You may find that although you were a good or even an outstanding writer in high school, your writing will be criticized more often once you get to college. College writing will ask you to be more focused and organized in the development and presentation of your thoughts, and you will have to be much more thorough in documenting the sources of your ideas. In this first year of college, you are most often writing what are called "derivative" papers - you are learning how to read (for college purposes), synthesize, and incorporate the ideas of other writers and scholars. What your are doing is moving from having an opinion that's just yours (a good thing) to having an educated opinion which you can defend by refering to the work of others (and don't be surprized if you actually change an opinion or two because of your reading and research!).
The link below to the University of Toronto's Writing Center is one of the best resources I've come across recently to help you understand the nature of academic writing. I've also included a link to the web site Plagiarism: What It is and How to Recognize and Avoid It from the University of Indiana, Bloomington.
I've included a very good online grammar review web site as well, The Guide to Grammar and Writing. It is well organized, has very good PowerPoint slides explaining things like using commas vs. semi-colons and the like.
Your life as a college student will be very busy - especially in the Honors College programs! You won't always have the luxury to follow these practice these habits, but if you do have the time, consider doing so. Even practicing one on each of your three essays for this class will give you an idea of how you work best and how you can make the most of your time.
At this stage of your academic career, it's unlikely that you will need to read an entire book about your topic, person, or event. Learn to use the the table of contents and the index in a book or the section headings in a journal article and select the parts you need to pay close attention to. So if you are writing on the IRA, for example, and you run across the name "Gerry Adams," you might decide to see if there is a biography of him. You won't need to read about his early years, but could skip that section to focus on his work with the IRA, and perhaps even just a smaller portion of that.