In a nutshell, religion is the belief in a higher divinity that is beyond human comprehension. Keeping in mind that this topic dates back thousands of years, reading or writing about it is personal and thought-provoking. Most people have strong beliefs that differ from one religious group to another, yet there is no telling who is right or wrong. By being asked to write a religion essay, you are required to pen down your understanding of the subject and back it up with facts.
An excellent religious essay should be well-argued and structured, coherent, full of facts, and uncomplicated. The whole point of being given such an assignment is for the professor to gauge if you can come up with solid and valid ideas from your understanding of a subject and your ability to argue out the said ideas in a factual manner. I have broken down the key aspects of writing a religion essay in this article.
Table of contents
- Choose an angle for your essay
- Post writing tips
Choosing an angle for your essay
There are four main types of essay angles; Persuasive, narratives, descriptive and expository. It would be best if you decided beforehand which type you are comfortable with. For example, let’s assume you have chosen a narrative essay route. Your essay should be about a personal experience you witnessed or lived through related to religion and how it applies to the various topics or a single topic in religion.
For a persuasive essay, you are supposed to convince the reader using facts and reason on why they should agree with you on a particular view on religion. It could be religion as a whole, its history, its rituals, or any topic of your liking. Remember to strike a viable balance between adequately exhausting a topic and covering different aspects of that topic.
Expository essays focus on facts and are devoid of personal opinions. Assuming you choose this route, you should discuss actual religious historical happenings such as the building of worship centers, rituals such as baptisms, and other similar topics. Avoid adding your personal opinions in such types of essays as it beats the purpose of your angle.
If you decide to go with descriptive essays, be prepared to write about a religious figure, place, or practice in detail. You can also add adjectives and dialogue to make it as descriptive as possible. However, this writing style works best if the essay is short.
Finding the right angle will make it easy to come up with a topic. Religion is very diverse in content; hence trying to write about everything will not give you the chance to argue out topics correctly.
Now that you already know the angle you are going for and the topic of choice, it is time to delve into the second most crucial part of writing an essay; research. Aside from what you were taught in class, there are hundreds of other sources where you can find information about religion. Therefore, the more extensive your research is, the more informative your essay is going to be. Also, you will take less time to complete the actual writing of the essay.
Due to the fact that religion is rather personal and every scholar will have their views, it is imperative to find out the reason why they have the views they do and whether you share the same sentiments. If you disagree, come up with your own arguments based on the facts at hand, and note them down as short notes.
Do not forget to include the source of the points at the end of every sentence to make the referencing easier. Also, it will make it easier for you if you need to cross-check something from the source while doing the actual writing.
Write down as many points as you can fit in your designated word cont. Not only will the points help you establish a writing flow, but they will also jog your memory lest you forget anything.
No matter how good the content of your essay is, you will still get a bad grade if you do not structure it well. In that, every segment needs to flow to the next in a coherent way seamlessly.
This is the section where you ease the reader into the topic at hand. You can either describe what the topic entails, why it is relevant, or even your views on the topic. All in all, your introduction needs to start with a punch line that will make the reader intrigued to learn more.
Most readers will scheme through your introduction and the conclusion before reading the body of your work hence why you need to make them count. Depending on how long you want your introduction to be, feel free to add details like the origin of religion or other details pertaining to your thesis.
End the introduction with a thesis which is basically one or two sentences detailing your main point on the topic and the points you are going to use to defend it.
The explanation part marks the beginning of the body of your essay. Here is where you explain the statement of your thesis. So, for example, if you are delving into how religion affects a modern community, you can go ahead and give several points which pupate to the same. After every point, you need to support it with concrete evidence of real-life situations where the truth of the point can be seen.
You can also explain how the evidence gathered does not support the contrary opinion. This is only if you have a controversial view on the subject at hand. Not only will it show how deep your understanding of the topic is, but also that you can form sturdy opinions without being swayed by the majority of the public opinion.
Here you can cover a different topic that supports the main topic that you decided to cover religious, ethical standards and customs that a particular religion abides by; you can cover the repercussions of not following the said standards and whether they are in tune with current human rights.
In short, this segment should be an extension of your previous section. On the other hand, you can use it to cover your personal assessment of the factual topic that you had just discussed. The problem is religion is very different and personal. So it would be best if you tried not to offend anyone with your opinions.
The conclusion usually is one or two paragraphs long, where you summarize the bulk of the article. Try and make it detailed enough such that the reader can get a hint of what the whole article is about without reading the body.
You can also use this section to tie up any loose ends in the article or leave the reader with controversial food for thought as per what the topic covered. This way, the reader remains intrigued to scheme through the article once more had they not understood something the first time around.
Without a reference section, your article is basically full of lies and will be considered a work of plagiarism. This section is where you cite all the sources for the information stated in your article. Most professors will need a different format of citations; make sure to adhere to the specific ones required.
Other professors will be okay with you hyperlinking any source internally. If so, you can skip this section altogether.
Post writing tips
If you want your essay to be coherent and without grammatical errors, then the post writing tips I am about to mention will go a long way for you. First of all, you need to read through the whole essay and make sure there are no grammatical errors. After correcting the ones, you find, try running the essay through a professional grammar checking tool such as Grammarly so it can show you the errors that you have missed.
Next, you need to confirm that there are no traces of plagiarism. In as much as you are supposed to remove your information from already published cites, copy-pasting is still not allowed. You need to get the idea and write it to your own understanding.
Finally, correct any sentences that do not have a natural flow. Remember, the reader does not know the idea you are trying to pass across the way you do, so every sentence needs to be easy to understand. After which, your essay on religion will be ready for submission.
Religion is very diverse, meaning it is easy to get confused on what to include in your essay and what not to, regardless of your topic. Do not forget that it is better to exhaust a few takes on one topic than to try and cover infinite points. This way, you will have enough space to offer concrete evidence and explanations. Also, only use reliable sources for your research.