It is hard to argue that college students sometimes get interesting yet ambiguous assignments that trigger a wide range of emotions. Thus, it is not a secret that religion has always been one of the biggest stumbling blocks in the world. It can be hard for a person to complete this assignment if they are atheists or have to work on a theme that doesn't match their own creed. Nonetheless, whether they want it or not, they have to complete such a paper anyway if it is a part of their curriculum. It is a true art to get a high grade for an essay that you don't like or even hate. To meet this challenge, you should be aware of some useful tricks and tips that may come in handy and know how to deal with controversial topics about religion. We'll try to cover the crucial aspects to help you get ready for such an assignment.
What Is a Religion Research Paper?
Whatever theme you take, the chances are high that it will be thought-provoking since religion is a multi-faced and controversial phenomenon that triggers many emotions. Such an assignment can be provided for students who study literature, sociology, or religion itself. It is closely intertwined with philosophy, so when it comes to working on religion research paper topics, you may have to deal with this science as well. A research paper represents a short piece of academic writing that should involve your thoughts on the theme and background information taken from credible sources. If you want to get a high grade, it should be well-crafted, holistic, and reasoned. Your teacher will assess your ability to share thoughts, back up the ideas provided, and highlight only key aspects. It is important to demonstrate that you can use your theoretical background knowledge to reveal the topic.
How to Write a Research Paper About Religion
A research paper structure doesn't change dramatically depending on the subject you are dealing with, so if you have already worked with such an assignment, you know what to do. Many experts suggest starting the writing process by creating an outline since it is a great tool to make your paper look structured and not miss anything important. If your professor hasn't provided you with a certain topic, you should do background research to define which one will be most appealing to you from different perspectives. Finally, when you decide on the theme and go deep down the question, you should proceed to write your paper.
It can be challenging to write a great introduction from scratch when you haven't yet worked on the main body of your paper. That's why specialists recommend leaving it for later when you have enough information to introduce your readers to the key aspects of your essay. You should involve an effective attention grabber that will evoke interest and make your target audience stay with you till the last period. A thesis statement is a crucial element here since it presents the essence of your paper, so you should make it specific to help your readers get what your paper will be about. If you see that it doesn't cope with the task, you should rewrite it.
A standard theological research paper involves at least three body paragraphs since it is considered the optimal number to reveal the core of the work. However, if your professor's page length requirements are beyond the standard size, you should write more body paragraphs. They represent the foundation of your work and help back up the thesis statement. Each paragraph should have its own introduction and cover a certain question that nevertheless spins around the key idea of your paper. You should provide credible evidence to support your thoughts and summarize them, writing a transitional sentence at the end. Thus, your paper will look holistic.
When all the body paragraphs are done, you should write the general conclusion of your research paper. It is perhaps the easiest part of the work since you should just paraphrase your thesis statement and sum up the key ideas mentioned above. Then, finally, highlight the significance of such a work and offer ways to improve the research on the subject.
Even though it stands apart from the main text, it is an inevitable component of your research paper. If you skip it, all your efforts to get a high grade will be in vain. Usually, such papers require APA or MLA formatting, so if your professor hasn't mentioned the demanded format, you should choose one yourself and arrange all the citations and reference list according to it.
General Religion Topics to Write About
If your teacher hasn't mentioned a theme you should write about but allowed you to choose a topic yourself, you should take your time to decide what you are interested in. When a theme looks appealing, it is much easier to confront procrastination and do quality research. You can search for world religion research paper topics on the internet or come up with your own if you possess enough background knowledge. Here is a list of themes that may come in handy:
- Atheism as a Form of Internal Confrontation;
- Advantages and Drawbacks of Monotheistic Cultures;
- The Connection Between Soul and Faith;
- Similarities and Differences Between Faith and Religion;
- The Phenomenon of Trickster Gods;
- Influence of Greek Religion on the World;
- Utilization of Animalism and Totems in the Modern Culture;
- Influence of the Religious Concepts and Laws on the Morality of Current Society;
- Perception of Religion Depending on Gender;
- Influence of Female Clergy in the Modern World;
- Drawbacks of the Reincarnation Concept;
- The Connection Between Religion and Yoga;
- Background of Faith Crisis in a Person;
- Influence of Religion on State's Economy;
- Contradictions Existing in Islam;
- Consequences of Forced Religion on a Person's Psyche;
- Justification of Terrorism by Religion;
- Religious Methods for Building Worldwide Peace;
- Popular Religious Movements Nowadays;
- The Role of the Church in a Life of a Modern Person;
- Science vs. Religion: Basic Contradictions;
- Mental Changes Achieved Through Religious Practices;
- The Oldest Religion on the Globe;
- The Basic Principles of Shintoism;
- Advantages of Same-Gender Religious Schools;
- Funeral Rituals in Various Religions;
- Key Features of Agnosticism;
- Mass Media Influence on Religion.
Christianity Essay Topics
If you study Christianity, or your professor has asked you to select a theme within this religion, you can pay attention to one of the following topics:
- Roles Played by Both Genders in Christian Families;
- Concept of the Afterlife in Christianity;
- Negative Features of Jesus Image;
- Key Differences Between Christianity and Other Religions;
- Advantages and Drawbacks of Church Wedding;
- Main Features of Celebrating Christmas In Christianity;
- What Saint Spots Every Christian Should Visit;
- Development of Christian Music in the Modern World;
- Roles of Pets in Christianity.
Buddhism Research Paper Ideas
Even though Buddhism is not that widespread worldwide, many people profess it anyway, so it deserves a special place on the list of religions. If you don't know what to write about, you can choose one of the following themes:
- Main Contradictions Between Buddhism and Hinduism;
- The Popularity of Zen Buddhism in the Modern World;
- Fundamental Concepts of Buddhism;
- Key Differences Between Christianity and Buddhism;
- Influence of Buddhism on Yoga;
- Philosophy of Buddhism;
- The Fundamentals of Buddhism Everyone Should Know.
Writing Tips for Religion Research Paper
It doesn't matter whether you are working on uncommon controversial topics or classic ones, you should treat your assignment seriously to get a high grade. It can be hard to organize all the information found and select only crucial pieces if you don't have enough experience in writing such papers under the belt. However, the below-mentioned tips may help you meet the challenge:
- Allocate time to create a detailed outline since it will help you create a well-crafted paper.
- Take notes throughout your research before you proceed to write your body paragraphs.
- Involve all the information sources utilized right away in your reference list not to miss anything. Otherwise, you can be blamed for plagiarism. Make sure to follow the chosen citation format.
- Pick up an appealing theme that you would like to research since your interest can become a great motivation source and a key driving force.
- Take your time to go through numerous scholarly publications and other credible sources to find the most interesting and relevant pieces of information that can support your ideas.
- Brainstorm the ideas and write them down on a separate blank page. You can even resort to free writing. It will be much easier to review and organize your ideas, choosing the most suitable ones to back up your thesis statement.
- Don't be afraid to express your thoughts on the theme. Even though they may not look so impressive compared to those mentioned by world-known scientists, it is your research paper, so you should share your ideas on the topic.
- Allocate enough time to proofread and edit your paper from the very beginning. It is crucial to deliver a mistakes-free paper that can boast of good grammar. If you skip this stage and hand in your first draft as it is, you will increase the likelihood of getting a lower grade. Thus, it is not worth reducing your chances of success.