Religion Analysis

Format: MLA Format Required

Content: Field research and supplementary research

Length: 1800-2000 Words, Not Including Your Works Cited Page

Double –Spaced, 12-Pt Font, Arial Or Times New Roman Font

Sources: 3 Academic Sources Minimum

Works Cited Page required


At the top of your paper, please include the name of the place you visited, the date you visited, and the names of any people you may have interviewed. Also include the particular sect of the religion. [If you visited a Muslim mosque, was it Sunni or Shi’ite? If you visited a Jewish synagogue, was it Orthodox, Conservative, or Reform? If you visited a Buddhist temple, was it Theravadan or a Mahayana sect?] You may want to ask this when you call to find out if you visit is acceptable.

Full details below:

For the Site Visit, the student must perform field research by attending a religious service outside of their own religious tradition. For this assignment, I’d like you to immerse yourself in something unfamiliar (example: Christians should perform field research on a non-Christian religion, like Buddhism, Hinduism etc.)

Your research should ideally progress in three stages:


(A) Preliminary Research. Before going to the service, it is a good idea to do some preliminary research on the religious tradition. For example, if you’re attending a Hindu ceremony, you will want to read the textbook chapter and watch the PowerPoint presentation on Hinduism. Additionally, I strongly recommend that you call the site you’ll be visiting and let them know you’re coming to do research for a class project. Ask them if there’s any dress code requirements, or anything else you should keep in mind. You may also want to ask if they will allow you to take notes during the service. (Some Jewish denominations, for example, do not allow writing on Shabbat {Saturday}.)

(B) Field Research. Attend the service and observe closely. You may want to take notes. Some students have found it helpful to attend services in groups, and you’re welcome to do this.  

(C) Supplementary research. After your visit, you’ll need to do research on things that may have been unfamiliar to you. If you go to a Jewish service and you see the men wearing kippahs (or yarmulkes), you don’t want to write in your essay, “There were these men and they were wearing these funny hats but I don’t know why.” This is where your additional research comes in. Find out what the hats are called, and find out why they’re worn. If you go to a Muslim mosque and you see the worshippers washing their hands and feet, you don’t want to write in your essay, “Everyone was washing their hands and feet but I don’t know why they did that and it was pretty weird.”

Research the practice and find out why it’s done.


Finally, after completing these three stages, write a detailed and insightful essay. You should demonstrate a general understanding of the religious tradition, but make most of your essay about your visit. Use your research to explain your experience. What did you see around you? What did the place of worship look like? Did you see any religious art or religious symbols there? How were people dressed? What rituals were performed? Finally, include your personal reaction to the service. How did you respond? Did you enjoy the visit or did you feel uncomfortable? Was your opinion on the religion changed at all? 

These are the instructions from the professor. I obviously understand that you won’t be attending a religious ceremony, but if you have expertice on a specific religion I would suggest choosing that religion to write about since this paper is going to have to be very detailed.

****DUE on Sunday July 12th at 10:00pm EASTERN time***

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