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The Student’s Complete Guide to Writing a Religious Studies Term Paper

A term paper is usually a student’s biggest writing project in their class, whether it be for a religious studies class or another class. While term papers are common in college courses, they are sometimes required for high school classes as well. For the purpose of this article, we will give you religious studies term paper writing tips that will work well for both college and high school classes. Other than the topic section, most of this article can also be used for learning how to write a term paper for most other classes.

What’s the Point of  Religious Studies Term Paper?

You might be wondering what’s the point of writing a term paper. After all, wouldn’t taking a test be a better judge of what you have learned in the class? One of the major reasons why teachers and professors assign term papers is so that they can get a good idea of your communication skills, rather than seeing what you have memorized.

Writing a term paper not only uses writing skills, but also research skills. Your term paper should also be able to show your teacher some of the major lessons you have taken from the class. In most cases, when writing a term paper, you can elaborate on something you have learned in class. Don’t be afraid to go into detail and get your hands dirty by digging for sources. Your term paper should be able to prove that you were paying attention in class and that you know how to apply what you have learned. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can do this in a religious studies class.

Picking a Topic and Topic Suggestions: Ideas & Tips from Our Academic Writers

Picking a topic for a religious studies term paper can be one of the most difficult tasks of the whole assignment. Luckily for you, we have compiled a list of a few topics that you can use for most religious studies classes with prompts for how you might use them in your own paper. Feel free to use any of these topics in your own term paper.

    1. Should Church and State be Separate?
      As an example, the United States of America claims to have a separation of church and state; however, many laws are based on religious beliefs. Should the church and state be separate, or should laws be based on sins? Explain your reasoning. Use examples describing countries that have a separate church and state and countries that don’t.
    2. Religion Versus Spirituality
      Are religion and spirituality the same thing or are they different? Write about what they have in common and what is different between the two. Do some religions include aspects of spirituality? Can one be spiritual but not religious?
    3. Teaching Religion in Public Schools: Good or Bad?
      Should religion be taught in public schools? If so, should only certain religions be taught or should all of the religions be discussed? Find examples of schools that teach religion and schools that are against this practice.
    4. Homosexuality and Religion
      Many religious people are against homosexuality, while other religious people don’t have a problem with it. Do certain religious texts protest or praise homosexuality? If any, what is the penalty for being homosexual?
    5. Islam and other Monotheistic Religions
      Islam has recently been a topic of debate in many countries around the world. However, is Islam really so different from other monotheistic religions? Compare and contrast Islam with other monotheistic religions like Christianity and Judaism.

Tips for a Simplified Writing Process

Now that we have discussed why writing a term paper is so important and some topics that you can use in your own paper, let’s take a look at how you can get started on writing your own term paper. This section will give you some tips on what to do before, during, and after writing the first draft of your term paper. We will also provide you with some helpful resources and examples of how to implement our tips into your own term paper.

Pre-Writing Tips

There are a few steps you will want to take before you even start writing your term paper. More than anything else, this section is all about organization and saving time! While doing these pre-writing tips will take up an hour or two before you begin writing your paper, these tips will help you to save time when you are actually writing your term paper. Let’s take a look at how this works.

One of the first things you should do after picking out your topic is to make an outline for your term paper. Outlines are one of the best tools a student can use to organize their paper. If you click here, you will be redirected to an outline PDF. You can use this sheet to make your own outline. All you need to do is fill in the blank.

Outlines work to fight against writer’s block. Since you will already have all of the main points of your paper outlined, you are less likely to get stuck when you are writing your paper. Just follow your outline and you’ll be golden!

The next step to take in your pre-writing is to get all of your research out of the way. Having an outline can also help with knowing what to research. Since you will already have all of your main points written down, you will already know what it is you are supposed to be researching. When you are looking for resources, try to stick to using scholarly sources, as these kinds of sources are more reliable than non-scholarly sources.

Tired of all the guides and never-ending instructions?

Once you find a good source to use in your research, make sure to take a bunch of notes! The more notes you take, the less time you will have to spend re-reading the information from your source, whether it be a book, article, or website. When you are taking notes, make sure to write down where you got the source from. Even better, write down the source in MLA formatting, or whatever citation format your professor or teacher requires your source to be written in. You can also type these sources directly in your Works Cited page, which can help you to save time in the long-run.

