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Rutgers University Libraries

Religion: Practical Learning Goals

All aspects of Religion, including major belief systems.

Religion Department Learning Goals

The full list of Religion Department Learning Goals is available online.  This tab details only the four "practical goals" listed there.

Using Primary Sources

The ability to read, understand, and discuss a variety of primary sources such as the scriptures of various religions, memoirs, rules for religious practice, theological and philosophical texts, and liturgical instructions

The first step is to identify these sources and then find them.  See the Online Collections tab in this guide for quick access to many of these sources.  Many scholarly studies and Reference Works in the field of religion provide good references for source texts that you can then track down in the library collection or online. 

Analytical Studies in Academic Prose

The ability to read and understand analytical studies of religious issues written in academic prose

Peer-reviewed scholarly journals are the classic vehicle for article-length analytical studies.  This page provides a good explanation of the difference between popular and scholarly peer-reviewed literature.  Most of our periodical indexes provide the option to limit or filter your results for peer-reviewed journals.  Look for books by the authors of these articles for their more fully developed arguments.   

Composing Written and Oral Presentations

The ability to conceptualize, research, structure, articulate, and defend an original thesis in both written and oral presentation

Dissertations and theses are book-length presentations of original research prepared by graduate students as a requirement for an advanced degree.  Dissertations always have a thesis statement and extensive use of primary and secondary sources.  This page lists various routes for finding theses and dissertations from Rutgers and other universities, online or in print. 

Conducting Independent Research

The ability to work independently and to conduct independent research

Citation managers or citation management tools enable you to download, store, and organize citations to books, articles, and other information sources for your research. RefWorks is an especially effective one because our catalog and most indexes are configured to export citations to this tool.  All citation managers can output citations in a variety of citation styles, but you may also find it useful to consult our guides for citation styles and grammar and writing style manuals.   

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