ASIA 131 – Introduction to Asian Religions
Reflection Paper on Important Text in Asian Religions
These are the instructions for the final reflection paper. You will write a 500-600 word paper
reflection on the similarities and differences between assigned religious texts (translations of primary
texts). Your reflection paper will be uploaded to Moodle before the deadline indicated in the course
outline. Late assignments or assignments that are plagiarized (even in part) will receive significant
This is merely a summary – please read the entire document to make sure you understand the
conditions of the paper. You may receive penalties if the guidelines below are not followed.
Purpose of this Assignment
It is important to be able to read primary texts closely, carefully, and critically. It is also valuable to
be able to compare religions in meaningful and thoughtful ways. This assignment will improve both of
these skills by having students compare primary texts (in translation) with attention to real similarities
and differences in the various dimensions of religion presented. It will also be an opportunity to
improve a student’s use of written academic English.
You will read translations of parts of important religious texts. The translations will be assigned to
you, and you will have to use and cite the translations provided to you for your assignment. Your task
will be to compare the texts using the seven dimensions of religion (when appropriate – not all
dimensions will necessarily apply to your texts). In your comparison you should indicate differences
and similarities in the various dimensions of religion as you find them. It is not sufficient to note that
these texts express the dimensions of religion – you must show how those expressions are similar or
different in more than a superficial way. This will require a very careful and close reading of the
Your paper will be between 500 and 600 words (not including a works cited section). Your paper
will be graded on the quality, creativity, and depth of your reflection, your clarity and precision in
writing, your use of academic English, and your adherence to the assignment guidelines. You do not
need to do extra research for this assignment, but you may use the previously assigned homework and
Late papers will be penalized 10% per day late. The first “day late” begins one minute after the
paper deadline, and will be assessed from the time of the assignment upload rather than any email
There are some basic expectations a student should consider in preparing their paper. “Good”
papers will meet all these expectations.
1. Evidence – are you providing relevant evidence (from the assigned materials) to support your
2. Analysis – are you thinking critically about the evidence provided? Are you reflecting on
comparisons not directly given in the assigned materials?
3. Relevance – are the pieces of information and ideas you are presenting and discussing relevant
to the assignment?
4. Originality – are you bringing something new to the discussion rather than listing facts or the
ideas of others?
5. Clarity – are you writing in a way that clearly demonstrates your understanding of the material?
Are you writing in a way that presents your ideas to you reader logically and with purpose?
You are required to provide citations of your assigned homework in your paper. You are also only
permitted to cite the texts assigned to you or your assigned homework – extra or additional research in
this assignment will be ignored (or penalized if it is inappropriate). This is done to ensure students are
engaging with the assigned materials that were carefully selected by the instructor. Moreover this
ensures that every student has exactly the same access to the same resources.
Examples of forbidden sources include (but are not limited to) Wikipedia and Prezi. Other sources
not on the course outline will not be permitted. Grade penalties will be given for use of these sources,
even if cited properly.
You are not permitted to cite “class notes” given by the instructor. Instead, find the evidence in the
assigned homework. Citing “class notes” or “class lecture” will result in a grade penalty – use the
homework as instructed.
There is no minimum or maximum number of citations required, however a good paper will cite
from more than one source. For this assignment you are asked to use MLA style formatting. You should
have a works cited list, but you do not need an annotated bibliography. In-text citations should be done
as parenthetical notes. If your paper consists primarily of quotations (cited or not) it does not fulfil the
requirements of the assignment will be assessed as such.
Below are links to Columbia College’s MLA Citation Guide (8th Edition). You should review it
before you start writing. These are the most important links, but check the guide for more. This guide
will answer almost any question you might have about MLA citations. Although there are standard
ways of citing religious texts, you may cite the texts assigned to you as you would another book if you
How Do I Cite Books and eBooks?
Works Cited List and Sample Paper
If you are using a source from our course and the citation information (such as publisher, etc.) is
not available in the document or on the relevant Moodle page please contact the instructor to update the
Your paper should include a word count and a works cited section. There is no required number of
paragraphs for your paper, but good academic writing does require papers to be divided into logical
paragraphs. Please only submit one document (your paper and works cited will be in one
Submitting your paper
Your paper will be submitted online through Moodle. You will save your paper as a Microsoft
Word document (.doc or .docx only). Handwritten or printed assignments will not be accepted. Do not
submit your assignment by email. See this video prepared by the Columbia College Learning Centre
about how to submit assignments on Moodle. You will find the space to submit your paper under the
“Welcome” section of the course page (near the top).
Note on “pre-reading” of assignments
Please note that your instructor will not read all or part of your assignment in advance. However, if
you have any questions about the assignment you are encouraged to bring such questions to office
hours or send them by email.
Cheating and Plagiarism Policy
For a detailed tutorial about avoiding plagiarism see the Columbia College Library Plagiarism
Tutorial and the Course Outline for this course. You must be informed about what plagiarism is and
how to avoid it. There will not be exceptions made for not understanding what constitutes plagiarism.
Plagiarism for this assignment includes not only published and online sources but also the work of
other students. You are not permitted to work in groups or help one another for this assignment. Any
evidence of cheating or plagiarism will result in a penalty, which can include a failing grade for the
assignment. If it is apparent two or more students have collaborated on their papers all students
involved will receive a penalty, regardless of which student(s) produced the original work. Do not
plagiarize from others and do not allow others to plagiarize from you.
Turnitin Similarity (through Moodle) will be one way of assessing the integrity and originality of
student writing; however, the integrity and originality of all assignments will ultimately be assessed by
the instructor. Proper citations or quotations are not plagiarism and will not be assessed as such.
Please recall that Turnitin Similarity (“Turnitin”) has always been a part of our course (see
“Technologies Used in this Course” on the Course Outline for this course). Note that the information
submitted to Turnitin Similarity can be stored the US. You may opt out of using Turnitin Similarity, but
to do so you must contact your instructor directly (by email) at least twenty-four hours before the
submission deadline of the paper. Any serious, principled objection to Turnitin Similarity given with
adequate notice and reason will be considered. If you chose to submit your information with a “fake”
identity be sure to inform your instructor well in advance of the assignment. See this page for Turnitin’s
privacy and security policies.