HONS 110: Honors Academic Writing

Course Description

This course is intended to help you become a better writer, a careful reader, and a critical thinker.  It will prepare you for the kind of reading, writing, and thinking that will be expected of you in your college classes.  This course requires that you 1) write a lot; 2) read ALL material carefully and critically; 3) complete all assigned work; 4) take responsibility for your own learning.

Our topic for this semester is the individual and the public good.  We will read and analyze essays and stories that examine the rights and responsibilities of individuals and that explore how these rights and responsibilities may be balanced against the needs of larger groups or of society as a whole.  The course, unlike most of your other classes, meets four hours a week.  The fourth hour will serve as a lab session, in which we will focus very specifically on student writing.  In these labs, students will often read and comment on each other’s work, and we will focus on the nuts and bolts of good writing.


  • The Trial and Death of Socrates, Plato
  • A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Mary Wollstonecraft
  • Self-Reliance and Other Essays, Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Civil Disobedience and Other Essays, Henry David Thoreau
  • Great Speeches, Abraham Lincoln
  • The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien


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