I attached the essay requirements, but I am comparing the idea of heaven as dynamic (Silverman) and static (Hill). The length requirement is 4-5 pages and no sources other than the two texts are required.
Here is the final paper assignment for REL 1010: Religion and Imaginary Worlds
This is a class on how religious people have imagined worlds of justice and love, and the syllabus was designed to explore disagreements about these questions. The final paper gives you an opportunity to think through any one topic covered in this class for yourself and to argue for your position on it.
The assignment is to write an argumentative essay that does two things. First, pick two contrasting views from our readings and explain what they say and how they relate to each other. For example, you might pick the idea of a good ruler in Gilgamesh and the Ramayana, how foreigners are treated in Thomas More’s Utopia and Black Panther, the way people face death in Soyinka and Unmistaken Child, or the argument that heaven would be dynamic (Silverman) and the argument that it would be static (Hill). The essay should explain each of the two views accurately and carefully. Second, your essay should argue for what you think is the best view of the issue. The essay might argue that that one of the two views is better than the other, that neither one is, or that the best view is a synthesis of the two. A good way to structure this final paper will be to write one page about one author, a second page about another, and then two pages on the reasons for your own view.
This assignment is divided into two parts, a short précis (that is due in class on April 22nd) and then a final paper (that is due at the final exam). Both parts should be double-spaced in 12 point Times New Roman font. Here is what goes in each of the parts.
1. What was an interesting or provocative claim about imaginary worlds made by one of the authors we read this semester, and do you think that this first claim is right or wrong?
2. What was an interesting or provocative claim about imaginary worlds made in a reading that we read this semester not used in #1, and do you think that this second claim is right or wrong?
3. In the light of those two claims, what do you think is the best view of the subject?
4. What is the best reason you can think of why someone should accept your view?
I am not grading the structure of the précis, but I will grade it in terms of whether it has these four parts, so you may want to number them. The précis is worth 0-4 points. I will return this to you graded in the very next class.
Second, write a 4-5 page argumentative essay based on your précis. This paper gives you the opportunity to develop your own view of our one of our questions. Give your paper a title that gives your readers a sense of where you stand. Be original, eloquent, and demonstrate how much you have learned in this class. This final paper is worth 16 points.
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