Second Major

Writing and Rhetoric




McCarthy, Melissa




Rhode Island; Walking; Outdoors; Book; Guide; Students

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


Rhode Island, or the Ocean State, is known for its beautiful beaches but little is known about its beautiful hiking, walking, and wandering trails that cover the entire state. These trails offer breathtaking looks over the Narragansett Bay and calming trails through the woods. Talking to friends around school, though, it showed me how little many of them actually knew about these different trails around the state. When thinking about my own Honors Project, I wanted to create something that was useful for the readers and showed some of what Rhode Island can offer in terms of walks, as well as experience some new walks for myself. To do this, I decided to create my very own hiking guide of Rhode Island.

After researching different trails to explore in each corner of Rhode Island, I put a plan in place for how I was going to accomplish this. With the weeks leading up to the end of the semester, I spent mornings and afternoons traveling to these locations I planned for and explored every nook and cranny that they have to offer me. Taking photos from as many angles I could think of during these walks, I quickly grew a gallery of photos from my hiking. I journaled the experiences I had and what I learned not only about the trail but also about myself.

Towards the end of the semester and once I had acquired a significant amount of material, I began to compile it in the software program InDesign to create my very own book. During this design process, I wanted to make this as authentic as possible. Pouring over other hiking guides from the New England area, I incorporated some design elements that I liked as well as veered off to create a unique, individual design. While other guides were heavy on content and text, I wanted to incorporate a more visual and colorful aesthetic to my overall product. One specific element I incorporated from other guides is a short description on how to get to the trailhead. Through this process, I cultivated a stronger eye for layout and design, learning how best to make writing and images look good together on the blank page.

I specifically chose to create a physical book for my project as I want to pursue a career in the publishing industry. This project provided firsthand experience of what it takes to put together a book for publication. Not only has this project taught me new skills and proficiencies, but this is something that I can use while applying for positions within the publishing industry.