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Scholars of religion,

Here is what you need to know about your paper proposal. I'll answer two main questions.

I. What is the paper about and what is it for? and

2. How do I construct a paper proposal?

1. The paper is your critical thinking applied to an issue in light of two religions' views of that issue.

  • The paper needs an issue to focus on. This should be something you personally and intellectually are actually interested in. Why write a paper about something you don't care about? The range is very wide: it might be a belief (the nature of God), a practice (pilgrimage), an ethical concern (the attitude toward death and dying), politics (what is the relation between a government and a religion?), or spiritual experience (mysticism). You tell me, and if we need to change or fix it, I will let you know.
  • The paper needs religions to dialogue with. You need partners in the discussion. This is not you stating "just my opinion." Other people have already thought seriously about almost anything you or I could come up with; well, in this case, with respect to your chosen issue, what do the two religions you picked say?
  • So the paper is *not* a book report, an encyclopaedia article, or "just my opinion." It is you thinking carefully about an issue that matters to you in light of what two great traditions think about that same issue.

2. What I want in the paper proposal is this:

  • (–of course it is typed, double-spaced, Times New Roman 12-point font or equivalent, one-inch margins, with your name, the course name and number, etc., at the top–)
  • what issue you want to investigate,
  • why that issue matters to you,
  • which religions you picked to dialogue with, why you picked each of those religions, and
  • a start on your bibliography: that is, some sources you have begun to look at.

A page or two will almost always take care of it. Due friday night, October 18, just before midnight, uploaded to ecampus.

Dr. Curtis-Thames