EWRT273Z De Anza College Syncretism the Greatest Religion Paper This is a book based essay, based on the book A brief History of Humankind. If you choose r

EWRT273Z De Anza College Syncretism the Greatest Religion Paper This is a book based essay, based on the book A brief History of Humankind. If you choose religion, you need to defend or critique Harari’s claim on page 223. If you wish to go to tthe history route, your task is to choose one of the three approaches to history that Harari explains on page 242-243. Ewrt 2-73Z, Fall 2019 Essay 2 Instructions
Assignment Overview: Your first essay will be a five-page essay that tackles one of two
issues, religion or history.
If you choose religion, your task is to defend or critique Harari’s claim on page 223 that
“Syncretism might, in fact, be the single great world religion. To do this essay, if you
choose to critique his claim, you would have to first carefully explain syncretism, and
then either give an example of a religion as Harari defines it that is not syncretistic in
practice, or you may agree with his assertion in which case you still need to carefully
define syncretism and offer additional evidence that it is a facet of other religions beyond
Christianity—which Harari has already suggested is a good example of a faith marked
by syncretism.
If you wish to go the history route, your task is to choose one of the three approaches to
history that Harari explains on pages 242 and 243, and then explain why one is a better
approach than the other two. Here too, your starting point would be a careful explanation
of each—without merely regurgitating Harari—a brief critique of the two you do not feel
offer a good approach, and then explain why your chosen approach is a better one.
Required Readings: Depending on your choice of essay topic, a through reading of
Chapter 12 or 13 is critical.
General Guidelines: A paper of this kind should not—however intuitive it seems—
begin with Harari, but instead with a general discussion of the issue to be discussed,
history or religion and its place or importance in one’s life. Only after the issue is
introduced and explained would one then introduce Harari’s claim or explanation—by
book title, Chapter, Section—and end your introduction with a clear, affirmative thesis.
For example: of the three most common approaches to history, the one that seems most
reasonable and fits best with what we know is X—where x is the approach you will
Alternatively: If you are going to deal with the syncretism in religion issue, your thesis
may look something like this: Though the major western faiths (to keep it simple) all
espouse a monotheistic starting point, an examination of any particular faith finds that
one cannot maintain faith without resorting to syncretism.
Specifics: A five-page paper does not give one much room to work, so you will want
your thesis to be as narrowly focused as possible so that you can deal with it effectively
in the few pages allotted to you. (While it is fine to turn in a paper longer than five pages,
you may want to look at the Essay Grading Criteria in the Getting Started module to see
what happens to papers that fall short of the five-page requirement.)
Suggestions: Admittedly, you are given only two options, neither of which you are
particularly invested in; nonetheless, as religion has driven much of human history, and
human history is always being reexamined and reified through the lens of religious belief
or practice, this essay seems germane to the text and certainly to the critical thinking
requirement of the class.
Since it unlikely that many of you are history or religious studies majors, I would suggest
that a good place to look for supporting ideas or broader explanations of the key term(s)
your essay will be focused on would be in Harari’s own notes at the back of the book.
Works Cited: Your works cited page will not count toward the five-page paper
requirement, and it will have at least three sources listed, Harari and two other sources
you use to support the case you wish to make. Your works cited page should follow the
MLA conventions governing them, and your in-text citations should also conform to
MLA norms. There is a help file with a link to the most recent, 8th Edition of the MLA
guidelines in the week two module.
Process: The most difficult component to writing a paper is getting started writing the
paper. This is the reason the first step in writing this essay is to submit the introduction
to the essay you plan to write, homework two which is due October 27th.
Finally: It bears repeating that I am not a mind reader. If there is any part of these
instructions that are unclear, you need to ask for clarification.
All essays should conform to the following guidelines.
Your introduction, thesis, conclusion, and each body paragraph will conform to the rule
of three. That is:
A.) Your Introduction will

begin with a sentence that is entirely in your own words which introduces the
topic to be discussed
provide enough subsequent sentences that enough background information has
been given to make the importance and timeliness of the topic clear (using
outside sources only to provide a crucial fact)
end with a thesis claim that emerges organically from the preceding sentences
and states your argument in a single sentence.
B.) Your thesis will

be the last sentence in your introduction
it will neither be a question nor an announcement
it will clearly state the version of the paper you will write—the body of the paper
develops and proves this statement true.
C.) Each body paragraph will

have a first sentence that serves as both transition and topic sentence and does
so without use of source material, and the first and last sentence in any body
paragraph will not contain any reference to a source
offer a well-developed discussion of a single idea using one specific, concrete
example, which
will be clearly supportive of your thesis.
D.) Your conclusion will

remind the audience what has been learned
restate your thesis as proven rather than as promise
offer a closing insight or suggest an idea for further consideration
Additionally, your paper will end with a correctly formatted works cited page. Please
refer to the MLA8 help file for explanations of how to correctly incorporate your source
information and construct your works cited page.

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