Short essays (About 650 words, or roughly 2 pages) can be submitted after each of the 5 units on the first class meeting after the end of that unit. In other words, an essay on Buddhism should be submitted on the first class day after the Buddhism exam (see below for a note about automatic extensions in certain cases).
Students must complete 3 of the 5 possible essays; each is worth 10% of the final grade (30% total).
At least one essay must be submitted for Hinduism or Buddhism (and students are welcome to write essays on both); in other words, students cannot “backload” their essays and write only on the last three units (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam).
Each essay must correspond to one of the following five options below (no repeats!) and only one essay can be submitted for each unit / religious tradition. If one of the five options is repeated (e.g., a student submits a research paper for both Buddhism and Islam), the repeated essay will receive a 20 point penalty (deducted from the “sources” section of the rubric).
Option 1: Research Using at least two academic sources (i.e., written by a trained expert in the field and/or from a scholarly publication), go beyond the textbook and lectures in order to shed further light on a particular historical period, doctrine, or ritual practice within a religious tradition. In other words, don’t just rehash material covered in the lectures or readings; also, you’re welcome to cite required readings in your paper, but they cannot count toward your two sources. You should include full bibliographical information for each source and utilize in-text citations, especially for quotations. (Please note: secondary sources can be print or electronic but should be written by a scholar/expert; Wikipedia is a fine starting place for identifying further sources, but it should not be used as a source itself. I recommend searching for articles through the databases on lib.utah.edu or scholar.google.com and books.google.com).
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