Guidelines for Final Research Paper (GBS 3331)

August 1, 2009

August 1, 2009

On the due date in question bring to class a typed, five to seven page research paper (double spaced, standard margins, etc.) on a key element found in one of the Asian religio-philosophic traditions we've explored this semester (Daoism, Shinto, Buddhism, Hinduism, or Confucian Thought).

While this paper is intended to provided you with an opportunity to further examine the relationship between Asian religions and matters such as environmental degradation, challenges to the growth of democracy, human rights, family dynamics, or international business, you are also free to explore any philosophic principle, ritual, or teaching that you've encountered this semester.

Given the limited length of this paper, the more specific your topic the better. Example: You cannot effectively write on all of Shinto in 5-7 pages, but you can comment upon Shinto's position on environment degradation in Japan

Document your paper with footnotes and a bibliography / works cited.  Use at least one source beyond Charlton, Keller, and Toole (preferably more than one outside source).

In addition to historical background and an explanation of the Asian philosophy or religious tradition in question, please provide interpretation / analysis (This is the key to a strong paper!)  In other words, do not simply provide personal reflection and/or repeat data points.  Please comment on the material that you provide.  Interpret it.  Make an argument.  What does this material say?  What does it mean?  How does it fit with all that you've learned in this course?  What should your reader do with this information?

For additional resource ideas look at the bibliographies at the back of your textbooks, any footnotes or endnote notations found in your texts or assigned articles, and/or any of the recommended websites or blogs found on

This project is worth 20 points (i.e. 20% of your final grade).     

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