HON-251: Great Works

Liberal Arts
Honors Program
Academic Level
Course Subject
Honors Program
Course Number
Course Title
Great Works
Credit Hours
Instructor Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Student Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Grading Method
ENG-131 Honors, with a C or better
Catalog Course Description

Introduces seminal works from a range of disciplines, including literature, philosophy, history, religion, anthropology, psychology, and science. Explores each great work in terms of its capacity not only to assess issues crucial to its own era but also in terms of its power to illuminate the parameters of ethical, social, and cultural principles in the modern world.

Goals, Topics, and Objectives

Goal Statement

The Honors Great Works Seminar aims to reveal to students their ability to engage challenging material from multiple disciplines and diverse cultures, and to encourage the continuation of such self-culture for a lifetime.

Core Course Topics
  1. Critical textual analysis of great works from throughout time and from all over the world.
  2. Relationship of style, genre, history, and culture on a given great work.
  3. The interdisciplinary conversation of great ideas that occurs across cultures and time.
  4. Oral & written evaluation and synthesis/presentation of ideas and arguments.
Core Course Learning Objectives (Separated)
  • Interpret meaning in various texts by paying close attention to the creator’s choices of detail, vocabulary, and style.
  • Discuss the relationship between different genres of texts and the multicultural & interdisciplinary environments from which they spring.
  • Articulate a critical evaluation and appreciation of a work’s strengths and limitations.
  • Evaluate the commentary of classmates, as well as the remarks of the instructor, within a seminar setting.
  • Evaluate the contemporary relevance of particular texts.
  • Write critical essays employing
    • a strong thesis statement
    • appropriate textual citations
    • contextual and intertextual evidence for their assertions

Assessment and Requirements

Assessment of Academic Achievement
  1. 1,500 word (minimum) seminar essay
    • is a comparison and contrast of two of the required course readings selected by the instructor.
    • includes both a "summary" and an "analysis" section.
  2. An oral final examination in which the instructor engages each student in conversation regarding course texts and themes.
General Course Requirements and Recommendations

This course is to be an interdisciplinary study of great works (defined broadly) over many cultures and times. While an instructor can choose specific themes and particular authors/creators to focus on, there should be an emphasis on using multiple disciplines and various media to explore with students the idea of what makes a work great.

Instructors should choose from the Honors Council approved list and coordinate their choices with the Honors Director.


General Education Categories
  • Humanities and Fine Arts
Institutional Outcomes
  • Humanities
MTA Categories
  • Category 5: Humanities and Fine Arts
Satisfies Wellness Requirement
Effective Term
Winter 2022