Instructions, Optional Written Project
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE WRITTEN PROJECT
BUILDING SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY
Write an 8-10 page essay on a topic related to the contents of this course. Follow the specific steps given below.
1. Choose your topic. We recommend the possible topics below, but you may choose another topic, as long as it is related to the contents of this course. Your topic should be related to some question or doubt that you have. As you do the research, you will be trying to answer your question. Do not use the same topic that you used for another course.
Suggested topics for the essay:
1) The influence of Plato in systematic theology
2) The influence of Aristotle in systematic theology
3) The life and theology of Augustine
4) The life and theology of Thomas Aquinas
5) The life and theology of Martin Luther
6) The life and theology of John Calvin
7) The life and theology of __________ (choose another theologian).
8) Key differences between Catholic and Protestant theology
9) What are the most common errors in doing systematic theology?
10) What is the proper role of human reason in doing theology?
11) How should we contextualize systematic theology for our unique time and culture?
12) What main points are emphasized in the systematic theology within your church tradition?
2. Do the research for the essay. Use the "Recommended Extra Reading" found in the folder of "General Resources to Download for the Course." You may have already read a lot of materials related to the subject of your essay when you did the extra reading assignment.
Write notes on your research, being careful to note the bibliographical information and the page numbers of any source that you will use in the essay. This applies even if you do not quote directly, but only use an idea from the source.
3. Read and follow the "Guidelines for Writing an Essay" found in the folder of "General Resources to Download for the Course."
4. Write the title of your essay and begin organizing your essay. Write the outline and write some notes for each section. Choose your preferred numbering system and be consistent with it.
Remember that an essay should have at least three main sections: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. The introduction stirs interest in the essay and briefly explains the topic. The body is the main development of the theme, and normally has several subdivisions. The conclusion summarizes the argument of the essay and shows what the author considers to be most important.
You may wish to read the "Guidelines for Writing an Essay" again to find some examples of possible ways of organizing your essay.
5. Write a rough draft of the essay. Review your paragraphs to make sure they are unified, complete and coherent.
Make sure to follow the rules for the footnotes and the bibliography, as explained in "Guidelines for Writing an Essay."
Make sure you have a title page, a table of contents, an introduction and a conclusion.
6. Write the final version of the essay. Read and re-read the essay until it flows clearly and is easy to understand. Correct any spelling errors or grammatical errors.
7. Upload your essay, following the instructions under "Written Project" in the section "Submission of Optional Assignments."