ILOs Understand the general nature, purposes, and techniques of literature with a sense of its relationship to life and culture. Recognize a representative selection of literary works by major writers….
What is Paine’s position on state-sanctioned religions and why does Paine advocate a revolution in government? Explain
The following is a sample conceptual paper that I have written that addresses two questions about
Thomas Paine’s essay The Age of Reason. This document should serve as a model for conceptual
papers that you write for this class.
Here are the questions:
- What is Paine’s position on state-sanctioned religions and why does Paine advocate a
revolution in government? Explain.
- How does Paine explain revelation and why does he criticize it? Explain.
Please note the following aspects of the paper:
- Summary statement: The paper is introduced with a summary statement, a one-sentence
introduction to the main theme or themes in the author’s essay. Begin all conceptual papers with a
summary statement such as this, a sentence that provides context for the questions that you are
going to answer.
- Funnel down: Note that the second sentence in the first paragraph narrows the focus from the
broad claim of the summary statement to a more specific concern that is connected to the
questions you are going to answer. Perhaps the easiest way to funnel is to use the “one of”
approach, which requires you focusing your paper on “one of” the issues the author addresses. In
the example, the focus narrows from “the relationship between reason and religion” in the first
sentence to the “role of organized religion in society” in the second sentence.
- Answering the questions: The second sentence in the first paragraph addresses a “what”
question – what Paine’s thoughts are on organized religion – and narrows the focus of the essay.
A “why” is taken up next. Both questions are answered directly. Whenever you write a paper for
this class, you must answer the questions that are asked in your own words. The best way to do
this is to answer them directly after thinking a bit about what the questions are asking.
- Supporting the answers: Proper text support is given. Whenever you make a claim about an
author (i.e. “Author states X”), you must provide text support for that claim in the form of a direct
quote or a paraphrase. In the sample paper below, I used direct quotes. Notice that the citation is
always placed at the end of the sentence and that citation format is consistent.
- Connecting the themes: Transition sentences link paragraphs. Notice how the paper flows from
the first paragraph to the second paragraph, using sentences that link the paragraphs together.
The first sentence in the second paragraph connects the ideas of the two questions, revelation
and the “word of God” while the second sentence provides support. This follows the A➝S method
outlined in the Tips.
- Format, citation and otherwise: Proper format is followed. The citation format for this class is
pretty simple; as you can see below, it is (Author name, p. X). The first example of this is in the
fourth sentence, where the citation is (Paine, p. 1). Please be consistent with citation format. The
paper is written in 11-point font with 1” margins and the header (i.e. student name, ID# and date)
is in the upper left-hand corner. Note there is no title. This is the format for all papers.
- Diction is important, but clarity is crucial. The sample paper below is an “A” paper; it answers
the questions, provides proper text support, and uses transition sentences correctly. It also uses
some impressive words. Be careful when you are writing your papers: although the thesaurus
function offers an array of interesting words, make certain they mean what you intend them to