What is religion?

The third and final draft of your first essay is to continue describing what you think religion is. You must incorporate material from several of the theorists we are reading in class. Draft 3 must be 6-7 typed pages (total, not in addition to your earlier drafts), which does NOT include your Bibliography. Sources should be cited properly using the Chicago Style. Make sure you understand the assignment and the formatting, as described in the link. In addition to editing your first two drafts, your third and final draft will incorporate additional theorists we have read so far in the class. For your final draft, you are responsible for Tylor, Frazer, Freud, Durkheim, Marx, James, Otto, Eliade, and Geertz (chapters 1–7, 9, and 11 from the Pals book).

The overall essay prompt remains the same: In your own words, describe what religion is. Thus, even though you need to bring in the theorists we’re reading, the structure of the paper still needs to be built around your ideas. Putting theorists from the readings in the context of your own ideas can be tricky. I have two suggestions: A) Don’t merely summarize the theorists in your paper. If you are just summarizing the ideas of the theorists, then you will be focusing on their ideas, not yours. B) Don’t introduce the ideas of the theorists and then respond by agreeing or disagreeing. Instead, give your ideas first and introduce theorists when they meaningfully connect with your ideas. Even if a theorist has caused you to think about religion in a different way (which I hope is true!), you should still take ownership of your new thoughts about religion in your paper.

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Citations must be in the Chicago Style, using footnotes and a Bibliography.

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