Senior Seminar

Religion 498—Fall 2002


Mon., Wed., 2:15-4:05pm
316/320 Chapman Hall

Office Hours

Bains: M 4:05-5pm, TR 2-4pm
Marler: MW 10-12am


David R. Bains
325 Chapman Hall
phone: 726-2879

Penny L. Marler

315 Chapman Hall
phone: 726-2869

Course Description: This seminar provides the opportunity for students to synthesize their studies in many courses by focusing on a major independent research project.

Required Texts:

Booth, Wayne C., Joseph W. Williams, and Gregory C. Colomb. The Craft of Research. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995. ISBN 0226065847

Palmer, Parker J. Let Your Life Speak: Listening to the Voice of Vocation: Joseey Bass, 1999. ISBN 0787947350

Attendance and Grading / Department of Religion:

Roll will be taken each day. In a MW class a student may miss four classes without penalty. After the fifth absence your final grade will be reduced one letter grade. After the seventh absence the student will receive an FA for the course.

Three tardies count as one absence. If you come in after your name is called, you will need to notify your professor at the end of the class period, or else the tardy will become an absence

The Department of Religion grading scale is:

A = 95-100%

C+ = 78-81%

A- = 92-94%

C = 74-77%

B+ = 88-91%

C- = 70-73%

B = 85-87%

D+ = 66-69%

B- = 82-84%

D = 62-65%

D- = 60-62%

Papers that are turned in after the set due date will be penalized one full letter grade for each week that they are late.

Samford University complies with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Students with disabilities who seek accommodations must make their request through Kathleen Troiano in Disability Support Services. This office is located in Counseling Services on the lower level of Pittman Hall, or can be reached by calling 726-4078 or 726-2105. A faculty member will grant reasonable accommodations only upon notification from the Disability Support Services.

Assignments & Grading:

Final thesis paper and oral defense—(Spring 2003)—40%

Drafts of first 1/3 and second 1/3 of paper—Due Oct. 30 and Nov. 13—20% (10% each)

Full draft—Due Dec. 12—20%

Exercises and Participation—10%

Essay on Vocation—Due Dec. 2—10%

Schedule: (classes will meet every day)

August 26 Introduction

August 28--Introduction to Library research tools.. Class will meet in the computer classroom in the basement of Davis Library. Carla Waddell, Michael Garrett, reference librarians

Read Craft, pp. 1-47

Sept. 2-9 Introductions to research in different religious studies disciplines: Profs. Bains, Marler, Holloway, Scrivner, McGinnis, Roxburgh

Sept. 2—Assignment: Following the examples in Craft, pp. 37-47, identify a broad topic; develop 2-3 narrowed topics; then choose 1 of these narrowed topic and develop 2 questions within this narrowed topic. Be sure to complete this in the form suggested by the text on pp. 38 & 44. (Approx. 2 typed pages)

Sept 4— Read Craft, "From Questions to Problems," pp. 48-63. Assignment: 2 pages developing your two questions into problems.

Sept. 9—Read Craft, "From Questions to Sources," pp. 64-72 Assignment: Bibliography for one problem. By this date you must have consulted with a knowledgeable faculty member about your topic, question, problem, and sources.

Sept. 11 -- no class, but you must attend one of the following events.

Meet the Author: Parker Palmer is visiting Birmingham-Southern College on September 10-11. He will speak in the 'common hour' at 'Southern on Sept. 10 at 11am (details to be announced)
He will also speak during the a Service of Remembrance at noon on September 11, at First United Methodist Church, 19th St. and 6th Ave. S. (downtown Birmingham).

Sept. 16 Introductions to research (concluded) Read Craft, Chapter 6

Sept. 18 Begin meeting in separate sections for writing workshop. Read Craft, Chapters 7 & 8

Sept. 23 Read Craft, Chapters 9 & 10

Sept. 25 Outline of paper due, consult Craft, pp. 152-154

Sept. 30 Outlining continued. Read Craft, Ch. 11

Oct. 2 Research & Ethics Read Craft, pp. 172-174, pp. 255-258

Oct. 7 Read Craft Ch 12-14

Oct. 7- Nov. 25 meet in separate sections for writing workshop

Oct. 30 first 1/3 of draft due (8-12 pages)

Nov. 13 second 1/3 of draft due (8-12 pages)

Dec. 2 & 4 Discussion of Palmer, Let Your Life Speak. Read the whole book and write vocational essay (details to be provided) by Dec. 2.

Dec. 12 Complete paper due

January 2003 Paper returned with comments

February 28, 2003 Final paper due

April 2003 Oral exams in groups with outside readers


Format for Drafts:

Be sure that all drafts submitted conform to these guidelines: