Guidelines for "Talking Papers" (GBS 3331 / REL 2037)

August 1, 2009

August 1, 2009

On the due date in question bring to class a typed, two to four page (double spaced, standard margin) paper consisting of four components: 

1) One paragraph outlining the main thesis / central argument of the author

2) One - two paragraphs about how this article relates to previous material you have read (in this course, in other courses that may have addressed a somewhat similar topic, through your personal readings, etc.).

3) Several paragraphs of critical interpretation and analysis (This is the key to a strong paper!)
• This is not personal reflection.
• This is not simply regurgitation of facts and data
• Instead please comment on the data that you provide; interpret it; make an argument. What does this material say? What does it mean? How does it fit? So what? What should your classmates make of this information? What makes this information (i.e. the article) useful or irrelevant for the study of The Religions of South Asia / Asian Thought & Global Concerns?
• Compare this author’s position/thesis with another author’s position.
• Put the author’s central argument in your words and then critique it.
• Comment on what might be missing from the argument.
• Delineate any biases or presuppositions built into the author’s position.

4) Two discussion-oriented questions you have about the assigned readings.
• In other words, if you were teaching this material (i.e. the article) to your classmates what would you ask them in order to initiate a group discussion?

Each “Talking Paper” is worth 5 points (see the aforementioned four components) or 5% of your final grade. 

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