Short Topic Paper Guidelines (REL 3033)

August 1, 2009

August 1, 2009

Short Topic Paper Guidelines
On the due date in question bring to class a typed, five-seven page paper (double-spaced, standard margins, etc.) that explores an element of Buddhism in America and/or Buddhist Developments that have occurred in the 20th / 21st centuries.  The subject of this paper must be different from your in-class presentation.

Given the limited length of each paper, the more specific your topic the better. Examples of possible paper topics include, but are not limited to:
  • An analysis of the “this-worldly benefit” orientation of SGI-USA
  • An analysis of Buddhist-Christian syncretistic practice
  • An interpretation of the “commercialization” of Zen in America
  • An exploration of the unique role that women are playing in the American Sangha
  • An interpretation of the role of master-disciple relationships vs. individual practice
  • An analysis of how economics influences the growth of the American sangha
Document your paper with footnotes or endnotes, and a bibliography 
  • Use at least one source beyond Prebish & Tanaka, Seager, and Toole’s lectures (preferably more than one).
  • Do not rely exclusively on web-references (exceptions include web-references linked to this website/blog)
  • For help with documentation please consider this link to the Chicago Manual of Style Online Guide
Provide information and interpretation / analysis 
  • Not just personal reflection
  • Not just data
  • What does this material say?  What does it mean?  How does it fit? So what?
Papers are due in writing, in class, on the date indicated by the syllabus. For additional resource ideas look at the bibliographies and endnotes/footnotes at the back of your text-books.  If you are stuck I can suggest some ideas.

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