What is Rhetoric of Inquiry?

In ancient times, rhetoric was an important component of the original liberal arts (rhetoric, grammar, logic, music, astronomy, math, geometry). Rhetoric meant the art of persuasive speaking; however, it needed the other liberal arts (especially grammar and logic) to help complement it. Thus, an interdisciplinary education style was born.

For Honors students, interdisciplinarity is at the heart of the program. Examining how different disciplines interact with one another, as well as assist one another, should be a natural component of each student's participation and desires in the learning process. Thus learning the rhetoric of a discipline means learning how people use it (primarily through language) to persuade others of their knowledge. When students learn rhetoric in the honors program, they are learning how to 'talk the talk' of their primary discipline. Then they learn how to 'walk the walk' of that rhetoric by applying it to other disciplines, informing them, but also learning from them. The original Greek word 'inquiry' is 'istor' (ίστσρ), from which we get our word today for 'history'. In order to understand ourselves we must know our past. All of these elements then come together when developing an honors curriculum, and, for students, culminate in the production of their honors thesis.

Minor-Granting Program

Starting with the Fall 2008 catalogue, students admitted to the John F. Reed Honors Program and who complete all requirements will graduate with a minor in honors titled "Rhetoric of Inquiry."

 COURSE REQUIREMENTS:

We will keep the requirements for admission into the program the same.

Core Requirements:

  • HON 250: Community of Scholars - 1 credit
  • HON 350: Rhetoric of Knowledge - 3 credits
  • HON 450: Thesis I - 2 credits
  • HON 451: Thesis II - 2 credits

Additional Requirements:

Students must complete FIVE Honors Forums, two of which much be taken at the 400 level. Students must complete ONE from each of the three major themes, and then two additional forums of their own choosing from any of the three themes.

  • HON 221/421: Innovative Thinkers 2 credits
  • HON 222/422: Intellectual Foundations 2 credits
  • HON 223/423: Multidisciplinary Perspectives 2 credits
  • [plus two additional forums} 4 credits total

TOTAL FOR COMPLETION OF MINOR: 18 Credits

DESCRIPTION OF COURSES:

HON 250: Community of Scholars (1 credit)
Required Course for Minor

An introduction to the roles and responsibilities of scholars and researchers in contemporary society. This course also serves as the gateway course to the John F. Reed Honors Program Minor entitled Rhetoric of Inquiry. Students will also learn their roles and responsibilities within the John F. Reed Honors Program as well as expectations for them to graduate with honors.

HON 350: Rhetoric of Knowledge (3 credits):
Students will study the structure of academic knowledge and the rhetoric of inquiry and prepare a formal and substantive research proposal. This course will give students admitted to the John F. Reed Honors Program a solid foundation for development of the Honors thesis and will provide for all other students an introduction to the expectations of advanced academic inquiry.

This course also can be taken by non-admitted Honors students to satisfy the CO3 general education requirement. Students who are not Honors students will write a research paper rather than a proposal paper for an honors thesis; or, they may elect to write a proposal paper for their senior seminar project within their department (pending approval of that department’s chair).

Prerequisites: CO2 course

The primary focus of this course will be for students to develop the proposal that will become their Honors Thesis project. The proposal and topic for the thesis must draw significantly on at least two academic disciplines. Students will be responsible for building an annotated bibliography of the relevant research in their field of study and developing a working relationship with both a faculty mentor and a reader from the second discipline. Topic and format must be approved by the Honors Coordinator and the Dean of ESGE.. Students will develop further their professional skills in their chosen field, with an emphasis on developing successful writing skills, scholarship and/or grant writing skills, and an understanding of the methodologies, ideologies and rhetoric of their discipline.

HON 450: Thesis I (2 credits):
This course is a continuation of Structure of Knowledge. In this course the student will move beyond the literature review to collect additional data and begin the writing process for the Honors thesis. Prerequisites: HON 350

The topic of the thesis must draw significantly on at least two academic disciplines. At the end of this course, the student must submit evidence of substantial work accomplished.

HON 451: Thesis II (2 credits):
This course is a continuation of Honors Thesis I. In this course the student will focus on articulation of the implications of their research, polishing their thesis and preparing for the required public presentation of their work. Prerequisites: HON 450

Students will complete the writing process for their thesis, practice presenting their topic to their colleagues, and finalize preparations for the next stage of their careers. At the end of the semester, a public presentation of all work will be required.

HON 499: Honors Thesis (1-2 credits)
The Honors Thesis is the result of an independent study project undertaken during the senior year. The topic of the thesis must draw significantly on at least two academic disciplines. The student should choose a topic for the thesis in consultation with a faculty advisor, a reader from the second discipline, and the Honors Coordinator. At the end of the first term, the student must submit evidence of substantial work accomplished. During the second term, the student will complete the thesis and make a public presentation of the results. Individual research is conducted under the supervision of a faculty member. Topic and format must be approved by the Department Chairperson and Dean. 50 contact hours are the equivalent of one credit Hour.

This course is for students on the following catalogs: 2004-2005, 2005-2006, 2006-2007

HON 221/421: Innovative Thinkers (2 credits):
This course will focus on specified breakthrough thinkers, their works, and reception of their works from a broad range of disciplines. Students may complete two courses on different thinkers in fulfillment of forum requirements.

Students will read and discuss works by and about individuals who have had impact on their own field of study as well as have interaction with and impact on other disciplines. Students will examine such figures through their own particular major/discipline, but also through interdisciplinary approaches.

HON 222/422: Intellectual Foundations (2 credits)
Students will read and discuss theories that have been fundamental in a particular field of study, focusing on the development of the theory, the impact of the theory on other disciplines, including instances of what might be considered misuse. Students may complete two courses on different theories in fulfillment of the forum requirements.

This approach may include the reading of a pivotal text to provide a deeper understanding of the works/theories.

HON 223/423: Multidisciplinary Perspectives (2 credits):
This course will examine specific topics that have been the focus of inquiry by multiple disciplines, laying the foundation to better understand what is meant by interdisciplinary inquiry. Students may complete two courses on different topics in fulfillment of the forum requirements.

This course will examine the interdisciplinary aspects of particular fields of study, great books or specific concepts. Students with varied academic interests and backgrounds will work on critical evaluation and discussion of selected works with broad intellectual importance in order to bring together under one rubric the ideology and methodology of the chosen multidisciplinary perspective.

OTHER REQUIREMENTS:

Will remain the same from the course catalogue.