of the thesis to determine whether it merits this distinction. In addition, students must meet college and departmental semester hour and minimum grade point average requirements. Enrollment in the seminar is open only to Government seniors who have been accepted into the honors thesis program.

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