Write a 3-5 page paper focusing on a religious movement.Possible religious movements to study include:
Scientology(Focus on this one)
Other religious movements need approval from Dr. Pratt.
Once you have chosen your religious movement, your paper should focus on either the history,
beliefs, or practices of this religious movement.
1. If your paper is about the history of the religion, you should include:
a. Description of the origin of this religion (who is the founder? what was the
historical/cultural context in which the religion began?)
b. Description of the most important events in the history of the religion (what are the
four or five most significant events?)
c. Description of major changes and/or shifts in the religion throughout history (have
there been changes to beliefs? What challenges has the religion faced in its
2. If your paper is about religious beliefs, you should include:
a. Definition of the major beliefs (nature of spirits/gods, expectations for human
behavior, afterlife, etc.)
b. Origin of the major beliefs (who first developed these ideas? are these beliefs found
in sacred scriptures?)
c. Significance of these ideas throughout history and today (which beliefs are the most
important? have the beliefs changed over time?)
3. If your paper is about religious practices, you should include:
a. Description of the major rituals (what happens in the ritual? what story/myth goes
along with each ritual? How did these rituals develop?)
b. Description of the holy days (what holy days are celebrated? how are these holy
days celebrated? what rituals take place on holy days?)
c. Purpose of the major rituals and holy days (why are these religious practices
• You must use at least three reliable sources in this paper. At least two of these sources must be
print sources (books or journal articles).
• Reliable sources include books in the SMC library, articles from scholarly journals (may
be accessed using online databases), and certain websites.
• You must provide a Works Cited page at the end of your paper. In addition to this page,
you need to provide in-text citations whenever you:
• Quote directly from a source (you also need to use quotation marks)
• Summarize information found in a source
• Provide information that did not originate with you
• Use MLA format for your Works Cited page and your in-text citations. In-text citations
should be placed in parentheses and include the author’s last name and the page
number. Ex: (Smith 245).
• Papers should follow MLA style.
• Papers must be typed in 12 point font and double-spaced. Use 1 inch margins on the
top, bottom, left, and right.
Some common errors to avoid
• Quotes – Direct quotations should be in quotation marks, and you should include in
parentheses the author and page number of the book or article being quoted.
• Past tense – whenever you are writing about events that happened in the past, use the
• Contractions – Do not use contractions in formal writing assignments.
• Make sure your paper has page numbers
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