Guidelines for Short Papers/Research Paper


There will be three short papers assigned for this class over the course of the semester which will be edited and combined into a longer paper due the last day of class.


First Short Paper:  Choose an aspect of early Christianity that interests you -- an idea or belief, such as salvation, a practice, such as baptism, or social structure such as church organization.  Write a short essay (3 typed double spaced pages) on your topic's importance to early Christianity -- its historical context, development, predecents from other religions that may have influenced the early Christians, controversies (if any) that surround it.  For this and all papers refer to The Ten Commandments of Essay Writing in terms of organization, research, and bibliography. For grade standard criteria click here.  This paper is due Wednesday, Oct. 3.


Second Short Paper:  The second short paper will analyze the impact of the Protestant Reformation on the topic you chose for your first paper.  Did early Protestants challenge or  affirm the tradition?  Why or why not?  What historical contexts or events played a part?  This paper is due Monday, November 5.


Third Short Paper: This paper will analyze two modern Christian groups' understanding and use of the tradition or practice.  How has it developed into current times?  What influences  are at work?  This paper is due Friday, November 16.


Final Paper:  You will edit and combine your three papers into a longer (10 pages) paper tracing the development of a particular aspect of Christianity from its origin to the modern period, focusing on how two modern Christian groups understand and practice it and how they make connections to earlier periods.  Do they see themselves as preserving the tradition or do they acknowledge change?  Why or why not?  This paper is due Friday, December 14.