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GEOG 346, Geography of Religion & Peace, Winter 2019
The assignment must be submitted via MyClass in two formats: (1) odt/doc/docx, and (2) pdf; ensure files have been uploaded properly. Late submissions will receive deductions of 10% per day unless students have prior permission with an acceptable extenuating circumstance. To avoid a deduction of 5% on your final grade all assignment files must be named as follows: Lastname Firstname_Assignment 2.
Length: Approximately 2,500 words (excluding references and figures).
Format & Structure: Your paper should be formatted with 1.5 spacing with appropriate margins, and 12 pt font (Times New Roman or equivalent). Include the following:
1. A descriptive, succinct title that clearly reflects the central focus of your paper. 2. Appropriate front matter (Title Page, Table of Contents, List of Figures, etc). 3. A clear introduction with a strong aim and thesis that clearly introduces the study and paper
direction. Draw from literature to more strongly introduce key themes. 4. Descriptive, succinct headings for key sections. 5. Page numbers in the footer of each page. 6. Figures, including photographs, sketches, and data from literature: label figures appropriately
with a label, number, caption, and citation – e.g. Figure 1: Blah blah blah (Author, Date, pg#).
Referencing: APA (Author, Date; not footnote style) – be consistent and consult a referencing guide (see materials on the MyClass course site under ‘Resources’ / ‘Research & Writing Resources’). References should be listed alphabetically by author’s last name and formatted appropriately. At least 12 sources should be included (e.g. scholarly peer-reviewed journal articles; books; newspaper/magazine articles; international organizations/supranational organizations such as the Pew Research Centre, United Nations; non-governmental organizations; and government). High quality papers will draw from strong literature, and go beyond the minimum sources required. ___________________________________________________________________________________
Purpose of Assignment: To identify and interpret local religious landscapes and sacred places, and discuss and critically reflect upon the different uses and significance of space (sacred and profane), connections to the urban / rural landscape / community, environmental perceptions / connections, and a geographically situated comparative analysis of different belief systems.
Sportel, University of the Fraser Valley, GEOG 346 1/4
mailto:terah.[email protected].ca
mailto:terah.[email protected].ca
mailto:terah.[email protected].ca
Field Study Explained: Choose two different places of worship and/or significant sacred spaces for your analysis. Each location must be from a different religion or belief system (e.g. Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, other ethnic/Indigenous, Scientology). Students must place themselves outside of their comfort zones and engage in an inter-cultural experience beyond personal world views/belief systems; students cannot choose a sacred space/place from their own religion or belief system as a site of analysis (i.e. you cannot engage with your own church/temple/mosque etc.). One of your chosen locations can be a sacred outdoor space (for example a place of significance for an indigenous community). There are many places available within the lower mainland.
During your time in the field respectfully take detailed notes, sketches and photographs (as appropriate) of your observations and experience, and collect pamphlets or any other items of relevance as feasible. Prior to conducting your study and engaging in experiential learning within each location, it may be appropriate to obtain permission from somebody of authority to do so. You can attend sacred places with friends or peers but your observations and submitted assignment will be conducted independently.
Your task in the field is twofold: (1) observe the way space is organized, its significance, and note the separations between the sacred and profane; and if possible (2) attend a religious talk, sermon, prayer, festival, and/or open house and critically reflect on your experience. You may not to conduct interviews with people but you may engage in, and draw upon, informal conversations to enhance your learning. You are expected to draw upon course concepts and literature to enhance and understand your analysis and discussion.
For example, if you attend a Hindu temple, and a church you might pay attention to the following: What is the history of the place, and how is it connected to community and the demographics of the area? If you visit a sacred building, is the architectural design significant, and if so how? How is the sacred space/place structured at various scales (e.g. body, internally, through social structures, regionally)? Discuss the ways in which the sacred space/place connects to community. Is the location of the sacred place related to urban planning, politics, or demographic demand (e.g. colonial settlers or an ethnic enclave)? Is there water for people to use during or before prayer and how is it used and/or why is it significant? How is the building structured and is there a reason for its orientation? How do the prayer rooms differ and how do people use this space?; Are there areas for community gatherings, festivities and/or food? Are there gendered differences in the use of space? Are genders divided by space? Are there visible connections to nature and if so what are their significance? Is the location of the space significant, and if so why?; Are there efforts to separate the sacred and profane within the space or on the body? How did you feel in this space and how does it differ from what you know and are comfortable with? Were people welcoming and your experience informative? What are the similarities and differences between the spaces experienced?
