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RLG205H5S Introduction to South Asian Religions

A guide to assist students with essay assignment for the course

Type of Material Required

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

Use course readings that are relevant to the topic you select. Your course readings will often suggest additional sources to consult on the topic. Use these references to locate items to meet the requirements of your assignment.

In addition to using the course readings, you are expected to identify at least one primary source and one secondary source (a book chapter or a scholarly article) that will contribute to examination of the topic.

To find information on a topic and additional sources for your topic, you may use the reference sources under the Background Information tab of this guide

To search for a book, use Finding Books tab of this guide.

To search for a scholarly article, Finding Articles tab of this guide.

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