Critical Assignment: Each student must write a research paper on one of the religious traditions that we cover in this course. This paper consists of one of the more significant learning opportunities in this class to enhance your writing, research, critical engagement with the world, and your communication skills. A list of paper topics appears below.
Paper Goals: The goals of this assignment are:
Paper Instructions: Students must exclusively select a religious tradition from the list below—unless they have sought approval regarding another tradition. Communicate with me if you are in doubt about your topic, research-related questions, or paper structure. Each paper must identify a tradition, clearly adhere to the paper structure, and offer an intellectually argued and adequately researched argument. If you have questions about research, email me or consult The Craft of Research, 3rd ed. by William Booth, et. al. Paper Length and Format: Length requirement is 10–11 pages (12 max), excluding the title page and bibliography. Include primary headings to help structure your paper, a title page, bibliography, and page numbers. Use Times New Roman, 12 pt. font, and double spacing (or 24 pts. exactly). Paper Structure: The paper must adhere to the following structure. Part of this two-fold structure is to require students to learn, comprehend, and articulate a position that may not be their own prior to assessing such position. In How to Read a Book by Mortimer J. Adler, he winsomely notes, “You must be able to say ‘I understand,’ before you can say ‘I agree,’ or ‘I disagree,’ or ‘I suspend judgment.’”
Use of Sources: The credibility of your research will depend in part on your bibliography. This is a "Works Consulted" bibliography, meaning that an item is included if it contributed significantly to your understanding of the research topic. Each student must use a total of 7 sources, including the religious-traditions “sacred text.” Also, students must use three of the sources provided by the professor in the “suggested resources” section of the syllabus. The other 4 sources must be peer-reviewed sources, non-online sources. A note about sources:
Paper Grade: Grade for paper will be based on the following:
Religious Traditions: Exclusively select from the following religious traditions for your paper. If you have another religious tradition, seek approval prior to writing.
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