Purpose: Throughout the semester, you have been engaging topics in our culture t
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Purpose: Throughout the semester, you have been engaging topics in our culture that have been chosen for you by the course designer. With this assignment you get to engage a topic of your choice – regardless of whether that choice comes from pure personal interest or relevance for your life and/or vocation.
Post: The assignment for the final week of the term is a research-and-reflection paper of 8-10 pages (ca. 2500 words). The topic of the paper is a “cultural element” that you will choose, as you have done at other times in the semester (for example, in the podcast for week 2). The paper is worth the most of any of our assignments this semester (given its length and the amount of time you have to work on it), so you’ll want to give it due attention. The goal of the paper is for you to integrate learning from the entire semester and apply it in practical contexts. You may choose to organize the paper as you wish, but do know that your paper must include the following elements:
A relatively brief description of the cultural topic that you are examining
Multiple pages of analysis of that topic, using analytical tools you have sharpened this semester (NOTE: reviewing the questions and prompts from our prior assignments will give you good questions to ask about your chosen topic)
Multiple pages of your own reflections on the text or trend, and on the analysis you have performed A “References” page at the end of your paper.
As a research paper, this assignment does require the use of outside sources, in that you are not only recording your own thoughts but also using the wisdom and learning of others to inform your own thoughts. The breakdown of outside sources includes the following:
The Bible, in a translation of your choice
At least one source used at some point in our class (e.g., the essays about Niebuhr, the Hidden Worldviews book, etc.)
At least 5 high-quality, academic sources that have not yet been used in our class
There is no maximum number of sources; your goal should be to fully research your topic, lest your instructor sense that you did the least amount possible to get by. Make sure to cite the sources you use, using proper APA format. As always, the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) has many helpful resources accessible at their website, available at this link.