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RLG201H5: Introduction to Religion in the Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts

A guide created to assist students with their research and assignments.

Type of Material Required for Assignments

Your asignments require the use of specific types of material.

You will write three Reflection Papers related to the course materials, there will be a major mid-term writing assignment and a final exam.

The mid-term writing assignment will involve putting together first, a proposal and an annotated bibliography, and then in the second stage, you will write the mid-term essay.

You will have to search for 5 sources in addition to the course materials. The assignment will involve responding to questions pertaining to the course materials, but also applying these course materials to other cultures/religions/arts, as the case may be. 

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 assignments.

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 scholarly article, Finding Articles tab of this guide.

Writing an Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography gives an account of the research that has been done on a given topic. It is not only an alphabetical list of research sources but also provides a concise summary and some assessment of the value or relevance of each source.

Here is a wonderful guide to writing an annotated bibliography written by Deborah Knott of the New College Writing Centre.

What Type of Information are you Using?

You may find these sources help you identify the type of material you have found in your research.

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.