Instructions for Individual Research Essay given on the website. HUMA 2002 & RELG 2999 Instructions for individual research essay (20% of final grade) These instructions are longer than instructions for the other assignments. Please read them carefully. For this research paper, you must write a cohesive essay that’s 6-7pages long (double-spaced, regular fonts and margins). DUE DATE There are TWO possible due dates for this assignment: ‘early bird’ and final. ‘Early bird’: July 12th – submit by this date if you want FULL COMMENTS throughout the paper Final: July 19th – submit by this date if you’re okay with NO comments in the body of the paper (there will be final comments and a grading rubric, however) TOPICS Compare and contrast two specific religions from two different families (to be clear, this means you should NOT be comparing, say, Christianity and Islam, or Buddhism and Hinduism): • An Indigenous religion (choose a specific tradition from somewhere in the world) • Confucianism OR Daoism • Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, OR Jainism • Judaism, Christianity, OR Islam on ONE of the following topics: • Nature of the Divine or Ultimate Reality • The creation, or origin, of the world • The end of the world • Death, dying, and/or the afterlife • Human nature • Miracles • Food • Architecture • Sex • Suffering • War and violence • Salvation/Liberation • Holy sites • The purpose of prayer • The status of women and/or LGBTQ+ people • Environmental issues • Divine possession, or the divine in human form • …Or choose your own topic to compare the two traditions (run it by me first) NOTE: When choosing a ‘religion’ you probably want to focus on a particular group, movement, or sect within the general tradition (e.g., Catholicism) rather than the tradition as a whole (e.g., Christianity), in order to avoid overgeneralizing. When choosing an Indigenous religion, be specific (are you choosing an African tradition, such as the Yoruba or Dogon, or an American tradition, such as the Lakota or Hopi?) STRUCTURE Your paper should have the following structure: • title page (include title, your name, instructor’s name, the course code, and date of submission) • introduction (approx. half a page), including a thesis statement • outline of how the topic is understood/explained within the first tradition (approx. 1-1.5 pages) cite appropriate source(s) in support • outline of how the topic is understood/explained within the second tradition (approx. 1-1.5 pages) cite appropriate source(s) in support • analysis of the main points of comparison, either similarity or contrast, between the traditions with regard to the topic (approx. 1.5-2 pages) again, you can cite a source if relevant here, but this analysis should primarily be your own • conclusion (approx. half a page) • bibliography/works cited Your introduction must include a thesis statement that articulates the main point of your paper. Here’s an example: “Within the Hindu and Christian traditions, there is an understanding that God has come to earth and assumed human form. However, these traditions have very different understandings of what this means. The main differences include _______ .” Note that the thesis statement is in bold, but it needs to be contextualized by the statements before. You should also include some idea of the direction of the paper (what you will do) after your thesis. For the comparative analysis, you will need to identify the main points of interest within your chosen topic – both similarities and/or differences – between the religious groups, using examples to help. Try to avoid stating the obvious here; the more subtle and/or deep your analysis, the better. The conclusion is essentially a re-stating of your thesis, plus perhaps offering some ‘food for thought’ for future analysis. ASSESSMENT The paper will be given a grade out of 20 marks. How this will be marked: this is a more complex assignment, so a detailed grading rubric will be included. SOURCES AND REFERENCING Make sure you actually refer to and quote from the sources you are using, and provide proper references in a bibliography. While you may begin your research with the textbook and/or Wikipedia, or a similar general resource, this should not be the extent of your references: you must find at least two ACADEMIC sources. ‘Academic’ sources means peer-reviewed; books, or articles that have been reviewed by experts in a field of study and deemed trustworthy to be published. Peer-reviewed sources are available through the Humber library, either in hardcopy or electronically. If you’re having trouble finding suitable sources, don’t hesitate to contact a Humber reference librarian! Note that more general sources like the textbook and Wikipedia often provide their own references to good sources (at the end of the chapter, or bottom of the page). Do some sleuthing! You may also reference primary texts (sacred scriptures, for example) where helpful; these are great sources, but do not count as you academic source(s). It is not enough to just list sources in the bibliography! You must actually cite them, directly and/or indirectly, within the body of your essay to show how they have shaped your argument. You will receive deductions from your grade if you do not do this. Be sure to proof-read, because you are also being assessed for proper grammar and style. For consistency, students are encouraged to use the APA method for referencing. Check the Humber library website for help with referencing styles: http://library.humber.ca/APA-MLA. PLAGIARISM AND ACADEMIC DISHONESTY Plagiarism is a serious offense and will not be tolerated. It constitutes academic dishonesty, and is on par with cheating on a test. It is your responsibility to understand the nature of plagiarism. Again, the Humber library website is a good resource: http://library.humber.ca/copyright-students. I will also be including a guide to avoiding plagiarism on the website as a separate document. These are the most common forms of plagiarism and academic dishonesty: • Cutting and pasting from the internet without citing your sources. • Taking an entire paper or article from the internet and claiming it is your own work. • Copying directly from a book or article. • Using an essay written by another student for another class, or by you for another class (note this last one – it might be surprising, but you CAN plagiarize from yourself!) Consequences for academic dishonesty range from a minimum of 0% on the assignment to expulsion from Humber. SUBMISSION Submit your final draft using the link for ‘Individual essay’. LATE POLICY Please see the Critical Path for late policy. The short version: 5% for the first day, 1% per subsequent day. The purpose of this assignment is to practice research, analysis, and writing skills. [NOTE: I would like to thank Professor Jon Zeyl for permitting me to use, with minor changes, these essay instructions, which he designed for the in-class version of HUMA 2002]
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