How Catholicism Became Corrupt
You will choose a religion you’re interested in, and narrow your topic to a particular issue, practice, or group within your chosen religion. This paper is your chance to apply critical thinking and analysis in an exploration of an issue within your chosen religion, while connecting to concepts from reading and discussion throughout the semester. You should demonstrate your ability to use empathetic understanding to explore a topic within a specific religion. You cannot, for example, determine whether an idea in a religion is true or false; rather, you will approach the religion as a curious outsider. This should be your approach even if you are a practitioner of the religion; as you know from the beginning of the course, it is often helpful to take the outsider’s point of view to better understand a religion.
It is best to choose a religion that you’re interested in learning more about. Do some preliminary internet research to determine topics related to this religion. Researching current issues can be a good start, and gauge whether there is enough published research available by doing a quick search here: http://www.montclair.edu/library/
As you read, begin thinking of research questions, which will be expressed in the proposal. Research questions are the informed questions you can ask yourself to guide your research. For example: How do immigrant Jain practitioners adjust to life in the US? Are they able to maintain the principles of the religion?
After submitting the proposal, begin thinking about how you will structure the paper, and do some planning and pre-writing that will help you construct a draft. Remember, your thesis should be sustained throughout the paper.
This is a 4-5 page formal research paper, requiring proper MLA style formatting and documentation.
This is a thesis-driven paper, requiring a complex focusing statement.
Proper documentation of your sources is expected, so keep organized notes using double-note-taking format, notecards, or any other research organization method you’re familiar with.
You should compile a 4-5 source bibliography, with majority of scholarly (versus popular culture) publications. You should look for scholarly articles, rather than books, which you can easily access through searching in the library database online http://www.montclair.edu/library/ and clicking “Full Text” and “Peer Reviewed” under the search bar. Here is a short YouTube video explaining what scholarly sources are: Scholarly vs. Non-Scholarly
One last requirement: read the scoring rubric (found on Canvas) and the Research Paper Checklist. Complete the checklist and use it as the cover page for your paper.
-Print and online sources: students should use 4-5 library resources (books and/or academic journal articles) and try to include an online source from practitioners of this religion (their online self-representation, if any).
-This paper is a synthesis—so you are combining sources, not just writing a summary of one source. It’s not a book report.
-You must use a documentation style—MLA, unless you feel confident in using another one. You can find help on MLA documentation here: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/
-You must include an analysis of your topic using at least one concept from Revealing Religion (the textbook from the class)
-Include Works Cited Page (does not include the four to five pages)