Ideas for Honors Options

Some ideas for Honors Options include, but are not limited to

  • Complete readings for individualized tutorial sessions with the faculty member.
  • Complete a literature review or annotated bibliography on a topic related to the class and potential Honors Capstone project.
  • Complete an extra or extended paper or project, especially if it is related to a potential Honors Capstone project topic.
  • Do a challenging lab experiment or observation study that extends of supplements the current course content.
  • Create a computer program that extends or supplements to course content.
  • Apply the principles of the course through volunteer or internship service and complete a reflective journal and project.
  • Compare and contrast two perspectives or events that extend or supplement the content already being covered in a course.
  • Create visual representations (graphic organizers, 3D models, photographs, etc.) that extend or supplement the concepts or processes already being covered in a course.
  • Lead class discussion on a topic of particular interest; especially if it is related to a potential Honors Capstone project topic.
Examples from Recent Semesters
  • ARCD 491: Working with professor, design and build a custom table to be used for the table saws in the Studio Venter Wood Shop.
  • ART 240: Design and produce a wearable piece of armor by utilizing the skills learned in the course.
  • BIO 214: Read The Vital Question: Energy, Evolution, and the Origins of Complex Life and compose 10-page book review.
  • BIO 402: Participate in fieldwork and produce an 8-page study that measures the natural regeneration of woody trees.
  • BIO 446: Develop and test a laboratory protocol on H-reflex that other students would be able to use in an educational setting.
  • CIS 366: Create a website that analyzes the differences between using HTML/CSS and online website builders to create websites for businesses.
  • COB 202: Identify and develop a mentor relationship with a current business manager; conduct interviews that include questions related to the course content and produce a written summary.
  • CSD 470: Administer a diagnostic test introduced in the class on a family member and produce a diagnostic report on the findings; present the findings in class.
  • ECED 372: Create a healthy eating cookbook, including activities and lesson plans, for use in a first grade classroom.
  • ECON 327: 12-page research paper on the application of game theory in modern media.
  • EDUC 300: Create a Facebook page for the course and submit regular posts on topics covered in class, including links to articles, websites, and videos.
  • ENG 392: In creative writing class, analyze the life and work of three poets and produce three original poems that emulate the styles of each. 
  • EXED 200: 30-minute in-class presentation about Deaf culture and different types of communication.
  • EXED 320: Shadow a special education teacher and behavior analyst over the course of the semester, compose reflective essay.
  • HIST 310: Comprehensive annotated bibliography on the political career of President Ronald Reagan.
  • HM 316: 15-page paper on the history and culture of American country clubs.
  • HTH 351: After interviewing a local school superintendent, begin the process of developing a health behavior intervention plan for implementation in the Harrisonburg public schools. 
  • HUM 200: Read two additional novels and write 1,000 word review essay.
  • INDU 380: Design, develop, and pitch an idea for how to manufacture and produce skateboards.
  • ISAT 340: In a software development class, create a database project using Microsoft Access that tracks data for a fictional resort, with queries, summaries, and reports.
  • KIN 302: Assist a graduate student with their research project.
  • PSYC 365: Create class activities for specific topics on the syllabus that are of particular interest to the student.
  • SCOM 318: Write blog posts for ShoutOut! JMU, an on-campus feminist blog, including interviews with women about their college experiences.
  • THEA 315: Collaborative project between four students in a class on Shakespeare: 8-page research paper and 20-minute in class PowerPoint presentation exploring feminism in modern film adaptations of Shakespeare.
  • WRTC 330: In class presentation on Daoist philosophy using visual, textual, and audio aids to help the class understand this particular approach for rhetorical criticism.
Specific Examples by College
College of Arts and Letters
  • in a media arts course on graphic production for digital media, student created several different magazine layouts using Photoshop tools
  • for an advanced Spanish course, an extra paper analyzing a Spanish film
  • in a political science course, an additional paper on Israel and democracy
  • in an anthropology internship, to read The Omnivore's Dilemma and write a 10-15 page paper linking its issues to the farm internship
  • in the introduction to Africana studies course, produce a 10-page research paper on a topic arising from the class
  • in an Italian class, a bibliography of contemporary Italian writers from 1950-2008 whose works have been adapted into film
  • in a political science class, a 10-15 page research paper on an international issue
  • in a communications class, an additional paper relating to interpersonal relationships and communication
College of Business
  • an economics paper detailing current events in which the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve System are affecting U.S. economic standards
  • in a business law class, an additional essay or assignment of the professor's choice
  • in a course on interpersonal skills, a 10-page research paper on the Big Five Personality Model
  • in a hospitality industry class, produce a 10-page paper based on contact with a professional to understand how their interpersonal skills impact their professional lives and organization effectiveness
College of Integrated Science and Engineering
  • in a psychology course, an extended literature review as a substitute for another writing project
  • in a psychology course, an extra written assignment pertaining to self-analysis and life-experiences
  • in a development psychology course, several additional assignments such as article summaries, reading summaries, and additional readings, as assigned by the professor
  • in a health sciences course on biomechanics, volunteer weekly at a local physical therapy clinic and maintain a journal relating to clinical observations applicable to the class
  • in a kinesiology course, research paper on the business plan, marketing and promotion strategy, and economic impact of the planned for the new Dallas Cowboys facility
  • in a nutrition class, student agreed to research and write a detailed plan for a full week of nutritional foods available on campus
  • in an integrated science and technology course, a class presentation related to material covered in the course
College of Science and Mathematics
  • in a biology course, a review article on a topic related to the course
  • in a biology course, conduct an extra genetics project that will be presented to the class
  • in a biology-mathematics course, create a Microsoft Excel module using examples from www.bioquest.org/esteem that explains a concept pertaining to the class material
  • in a math course, a class presentation either going into greater depth on material learned in the course or related to the course
  • in a math course, additional weekly homework problems and proofs
College of Visual and Performing Arts
  • in an art appreciation course, an additional paper focused on the historical context of a particular art object
  • in a music course, a 10-page music research paper with five sources on a topic in American music
  • in a music appreciation course, a research paper on the evolution of the big band writing styles
  • in a music industry course, an extra project centered around concert promotion and incorporating design skills from the student's media arts and design courses
  • in a theater course, an extra project in the area of set or lighting design
  • in a theater course, an analysis paper of a film or play with significant cultural impact showing its impact on viewers

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