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Paperback 240 pp.
3 figures, 2 tables, 6" x 9"



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Imprint: OUP Canada

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Making Sense in Religious Studies

A Student's Guide to Research and Writing

Margot Northey, Bradford A. Anderson and Joel N. Lohr

Series : Making Sense

A new addition to the best-selling Making Sense series, Making Sense in Religious Studies is an indispensable guide for students in any area of religion. Specifically designed for students in religious studies, this book offers up-to-date, detailed information on writing essays and short assignments, doing comparative research, evaluating internet sources, proper documentation, avoiding plagiarism, reading religious texts, learning foreign languages, and more. Maintaining the same clear, straightforward style of the other books in the series, this comprehensive guide is an invaluable resource for students throughout their academic careers and beyond.

Readership : Undergraduate students at all levels in religious studies.


  • "This is a well-written handbook designed specifically for students in religious studies. As a whole it introduces sufficient background regarding the study of religion; enables students to quickly obtain a familiarity with the basic ideas and approaches; provides systematic, comprehensive advice; and explains how to conduct research and write good academic papers and assignments."

    --Daphna Arbel, University of British Columbia

  • "I am delighted to come across this [book] as it will be, in my view, an extraordinarily useful resource for instructors, teaching assistants, and students in the field of religious studies."

    --Anne M. Pearson, McMaster University

1. Introduction to Higher Education and Religious Studies
2. Making the Most of Your Time in Higher Education
3. Writing and Thinking
4. Finding and Using Academic Resources
5. Writing Essays
6. Writing Book Reviews and Book Reports
7. Writing Short Assignments: Chapter Summaries and Article Reviews
8. Reading Religious Texts and Writing Interpretive Essays
9. Writing Comparative Essays
10. Writing with Style
11. Tests and Examinations
12. Giving an Oral Presentation
13. Learning Languages
14. Receiving Feedback and Reflecting on Your Studies
15. Documenting Your Sources
16. Common Errors in Grammar and Usage
17. Punctuation
18. Misused Words and Phrases
19. Afterword
Appendix 1: Sample Document: Book Review
Appendix 2: Sample Document: Short Assignment

Companion Site for Instructors:
Checklist for finding and using academic resources
Essay proposal form
Essay grading rubric
Pre-writing checklist
Post-writing checklist
Book review assessment criteria
Book review post-writing checklist
Short assignment post-writing checklist
Comparative essay writing checklist
Sample chapter summary and evaluation
Sample book review

Margot Northey is a specialist in communications and the former dean of the School of Business at Queen's University. Bradford A. Anderson lectures in Religious Studies at Mater Dei Institute of Education, a college of Dublin City University, Ireland. Joel N. Lohr teaches in the Religious Studies department at Trinity Western University, Langley, Canada.

Making Sense - Margot Northey and Joan McKibbin
Practical Grammar - Dr. Maxine Ruvinsky
The Concise Canadian Writer's Handbook - The late William E. Messenger, Jan de Bruyn, Judy Brown and Ramona Montagnes

Special Features

  • 100% Canadian. The only Canadian research and writing guide available for religious studies.
  • Authoritative. With over twenty-five years of proven success, the Making Sense series is known for its clear and concise approach to research and writing in all areas of undergraduate study.
  • Current. Up-to-date, in-depth information - including the latest guidelines for both MLA and APA style documentation and referencing - ensures students are well-equipped with the knowledge they will need to communicate successfully.
  • Comprehensive. Covers effective researching and writing for academic essays, while also offering step-by-step instructions on how to write exegetical papers, article reviews, and book reports, as well as advice on time management, preparing for tests and exams, and reflecting on feedback.
  • Stand-alone chapter on oral presentations. Argues that all students - even those who struggle with public speaking - can give a good presentation by following a few simple rules, the two most important of these being good preparation and good organization.
  • Practical advice. Helps students overcome common pitfalls in grammar, style, punctuation, and usage through a rich variety of examples.
  • Accessible and concise. The student-friendly writing style assumes no prior knowledge of the discipline and allows readers to use this book either as a quick and casual reference or as a text that can easily be read from cover to cover.
  • Sample documents. Two sample documents in appendices - a book review and a short assignment - help to familiarize students with the proper format and style for typical assignments.
  • Symbols for common errors. Appearing on the inside front cover, this useful list will help students understand common marking symbols and abbreviations that may appear on their work.
  • Helpful learning tools. Pedagogical features - including learning objectives, chapter introductions and conclusions, Internet icons, writing checklists, and an end-of-text glossary - will help students grasp the material.