Term Paper Writing Tips for Religious Studies Classes

Now, let’s look at how to actually write your term paper. Since a term paper is one of the largest assignments you are likely to have all term, it is important that you write it right. By reading this section, you can get a great understanding of what goes into a term paper. Learn about each of the prominent sections of a term paper below.

Introduction and Thesis Statement

The thesis statement is the most important part of the introduction; this is true whether you are writing a term paper, research paper, or even a simple essay. To put it simply, a thesis statement is a one-sentence-long statement that describes the main point(s) of your term paper.

When you are writing a thesis statement, you should make sure that it is in the first paragraph of your term paper. You will know if your thesis statement is good if it contains the following elements.

  • it is specific;
  • it is clear;
  • it gives the main point(s) of the term paper;
  • it gives reasoning and/or evidence that supports the main point.

Let’s look at an example of a good and bad thesis statement for a religious studies term paper. The first example will be a bad thesis statement, and the second will show how it can be improved upon by using the points above.

‘Some religions think Jesus was the son of God, while other religions think he was just a prophet.’

‘In the Christian faith, Jesus is seen to be the son of God, proven by the fact that he died on the cross, which Christians say he did to save humanity from their sins; however, Jewish people and Muslims see Jesus as a prophet and think humanity’s real savior has yet to come to Earth.’

On the last note about introductions, it is important to know that the average introduction is only one paragraph long. It always comes at the beginning of the term paper and is used to support the thesis statement. Citations are usually not required in the introduction, but they will need to be used in the body paragraphs.

Body Paragraphs

Body paragraphs are all about supporting the main argument of your paper. The thesis statement makes up your basic claim and the body paragraphs show the evidence to prove it. Even if your term paper is slightly opinion-based (which is more common in essays than term papers), you should still be able to write about evidence that supports your opinion.

When writing a body paragraph, it is important to begin the paragraph with an introduction of its own. The first sentence should always state the paragraph’s main point. The following sentences (usually two to four sentences) should contain the evidence/proof to support your main point. Your evidence will need to be cited! Use internal citations to do this. The last sentence of your body paragraph should be a conclusion – use it to sum up your paragraph.

Body paragraphs make up the bulk of a term paper, so you will want to make sure you do it right. Adding in your citations is one of the most important steps you can take. If you do not internally cite your sources, then you may end up being accused of plagiarism or even fail your paper.

Conclusion

In a lot of ways, your conclusion is much like your introduction. When writing your conclusion, you may want to begin by rephrasing your thesis statement. It should be an edited version of your statement, not an exact copy. Next, sum up your body paragraphs. One sentence or less for each paragraph should be good enough. Lastly, add a nice closer to your paper, and that’s it! You’re done…at least with the body of the paper.

Works Cited Page

Having a works-cited page is just as important, if not more important, as having internal citations. A works-cited page is simply a list of all of the citations you used in the paper. The citations should also be listed in alphabetical order. Most religious studies classes will likely have you use the MLA format, but others may have you use APA formatting. Ask your teacher which formatting to use if you are unsure.

Post-Writing Tips: The Last but Not Least

One of the last things you want to do before you turn in a paper is to edit it for clarity, spelling/grammar, and plagiarism. It doesn’t really matter what order you make these edits, so long as you make them before turning in your paper. After all, it’s better that you find and correct your mistakes than your teacher or professor finds them and marks down your grade for it. Follow the tips below to edit your paper:

  • Read your paper out loud to find mistakes you may have glossed over earlier;
  • Have a friend look over your term paper; they may be able to find mistakes that you missed;
  • Run your paper through a spelling and grammar checker, like Grammarly, to find mistakes your word processor may not be able to find;
  • Use a plagiarism checker to find instances of accidental plagiarism. One good checker to use is Turnitin, as they offer free trials of their service.

Follow the tips and suggestions in this article and you are sure to write your paper with ease. Remember to always check for mistakes before you turn in your paper! Good luck with your religious studies term paper; we hope we have made the task a little easier for you!