GOV 679HA • Honors Tutorial Course
3:30 PM-6:30 PM
The Honors Tutorial is a year-long course designed to provide undergraduates with an opportunity to conduct research in an area of Political Science of their choice. The seminar will function largely as a forum for students to develop a thesis topic, test out their ideas, and present the results of their research in a structured and collegial setting. This is not a course for everyone: each student will be expected to participate actively in class discussions, a heavy premium will be placed on good writing skills, and most of your work will be self-directed. The Honors Thesis project in intended to (1) provide you with experience in developing a substantial research project at a sophisticated level of analysis; (2) to give you an opportunity to work at some depth in a field of inquiry in which you have a particular interest; (3) to create a context in which you will be engaged in scholarly exchanges with Government Department faculty and your peers in the Honors Seminar; and (4) to expose you very broadly to the kinds of challenges involved in research and analysis at the graduate level and beyond. Students whose theses are deemed to be of sufficiently high quality will graduate from UT with Special Honors in Government. Members of the Honors Tutorial are enrolled in a class taught by the Honors advisor. The Honors advisor decides who will be admitted to GOV 679 HA and GOV 679 HB, makes all the decisions about course assignments, approves thesis proposals, assigns all grades, and decides who will graduate with Honors in Government (subject to college requirements). Students writing an honors thesis will also work closely with a supervising professor who has expertise in the student's area of research. The supervising professor will be involved in all stages of the project. Each student will receive a grade of incomplete after the first semester which will then be changed to a letter grade after the successful completion of the thesis at the end of the second semester.
At the end of the Fall semester, every student will receive a grade of incomplete in accordance with university rules regarding two-semester courses. This is intended to provide as much incentive as possible to complete the thesis. (There will be an unrecorded letter grade for the Fall semester based on an assessment of your progress in the program including: quality of and rate of progress on thesis project; quality of written evaluations of peers' work and other assignments; quality of in-class participation.) If your project has congealed in a satisfactory manner, you will receive permission to enroll in the Spring semester Honors tutorial. A letter grade for both Fall and Spring semesters will be assigned upon successful completion of the thesis.
The assigned reading load is light. However, there is a tremendous amount of outside reading and writing related to your thesis project. Most of the time you devote to this course will be spent on this project. There is one required text: W. Phillips Shively. The Craft of Political Research, 6th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 2005. There will also be a course packet of readings.