Religious Study Essay
Read: world wester traditions on Jewish tradition edited by Willard G. Oxtoby
Christianity and Law: an introduction edited by John Witte, JR. Chapter ONE
Jewish Marriage: Nature, Covenant, and Contract by David Novak
Maimonides on Sex and Marriage by Michael S. Berger
Writing an Analytical Paper for the Articles
response paper should be no more than 3 pages. It should be double-spaced, use a 12-point font, and have 1-inch margins all around.
1) In the Introduction, state a position/thesis. In the rest of the essay, argue for it.
2) In the Introduction, give a sense of how you will argue for your position, and give a sense of the organization of the essay.
3) Do not state a fact or give a quotation without making clear how it supports your point.
4) Do not state a fact or give a quotation without “framing” it. “Framing” means writing something before and after the quotation or fact that (1) makes the transition to the quotation natural by creating anticipation;(2) clarifies how the fact or quotation fits into your argument; (3) creates a smooth transition to what comes next.
5) Ensure the transitions between sentences in a paragraph are smooth.
6) A paragraph usually has a “topic sentence” near the beginning that signals the focus of the paragraph, anticipating what is to come. One often goes back to the main point in the last sentence of the paragraph by way of recapitulation.
7) Make the transitions between paragraphs smooth.
8) Critical Acumen. Write the paper on the theory that shows the most promise for illuminating your problem of interest. Provide supporting evidence, but also cover the potential shortcomings of the theory and possible objections to your thesis. If you can think of several possible objections, choose the most severe one. If you can’t think of a good rebuttal to an objection, admit it frankly.
9) Minimize redundancy. Assume the reader has read the text you’re writing on. Avoid long summaries. Say only things about the text that are directly relevant to your argument.
10) Preferably, the conclusion doesn’t simply repeat what came before, but synthesizes or recapitulates the ideas in a fresh way or from a different angle.