Religion and Politics

Religion and Politics


How to write an abstract?

The abstract – approximately 300 words—is the first step toward completing your research paper. The objective of the abstract is to summarize your thinking to date on your final research essay, including a discussion of the main argument (or thesis) and which points and evidence you will raise to make your argument persuasive to the reader. The abstract is a vital way for the instructor to assist you in the process of writing an academic essay and serves as a check against plagiarism. The abstract also serves as an initial draft of the final research paper. Done well, the abstract will guide you and facilitate your efforts to write the research paper.

To write a good abstract, students should have a clear understanding of what they want to do and what they want to achieve in that paper.

A successful abstract should address the following:

The title of your paper: What is the topic of your paper?

The relevance and significance of the topic: Why that topic is important?

The scope of the paper: What aspects of that issue/topic are you going to explore, analyze or cover? What is/are your research question(s)?

This helps you to streamline your efforts and to focus by narrowing it down into specific issues.

Positions/Arguments: What is your position? What are the opposing positions?

Briefly refute the opposing argument and support your claim.

Your approach and methodology: How are you going to do that?

Your conclusion: What do you what to achieve?


See, links to textbooks used in the course. The abstract for Chapter 3 in Fox’s book reads:

Theories of religious identity in politics tend to manifest in one of two ways. First, they can argue that a particular religious identity group is different in some politically significant way from other groups. Second, they can argue that some phenomenon, usually conflict, is somehow different—more or less common, and weaker or stronger—when it occurs between religious identity groups as opposed to within them. This chapter considers both of these types of manifestations of religious identity in politics. Identity-based theories are among the most problematic in the literature on religion and politics. For example, should one identify a difference in the political behaviour of Muslims and Christians, identity provides a poor explanation for that difference. The chapter discusses first whether religious identity is unique, and how religious identity can become involved in politics, and then discusses several important aspects of politics that religious identity can influence: tolerance, democracy, conflict, and electoral politics.



How to write an annotated bibliography?


The paper requires the students to use a minimum of 5 academic sources (i.e., peer reviewed books or academic journal articles). Papers, which do not engage with the published scholarly literature (books and academic journal articles), are not acceptable academic sources. The OC library has a good selection of databases for electronic, full-text journals such as ProjectMuse, JStor, ProQuest and Academic Search Elite.

You are not allowed to use the course materials as your sources. 

Articles from popular magazines or Internet sites do not count as academic sources.

You are expected provide annotated bibliography of the 2 out of 5 academic sources that you plan to use in your research paper.

Separating academic sources from other (non-academic) ones can be confusing to you. Please see the PDF file entitled “How do I tell if it is Academic?” on Moodle (taken from: the University of Utah library

Annotated Bibliography is not only the citation of the sources used while writing your paper but also a brief descriptive and evaluative comments on each source in order to prove that the sources you are planning to use in writing your paper are relevant and accurate. Annotated bibliography needs to be approximately 200 words in length for each source planned to be used in the essay.

What you need to do is:

  1. Library search to find books, periodicals, and documents that are relevant for your topic.
  2. Briefly examine and review those sources to choose the ones that fit best to your topic.
  3. Write a concise annotation that includes the following:
  4. A full citation of the source (MLA style)
  5. A brief summary of the main topic and arguments or themes advanced by the source.
  6. The strengths and weaknesses of the source (e.g. relevance, biases, completeness).
  7. The relevance of the source to your paper. How will you use the source in your paper?


Brown, John. “Five Myths of Global Warming.” Journal of Exaggerated Studies,  10 (1) Spring 1982: 81-89.

John Brown explains how people are manipulated by  …. five commonly believed ideas. He uses specific examples of events ……, such as the …………, to illustrate his points. His examples have been selected to contradict such myths as …………… The author neglects to compare the reliability of …….. This article is relevant for my paper because of:…………………………..
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