Research and Writing for Religious Disciplines – RLGN 301

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 12/12/2022

Course Description

This course builds upon the concepts for scholarly research and writing to prepare students for completing scholarly research and writing specifically within the religious disciplines. The course covers various methods and aims for research within religious disciplines, tools for performing scholarly research, and the tools for writing clearly and effectively in an academic setting. As such, this course lays the foundation for future academic writing in the religious disciplines.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


This course prepares the student for advanced courses in the religious studies disciplines by reinforcing prior learning of the information literacy skills and resources needed for academic research, introducing a variety of credible resources and tools within the religious disciplines, and providing the student with opportunities to engage in academic writing on religious topics prior to entering upper-level religion courses.

Course Assignment

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

For optimal success on each assignment, all assigned readings and presentations should be reviewed prior to completion of the weekly assignment.

Discussions (2)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. Each thread must be 250–300 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 150 words. (CLO: D)

Research Project Assignments

  1. Research Project: Topic and Question Assignment

The student will select a research topic from a list of approved topics provided in the course and narrow that topic by proposing a specific research question to be addressed in his or her Research Project: Paper.  (CLOs: A, D)

  1. Research Project: Research Plan Assignment

Addressing the research topic already selected, the student will develop a Research Plan. This Research Plan will describe the research problem, the purpose of the research, the proposed research method, and the hypothesis. The plan must be approximately 200 words formatted according to the template provided within the course. (CLOs: A, B, D)

  1. Research Project: Working Bibliography Assignment

The student will develop a Working Bibliography of at least 8 scholarly sources that may be used to address the research topic. The Bible, while expected as a source, does not count toward the scholarly source minimum. This bibliography must be appropriately formatted in current Turabian style. Accompanying each citation must be a 1–3-sentence  description of how the source addresses the research problem. (CLOs: A, B, C, D)

  1. Research Project: Thesis, Outline, and Revised Bibliography

After collecting, reading, and evaluating the research materials, the student will produce his or her Thesis, Outline, and Revised Bibliography for the Paper. The revised bibliography will include the 8 sources from the bibliography, formatted correctly in current Turabian style. These sources and citations must reflect any changes and/or recommendations made by the instructor. For each source on the bibliography, the student will include an annotation explaining the key argument of the source, the doctrinal position expressed in the source, the strengths and weaknesses of the source, and a revised statement of how the source supports the argument that will be presented in the Research Paper. (CLOs: A, B, C, D)

  1. Research Project: Paper Assignment

Using the topic and research materials collected throughout the course, the student will write a 2,000–2,500-word research-based paper in current Turabian format. A title page and reference page are required and are not included in the word count requirement. The paper must include at least 8 scholarly references in addition to the Bible. (CLOs: A, B, C, D, E)

  1. Research Project: Revisions and Summary Assignment

Using the comments from the instructor and the principles learned in the course, the student will revise his or her Paper and resubmit it along with a 200-word explanation of the overall impact of the revisions on the paper. (CLOs: A, B, C, D, E) 

Quizzes (4)

Each quiz will cover the Learn material for the modules: weeks in which it is assigned. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 25 multiple-choice and true/false questions, and have a 45-minute time limit. (CLOs: D)