For this assignment students are free to choose a topic of his/her interest in Buddhism. Topics should be based on some current issue in or practice of Buddhism (e.g. Designing Zen Gardens, The Tea Ceremony, Koans in Rinzai Zen, Chanting in Pure Land Buddhism, Perspectives on Death in Bushido, etc.), if possible, but students can choose to do more historical events For this assignment students are free to choose a topic of his/her interest in Buddhism. Topics should be based on some current issue in or practice of Buddhism (e.g. Designing Zen Gardens, The Tea Ceremony, Koans in Rinzai Zen, Chanting in Pure Land Buddhism, Perspectives on Death in Bushido, etc.), if possible, but students can choose to do more historical events from anywhere in the world (e.g. Successive Reincarnations of Dalai Lama, King Ashoka’s Vision of Buddhism, Thich Nhat Hahn’s Mindfulness, Self-Immolation of Thich Quang Duc, The Beginnings and Development of Stupa Worship, Non-dualism in Nâgârjunas Philosophy, etc.); note: email me for consultation, but only after youve done some brainstorming and research beforehand. Topics are limitless but be sure to narrow your topic as much as possible.
For the research part, you must include at least THREE solid, reliable, and academic sources (websites of good repute; e.g. .edu; avoid .com and .org, which are private organizations; note: if citing a website, be sure to cite properly using MLA or APA style (see link, http://library.csun.edu/Research_Assistance/mlacitation.pdf).). Keep in mind that papers should have a catchy title, good intro with adequate background information, focused thesis, good supporting points with evidence from research, and thoughtful conclusion. Be sure to avoid doing a kind of encyclopedia-like entry, but provide creative insights, yet demonstrating your clear understanding of Buddhist principles. Paper should be 4 full pages (double-spaced) in length, excluding quotes. Note: Make sure to proofread your papers for typos, repetitions, and awkward grammar before turning them in (TIP: check with Microsoft Tools “Spell/Grammar” before turning in). Avoid summaries or long quotations (note: quotes do not count toward the word count). Be sure to cite your sources where appropriate and always allow your voice to come through in your essays; plagiarism warning in effect. Also, DO NOT write in the first/second person (i.e., avoid using I, you, or we). Papers should demonstrate your critical thinking skills. DO NOT SUBMIT LATE – Late papers within two days will be deducted 50%.
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