Skip to Main Content

Guide to Research and Writing for the Academic Study of Religion

Research Assignment Parameters

You will already have a general research area set by the course itself.  Ask yourself the following questions:
  1. What are the content parameters?
    The possible topic of your assignment is always set at the very least by the content of the course you are taking. Sometimes your professor will further narrow the topics allowable for your research.
  2. What is the required length of the assignment?
    When the required length of an assignment is given in pages, this always means typed and double-spaced. There are between 250 to 300 words per page. If you are given an assignment of 2500 words, that is an eight to ten page paper.
  3. What are source requirements?
    How many sources do you need? Are primary and/or secondary sources required? Do you need current sources? How current?
  4. When is your deadline?

Keep these limits in mind when developing your question.

TIP - It is important to remember that religious studies is done from a non-confessional perspective. This means that papers from a confessional standpoint are not considered academically acceptable. A confessional perspective is one taken from within a particular faith community, i.e. it is a religious rather than a religious studies perspective.