Writing Studies & Rhetoric

Departmental Honors

A Departmental Honors project presents advanced students in the Rhetorical Studies major with the opportunity to perform individual research in their field, under close faculty supervision, on a topic of their special interest.

Departmental Honors projects mark the culmination of student preparation in the field with a specific and specialized research project that represents the student's mastery of the methods and content of the discipline.


The Departmental Honors project allows students:

1) To define themselves intellectually with an area of special expertise.
2) To develop a deeper understanding of the issues and methods of their field of study.
3) To enjoy close collaboration with faculty experts.
4) To earn credits in the major and graduate with departmental honors.
Get more information about graduating with departmental honors.

5) To develop presentation skills, and qualify to present research in the department, at Hofstra on Undergraduate Research Day (in December and May), regionally at the Colonial Academic Alliance undergraduate research conference, and even nationally at professional conferences.
6) To increase chances for a top graduate school through a polished example of writing and research of greater scope or depth than possible in a seminar. Graduate schools like to see proof of sustained and well-documented research.
7) To develop talking points based on extended research for job interviews.
8) To position themselves to apply for prestigious national/international postgraduate scholarships.
9) To build confidence in their abilities and knowledge for the future.
10) To earn more detailed, fuller letters of recommendation for subsequent applications for graduate school or grants.


  1. A GPA of 3.4 overall and 3.5 in Writing Studies or Rhetoric.
  2. Senior or 4th-year status.
  3. Permission of the departmental chair and of the faculty adviser or research supervisor.
  4. A presentation or performance and an oral defense of the research.
  5. Registration in Departmental Honors, WSC 100.

Please note that the Departmental Honors listing does not automatically appear in the course listings each semester.

The Honors Thesis requires senior status, but students can begin to develop a topic in course work during the junior year.