7016GIR – A Post Secular Age? Religion, the State & Global Society
Case Study Research Paper
Due: Friday 21 April 2017 (anytime before 6am the following morning is fine)
Essays are to be submitted electronically to SafeAssign (under Assessment link on course website).
Students will research and write an essay of 2500-3000 words on an event/issue (contemporary or historic) where religious/moral or cultural/social issues have been involved in conflict.
This can be in relation to: gender, sexuality, secularisation, socio-economic conditions (health, poverty, work-relations etc.), or religious discrimination and persecution (e.g., Rohingya in Burma, Coptic Christians in Egypt, Yazidi in Iraq, Ahmadiyya in Indonesia and many more). Some more issue-based examples include: polygamy, abortion, same-sex marriage, banning of religious dress, LGBTQ rights and recognition, media treatment of religion, women's rights, colonisation, slavery, witch hunts, FGM and health issues, marriage - dowries, treatment of widows, etc., and many more.
The essay should analyse the historical and contemporary conditions underlying the conflict and/or issue, identify its main causes or origins to form the thesis (argument) of the paper, and make an informed judgement about its future trajectory (if it is a current topic). Students must consult the Course Convener on the suitability of their chosen topic. Further guidance will be provided in class.
The case study research paper gives students the opportunity to do an extended piece of empirical research on a real-world issue relevant to the course. The analytical skills learned through the course readings and seminar discussions, and the ability to take a position and justify it, can be further developed in an extended written piece. The case study research paper challenges students to develop their research and analytical skills, identify key historical events, themes and trajectories, formulate a clear argument on a complex topic, enhance the clarity of their written expression and properly cite sources of ideas and information.
Essays should conform to standard academic conventions. The GBS essay writing and referencing guide is available under the GBS Resources link on the 7016GIR Course website. Students should familiarise themselves with this resource. The preferred referencing styles are Harvard in-text referencing or Chicago-style footnotes (NOT endnotes).
An alternative essay writing and referencing guide that includes both Harvard and footnote styles can be provided on request. An online guide to Chicago style is here:
A Style Check Sheet that summarises academic writing conventions is provided on an accompanying document. It is highly recommended that students refer to this in preparing their essays
Further details on essay writing, referencing and using appropriate sources will be given in class. Students are encouraged to submit an essay introduction and outline to the Course Convenor in advance for formative feedback. This will help students meet the below criteria. Papers must be referenced appropriately and correctly and include a reference list (of only sources cited directly in the text). Essays must be 1.5 or double line-spaced.
Essays will be assessed for:
• Clear argument (thesis statement) in the introduction, appropriate structure for the body of the paper
• Adequate and correct citations (and correct reference list)
• Breadth of relevant research; appropriate and quality source materials
• Critical understanding of the topic; insightfulness of the analysis
• Proper paragraphing and formatting, correct grammar, spelling, punctuation; following instructions
Sources for the essay MUST be scholarly books, journal articles and book chapters. Internet sources must be used only where strictly necessary. Current events may require the extensive use of media sources. These may be sourced online provided they are from reputable news sources. However, essays based solely or predominantly on websites are unlikely to achieve a pass grade. (Please note: journal articles or e-books accessed electronically are not considered to be Internet sources and are to be referenced as a book or journal article).
ANY EVIDENCE OF PLAGIARISM WILL RESULT IN A GRADE OF ZERO FOR THIS ASSESSMENT ITEM