Planning to write a religion essay? It’s a loaded subject, but can also be a fascinating one if you know where to research. Take some time before sitting down to write and read up on the various types of religion, even if you have a particular one in mind for your religion essay.
First, you’ll want to define religion for your readers. What exactly is religion? According to the dictionary religion definition, it refers to a system of faith and worship, usually worshiping a god or gods or other supernatural power.
Most of us think of churches or temples when we think about religion, but it’s a good idea to talk about the other options, as well. Every religion has its own traditions and rituals. From Islam and Hindu to Jewish religion, Native American religion and other world religions, there’s plenty to talk about!
Religion vs. Science
Depending on the religion, it may disregard science altogether. Some religions allow for it, but many don’t. This can be a very useful point to discuss in your essay. If you’re looking to add some spice to the essay, you can take a stance for or against religion.
The effect of religious rulings on scientific findings should also be discussed, as this can be a very controversial point. It has also changed history and should be a part of any essay discussing religion.
Religions in America
America has long been known as a melting pot for cultures and it is also a full mix of religions. Religions in America range from Native American religion to those that were brought from across the ocean. You’ll find synagogues and temples throughout the land. While certain religions are more prevalent than others, there’s no shortage of options and this can provide an excellent talking point in your religious essay.
For your readers, understanding the different religions may be the main reason they read your writing. However, this can be taken in many directions. Explore the common history of the various religions or look at how they differ. You can also talk about how the various types of faith arrived in America in the first place.
Write an Intro
The first paragraph in your essay should establish where you stand with religion and needs to include your thesis statement. Refer back to this when you are writing the rest of the essay . . . everything should relate to your main point. The introductory paragraph only needs to be a few sentences long.
Write the Body
The main part of the essay, or the body, will be at least 3-4 paragraphs long, depending on how long your assignment is. If you need to add length, the body is where this will be done.
Throughout the body of your religion essay, you will want to focus on specific claims. Look at religion in America, as well as its effects on history. Whether or not you agree with religion, it has had a massive impact on nearly everything throughout the generations and this will give you plenty to write about.
Each paragraph should focus on a specific claim that supports the main point. Use facts from reputable sources, quotes from experts and the thoughts you’ve derived from these. Length is not a major consideration, simply write as much as is needed to convey the point and transition to the next paragraph.
Finish Up the Essay
Complete your essay with a decisive finale. You should cover your main points and cover the thesis statement again, in new words. Remember, this is the last chance you have to make an impression on your audience, so make it count.
The most successful essays are well planned. Essays that go off the point with lots of extra detail will get poor marks.
Stick to the question
Underline key words in the essay title so you really understand the question being asked. It’s not about writing all you know about a topic.
Words like ‘discuss’, ‘compare and contrast’, ‘evaluate’, ‘account for’ are used as ways to direct your answer; make sure you know what they mean.
Other questions may start with ‘how’, ‘what’, ‘why’ or ‘when’.
Write a plan
Brainstorm your ideas on the essay topic to get started. Spider diagrams are good for this.
Plan the structure of the essay by numbering each of your ideas in order of importance. At this stage you may wish to leave some of them out or develop others by breaking them into sub points. Redo your original spider diagram as necessary.
You may have to present your argument for the essay under broad themes like ‘economic’, ‘social’, ‘political’ or ‘religious’ reasons. Make sure you understand which theme suits each of your points, then group your all points on the same theme in order of importance into a separate paragraph.
Writing the essay
Your essay must have an introduction. State the main points you will discuss in order to support your answer to the question set in the title of the essay.
2. Development of your argument
After the introduction add further paragraphs to build your argument, make the most important points first. Remember the way these points are ordered makes your argument clearer to the reader.
Start a new paragraph for each new important point and any linked points that relate to the question. You may include quotations from other historians and refer to primary sources (such as you can find on this website) to support a particular point.
Make sure your essay makes chronological sense. Try to present any factual points in date order.
Avoid telling the story of what happened. If you refer to an important historical event, you must make a point or comment about it. This will stop your essay from becoming a simple narrative and it shows you are trying to analyse events rather than just describe them.
Aim for five to seven paragraphs, depending on the essay and level of course you are following.
Sum up the main points and briefly restate your argument.
Re-read your work, check for spelling errors, and redraft if necessary.