Sociology 4365 Topics in Science and Religion

Instructions for Preparing Optional Term Papers

The topic must, of course, have something to do with science and/or religion AND be presented in a form relevant to sociology.

The paper should be no fewer than 10 pages long, nor more than about 12 - 15 (including references).

For purposes of the above, a "page" should be considered to be about 225 words (regardless of whether you are writing by hand or typing it out). Please have the paper typed if at all possible. If not, and you write your paper out longhand, please skip every other line, but a "page" is still to be considered as about 225 words.

You should reference your paper in detail. When in doubt, cite sources too often rather than too seldom. I don't care how you reference your citations as long as your system is careful and consistent. I strongly encourage the sociology majors to look at the inside cover of the American Sociological Review for the ASA reference format and follow it.

REMEMBER, TO PUT SOME SOCIOLOGY INTO YOUR PAPER! In other words, don't take a purely descriptive or journalistic approach. You need to discuss the behavioral and/or organizational dynamics of your subject matter. And don't forget about "classical" sociological variables like race, sex, age, rural-urban, social class, educational background, etc. in analyzing the topic of your choosing.

VERY IMPORTANT!!! Your paper should reflect the fact that you have taken this course! In other words, you want to use specific references to course readings and lectures.

You should, in other words, make use of concepts, theories, data, authors, etc. that you have encountered in the course (or will encounter -- if you haven't yet finished the readings list). These should be the "tools" in your "analysis kit." Exceptions might be made, but check with the Professor before proceeding on such an assumption.

IF THE CONDITIONS OF THE LAST PARAGRAPH ABOVE ARE NOT MET, THE PAPER WILL NOT COUNT TOWARDS COMPLETION OF THE COURSE!!!

DO NOT USE WIKIPEDIA as a reference. While it is often useful, many different people contribute to the definitions shown on Wikipedia not infrequently some of the information there is inaccurate (not to mention it has recently come to light that the CIA and FBI have been manipulating the site!).

The student is responsible for keeping a backup copy of the paper, either in computer-readable format or on paper.