Be creative & make the most of this activity to explore and reflect upon differing perspectives & cultural contexts!
Sportel, University of the Fraser Valley, GEOG 346 2/4
Field Study Rubric
Introduction (/10) Criteria 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 Grade
• Clear aim and explanation of argument (thesis) to be pursued & a clear statement of aim
• Clearly forecasts direction and purpose of paper; indicates paper structure
• Provides necessary background information (explanation of key terms, description of problem or topic for someone unfamiliar with issue)
• Compelling – hooks reader’s interest in problem without grand statements
Meets all criteria; clear
Meets some criteria; uneven; lacking clarity
Meets few criteria; unclear
Critical analysis & thought-provoking discussion using a geographic approach (/40) Criteria 40 36 32 28 24 20 16 12 8 4 0 Grade
• Argumentation draws on geography concepts and literature
• Research refers to and clearly integrates course themes and concepts, connecting them to the field study experience
• Argument is thoroughly developed (concepts explained in depth, multiple examples used, several points/elements of argument); sufficient depth to argument and discussion
• Argument is convincing (research questions satisfactorily answered)
• Discussion reflects critically on field study experience, addressing different world views and personal experience
• Intercultural learning clearly reflected
Meets all criteria; clear; persuasive; demonstrates understanding of human geography concepts
Meets some criteria; uneven; lacking clarity; unconvincing; ideas need further development
Meets few criteria; unclear; unconvincing argument; does not use human geography concepts
Effective use of sources and evidence (/20) Criteria 20 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 Grade
• Uses evidence from sources to illustrate and support argument(s)
• Draws on range of sources to support argument and discussion (at least 12)
• Carries argument in own voice (avoids excessive quotation)
• Paraphrases sources to fit paper; summarizes key points; avoids excessive overly long quotations
• Clear attribution to literature
Meets all criteria; clear; strong, consistent voice; sophisticated use of sources
Meets some criteria; uneven; some loss of voice (reliance on source language)
Meets few criteria; insufficient use of sources; sources not well integrated or documented; little sense of student’s voice
Sportel, University of the Fraser Valley, GEOG 346 3/4
Style, Organization & development (/10) Criteria 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 Grade
• Paper is well organized • Effective transitions between
paragraphs and sections • Effective use of paragraphs and
other organizational devices • Logical development of
argument • Creatively presented content • Uses clear, grammatically
correct sentences; concise, easy to follow style
• Correct spelling and punctuation
• Academic style and tone (avoid contractions, e.g. don’t, can’t; avoid chatty or conversational language)
Meets all criteria; clear; well organized and easy to follow
Meets some criteria; paper can be followed but lacks logical organization
Meets few criteria; paper disorganized, lacking logical flow; difficult to follow
Formatting (/10) Criteria 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 Grade
• Follows referencing APA style in text & in reference list
• Proper formatting & labelling (figures, tables, page numbers)
• Front matter included (title page with descriptive title, table of contents, list of figures) with relevant details
• Line spacing (1.5) • Appropriate length,
approximately 2500 words
Style/formatting used correctly and consistently throughout paper
Style followed but with errors
Style used inconsistently with many errors, or not at all
Conclusion (/10) Criteria 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 Grade
• Clearly summarizes key arguments & issues
• Ties conclusion back to Introduction, including the aim & thesis
• Emphasizes primary conclusion(s)
• Reiterates key reflections
Meets all criteria; clear Meets some criteria; uneven; lacking clarity
Meets few criteria; unclear; difficult to read
Total: / 100
Sportel, University of the Fraser Valley, GEOG 346 4/4

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