What topic related to world religions would you like to explore on your own? For this project you will do independent research on a topic of your choice, compile the results into a thoughtful essay, and create a presentation to the class in the format of your choice. Be creative as you consider your topic and how to present your project. Among the possibilities for presenting it are: composing a song, creating a collage, creating a video or PowerPoint presentation, drawing artwork that illustrate some aspect of your project, or making a miniature or other object of your choice (you can submit photos). Have fun with this project! I look forward to learning about your discoveries. The Details This project is worth a total of 60 points, as follows: Independent project proposal due 9/21 (2 points) Status report due 10/12 (3 points) Independent project essay due 11/9 (30 points) Independent project presentation due 11/23 (25 points) You can choose any topic that interests you. For example, you might choose to research: – A religious art object – A particular ritual or festival – A religious figure in the news or a historical person – The religious traditions of a particular locale or geographical region – A religious text (its content, interpretations, uses) – An archeological site – A religious institution such as a church, temple, synagogue, mosque, or shrine – Beliefs surrounding a particular deity in a particular tradition – Religious themes in film, anime, or literary texts – The possibilities are endless . . . In a guided process you will develop a topic and thesis sentence, submit a progress report with a list of potential sources, compose a polished essay on your chosen topic, and present your findings to our class. Below is a description of what each stage of the project will involve. Independent project proposal due 9/21 (2 points) Submit your topic and thesis statement (one sentence). Here is a helpful guide to writing a thesis statement from the JCCC Writing Center: https://www.jccc.edu/student-resources/resource-centers-tutoring/writing-center/files/thesis.pdfLinks to an external site. Grading criteria (2 points possible) Appropriate topic Clearly stated, workable thesis that is appropriately specific and can be supported with evidence (that is, not just a factual statement or too-broad/unsupportable opinion) Status report due 10/12 (3 points) Submit a brief status report describing: 1) where you are with your work so far (one paragraph is fine) 2) what you have in mind as a presentation format (include photos if relevant) 3) an informal list of at least 3 sources you plan to cite Grading criteria (3 points possible) Clear status report Reasonable choice of presentation format given the topic Inclusion of at least 3 valid sources for your research III. Independent project essay due 11/9 (30 points) You may choose to write either a scholarly paper or a reflective essay. Option A: Scholarly paper Write a well-researched paper that reflects an in-depth exploration of an aspect of religion based on scholarly foundational work in which you “enter the conversation” and express your conclusions. Option B. Reflective essay This option is similar to the scholarly paper in length and depth of research, but the format is more personal, expressing your own outlook or personal point of view on this topic. In either case, you will: Demonstrate your ability to craft a thesis, evaluate the validity of sources, conduct research, think critically about your findings, and support your point of view with evidence Develop a concise narrative about what you discover in the course of your research Prepare a piece of writing at least 4 pages in length that is polished, clear, and easy to understand—free of sentence fragments, erroneous spelling and capitalization, and misplaced punctuation Cite at least 3 sources in Modern Language Association (MLA) style or Chicago Manual of Style format and list them on a separate “Works Cited” page (this list does not count as one of the four pages of your essay) If you need help putting this paper together, you can make an appointment with the Writing Center. They can help you with every stage of this assignment. Please document your sources as you cite them in footnote or endnote format. If you cannot find an example for a particular kind of source in that document, ask me or use a more detailed style guide to find the proper way to cite your source. Here are some useful links on writing a research paper and citing sources in MLA or Chicago style: https://www.jccc.edu/student-resources/academic-resource-center/writing-center/files/research-paper-guidelines-2.pdfLinks to an external site. https://www.jccc.edu/student-resources/academic-resource-center/writing-center/files/mla-documentation-handout.pdfLinks to an external site. https://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide/citation-guide-1.html (Links to an external site.) Your polished essay should be submitted no later than November 9. Grading criteria (30 points possible) State main points with effective supporting evidence/examples (15 points) Clear, coherent writing style and proper length (4 pages minimum) (5 points) Separate “Works Cited” page with at least 3 valid sources (5 points) Polish: correct grammar, spelling, punctuation and use of CMS format (5 points) IV. Independent project presentation due 11/23 (25 points) You will upload a presentation for our class in the form of a short video, slide show, audio recording, photo essay, or other format of your choice. Grading criteria (25 points possible) Student’s creative representation of ideas relates to religion and communicates ideas to professor and classmates (20 points) Sufficient background providbcqed so that all can understand (5 points)
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