Honors and Independent Study
Students enrolled in Japanese in conjunction with an Asian studies major have the option of writing an honors paper.
An honors paper in Asian studies provides students with an opportunity to engage in interdisciplinary research and analysis. The process of completing a major research project that culminates in an analytical essay involves many steps, although the order in which a student accomplishes these tasks will depend on their subject, sources, and methodologies. Students will design a focused research project, articulating a problem or question about a particular subject. They will locate their study in the literature of the field, broadly defined, in order to show that their problem is worth exploring in relation to the secondary literature and that their paper will advance the understanding of the subject. In order to work toward a thesis, they will propose a preliminary hypothesis (a potential answer to their problem). They will also design or select a research method that enables them to explore the subject in depth through the extensive analysis of available sources, both primary and secondary. Students will present their thesis and analysis in an articulate, persuasive essay. Most projects will span two semesters, although students who have begun exploring their topic in a previous class or paper may do a semester-long project.