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RLG205H5S UTM Introduction to South Asian Religions

A guide to assist students in completing the requirements for the term essay assignment

Type of Material Required


Your essay asignment requires the use of specific types of material.

At least two course readings that are relevant to the topic you select. The readings you select will identify concepts that you could connect to your topic.

"Identify 1 - 2 primary or secondary sources from outside the course that can substanially contribute to your understanding of the topic. Note only reputable scholarly sources (eg. peer reviewed journals, books from well-reputed publishers of scholarly work, scholarly translation of primary sources) are acceptable for this assignment"

Primary and secondary sources are defined at this site.

Defining Primary and Secondary Sources (Library and Archives Canada)

Source: RLG 205H Winter 2013 Essay Assignment

Comparing Scholarly and Non-Scholarly Elements


Scholarly/Academic Book

Non-scholarly/Popular Book
  • To share with other scholars the results of primary research & experiments.
  • To entertain or inform in a broad, general sense.
  • A respected scholar or researcher in the field; an expert in the topic; names are always noted.
  • A journalist or feature writer; names not always noted.
  • A university press; a professional association or known (independent) scholarly publisher.
  • A commercial publisher.
Intended audience
  • Other scholars or researchers in the field, or those interested in the topic at a research level.
  • General public.
  • Formal presentation of scholarly work in a standard style; often an abstract at the beginning of the article. Articles also have specific section headings, such as literature review, methodology, results, conclusion, and discussion/further study.
  • Often presented in story format, with anecdotes from other people.
  • Language is very formal and technical; usually contains discipline-specific jargon.
  • Language is casual (high school reading level or lower). Few, if any, technical terms are used (and if they are, they are usually defined).
  • Standard elements; references are always cited and expected; can be called "works cited" or "bibliographies;" text often contains footnotes.
  • Very uncommon; text may contain vague referrals to "a study published at..." or "researchers have found that..." with no other details about that information.


Adapted from the Valparaiso University Library.

By UTSC Library, University of Toronto