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Revised Researched Position Paper

Paper Objective: In this paper you will explain the position you have come to regarding the relationship of science, religion, and magic (or fiction). This paper will integrate the reading and thinking that you have done on the topic over the course of the semester with your own beliefs, combining them into a viable position that you can support using interdisciplinary sources.

In this paper, you will be truly re-visioning your earlier work--and adding to it, as in addition to all the requirements you followed (or were to have followed) the first time around, you must add support from additional, non-traditional sources that address or communicate popular culture's role in this debate.

Harry Dresden by Dan Dos Santos

This is a very complex topic
, and you will need to address all sides of it as objectively and fairly as you can.  You may want to briefly and accurately summarize or define the terms, explain what scientific theory is and talk about its purposes and limitations, or address religion or religious texts, specifically, and explain those entities' purposes and limitations. Likewise, you may want to comment on the nature and purpose of magic or the imagination. Be careful here that you don't assume that all religions hold the same beliefs as Christian religions, and likewise, don't assume that all Christian religions have the same beliefs on these issues.

Once you have all sides of the issue covered, then you may begin talking about whether and why those ideas, purposes, and limitations are mutually exclusive or whether and how they may co-exist, either institutionally or within an individual's construction of reality. As before, you may address current events, as they relate to the topic. You may also talk about the nature and techniques of reading literature, as well. 

As part of your addressing of popular culture's role and writing an interdisciplinary paper, I want you to quote from poetry or music and from prose, specifically from film and fiction, in this paper. Specifically, I'd like to see a long and short poetical quotation somewhere in your paper, an exchange of dialogue between characters from a drama or film, as well as a single line of dialogue from film or drama, and a short and long quotation from a prose source--all integrated correctly following the rules of MLA and standard English grammar. As before, there is a degree of research involved here, and the integrity of your source material will be important. In the larger community of ideas, you want to write using a reasonable voice and present a persuasive--and logically supportable--conclusion.  Because this is a formal academic paper, your sources must be of high academic calibre; the preferred type of source is material from a refereed academic journal, like the kinds you can obtain through an EBSCO or ProQuest or a WilsonSelectPlus/FirstSearch search through our library. Sources, of course, need to be cited within and at the end of your paper.  The minimum number of sources required for this paper is five (5). 

The purpose of this assignment is two-fold: it should inform your classmates and me of how we can make sense of the current cultural debate on the relationship of science, religion, and magic, as well as clarifying the debate for us. 

We will not fully peer review these papers in class, but you may certainly choose to have your essay read by a reader in the Writing Center on campus. If you do so, make sure you bring in a copy of this assignment sheet with your draft and remember that the readers in the Center may require a 48-hour turn around time, so plan ahead.  Having your paper at the Writing Center is not a valid excuse for attempting to turn it in late.  

Format: This essay should be double-spaced, laser-printed, carefully edited and proofread. You should have a heading with your name, my name, the course title and section number, and date on it. You must give the paper number and title a line of its own, and your last name and the page number should appear at the top right of each page, beginning on or after your first page. This paper should be five-seven pages in length with one-inch margins, not including the Works Cited page.

You might also complete the Quoting Sources Help Sheet.

Cat's Eye Nebula, NASA image


The Cat's Eye Nebula in the Draco Constellation, Image credited to J. Patrick Harrington and Kazimierz J. Borkowski of the University of Maryland and to NASA , available at http://observe.arc.nasa.gov/nasa/space/stellardeath/stellardeath_2ai.html  and the Harry Dresden art is from http://www.coroflot.com/nicholassica/book-jackets