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A Guide to Writing Academic Essays in Religious Studies [Paperback]

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Item Description...

One of the greatest challenges for instructors in religious studies is the task of explaining why, in colleges and universities, the truth claims of religions are not accepted or even investigated, but instead a disinterested, secular approach is taken.

Most instructors prefer not to address the issue directly, leaving their students to work out for themselves the difference between religious studies and the study of religion. Those who remain confused inevitably submit essays that reveal more about their religious upbringing than their ability to analyze a phenomenon objectively.

A Guide to Writing Academic Essays in Religious Studies eases the transition for undergraduate students by explaining what they need to know about writing research essays pertaining to religion. Topics include methodological and theoretical presuppositions of religious studies, types of research essays, locating appropriate scholarly literature, developing a thesis, the essentials of essay form and content, quotations, forms of documentation, avoiding plagiarism, gender-inclusive language, layout, style, conciseness, rewriting and proofreading, approaching ancient texts, and how to recognize and avoid bad scholarship.

This guide is indispensable for students new to religious studies.

Item Specifications...

Pages   107
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.7" Width: 5" Height: 0.5"
Weight:   0.32 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 13, 2008
Publisher   Continuum
ISBN  0826498884  
EAN  9780826498885  

Availability  126 units.
Availability accurate as of Dec 17, 2017 05:06.
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Great handbook for every student of religion  Aug 24, 2009
I have two degrees from private Christian institutions in North America and am currently engaged in PhD studies in a public university in the UK. I recently came across this book when I was surveying my library's collection of texts on academic writing and critical thinking. None of them stood out like this one.

This book highlights many of the traps that a person of religious conviction (as myself) would have when writing essays or theses for a secular, pluralistic institution. In fact, I would say that it is very helpful even for many students in Bible colleges and seminaries. This small handbook has four short but helpful chapters:

1. The Essentials of Essay Writing, for Students New to Religious Studies
2. Approaching Ancient Texts
3. Some Finer Points of Writing for More Experienced Students
4. The Hallmarks of Bad Scholarship: Considerations for Advanced Students

There are many things that are assumed to be universal truths about academic writing, but there are very few places that really identify and articulate those assumptions. This is what you find in the first chapter. The next chapter helps to highlight the critical eye for texts that are sacred and traditionally understood as authoritative. The third has a really helpful section on differences in writing styles between British English, Canadian English and American English (another excellent guide for American English is The Elements of Style: 50th Anniversary Edition). The author closes his final chapter with helpful guides for avoiding those no-no's that we all do in our writing.

Another book that I find as incredibly helpful, but that comes from a different angle is: A Little Exercise for Young Theologians. This other book trains students of Christian theology to humbly bring what is learned in the academia into the pews.

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