The Search for Faith

Your persuasive essay should be 3-4 pages (at least 3 full pages), typed, double-spaced, with 12-point font and 1-inch margins. When you quote or reference a particular reading, please cite the author and page number in parentheses at the end of your citation. Your essays are due at the beginning of class (on the day the assignment is due). YOU MUST SUBMIT YOUR ESSAYS ON BLACKBOARD AS A TURNITIN ASSIGNMENT. Please spell-check and proofread your essays. Please save an electronic copy of your paper. FOR CITATION: Please use a simple, in-text form of citation, listing the author’s last name and the page number in parentheses after the quotation or paraphrase. For example: (Peterson, 122)

You may want to focus your response on one of the following questions: What is significant about an author’s point of view about a particular theme? What questions does it raise for you? What does it reveal about the topic(s) we are discussing in class? How does it connect with other issues we have considered?

Your essays will be graded according to the following criteria:

1) Do you have a clearly stated thesis or argument about a relevant topic?

2) Do you offer compelling reasons and examples to support your thesis?

3) If you offer any summary, is it accurate? (Remember, essays should not just be summaries)

4) Do you develop your own position?

5) Is there an appropriate structure to your paper (introduction, body, and conclusion)?

6) Do you use key terms and concepts correctly? Is the essay well written?

*Here is a website that gives some great practical information about how to write an effective thesis statement:




1) What kinds of persuasive authority do religious experiences offer? Can such experiences be considered a kind of “proof” for the existence of God? Do religious experiences offer a valid basis for religious beliefs? Why or why not? In your discussion, please refer to at least three of the authors on religious experience we have discussed (St. Teresa, James, Proudfoot, Martin, Hagerty, Hughes, or the poets). Please offer your own evaluation of the arguments you choose to address. Please cite and discuss quotes from the readings as you make your case.


PLEASE NOTE: I ask that you limit yourself to the resources we’ve used in class to write your essays. Do NOT consult the internet or other sources. I consider your submission of your essay to be your pledge of honor that the essay represents your own, original work. Plagiarism on an essay (including improper citation of texts or using someone else’s words as your own) results in a zero grade for the assignment and the risk of failing the course.

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