Comparative Papers (Units 2 & 3)

As noted in class, the next two papers will ask you to refine the three-step format used in Unit 1 for selectively summarizing & comparing sources. First, you will refine the comparison step by making sure to address three distinct types of comparison that were merely suggested in the Unit 1 papers.

Three-Part Comparison (for everyone):

1 & 2. selectively summarize a film and a reading from a single tradition; and then

3. in comparing the film & reading with reference to other readings:

(a) consider both similarities & differences between the film, reading, and some specific detail(s) from one other WOR or CP reading (in this case, NOT NHLR), making sure to cite page numbers even for paraphrase. [read more...]

(b) explain the way that the examples represented in #1 & 2 EITHER illustrate, OR reveal some contradiction regarding, two or three of key terms or concepts described in the lecture and NHLR chapter describing the relevant tradition; include at least one excerpt from the middle portion of the relevant NHLR chapter. [read more...]

(c) reflect briefly on the way that the examples represented in #1 & 2 provide insight into some element(s) of religious life common to all traditions considered in this class so far, choosing some more precise substitute for abstract terms such as "religion," "faith," and "belief." [read more...]

[view writing sample for Units 2 & 3]

Also, students who have scored an 90 (A-) or higher on the unit 1 paper are strongly encouraged to combine the different steps. (Even if you do not qualify for combining the different steps, you may wish to consider the samples for this type of paper to see how you might apply the three step format to other contexts outside this course.)

Combining the Parts (if you did score 90 or better on the first paper):

the most straightforward adaptation you can make to the Unit 1 format is to convert either 3(a), (b), &/or (c) , as outlined above, into material for an introductory paragraph.[read more...]

[view introductory paragraph sample]

additionally, you may also want to integrate the two selective summaries of film & reading; and/or integrate your comparison of sources with the selective summaries of those sources. I recommend that you only do this if you are extremely confident in your ability to selectively summarize film & reading. [read more...]

[view integrated version]

Overall, keep in mind that you should still:

1 & 2. selectively summarize a film and a modern reading from WOR or CP, both represented with clear references to specific details and their surrounding context; and

3. compare some aspect of the sources (making sure to include reference to one additional WOR or CP source) in addition to referencing the relevant NHRL chapter along with two or three key terms or concepts.

Other Requirements:

1400-1800 words (exact count indicated at top of checklist)
double-spaced type, with pages numbered & stapled or paper-clipped
(PLUS text of the paper pasted into an email to
with checklist on front & self-assessment & name on BACK of last page ONLY.

DUE: beginning of class Tuesday, April 11 (Unit 2) & Thursday, May 11 (Unit 3)

Review also point values & style/format.

Dimensions of Religious Life

Reading Assessment Tests & Final Exam

Frequently Asked Questions

Comparative Papers & Sample