REL 495 - Senior Seminar


Course Description

The Senior Seminar, REL 495, is the Capstone Course for students taking the BA with a Major in Religion at ENMU.
During this Course, students will write and present a 20-page Paper on a topic of their choice. The paper will be read and graded by a Panel of two Faculty members of the Religion Department (of the student's choosing), and the Instructor.

If you are writing a Term Paper for another upper-level Religion Course, you may use the same paper for this course, provided it is of sufficient length and quality.

NOTE : the length of the Paper has been reduced from previous years. It is now only twenty (20) pages (not including bibliography).

For students who are considering writing an exegetical paper on a passage of Scripture :
It is not necessary for students to have an extensive knowledge of Greek or Hebrew in order to write a satisfactory exegetical Paper dealing with a text from the Old or New Testament.
However, some familiarity with relevant Greek and/or Hebrew words will be expected by the end of the Semester. The Instructor will be available during the Semester for help with foreign words and phrases. Students who wish to see the Greek alphabet and learn how to pronounce Greek words may go to the Greek Alphabet Page.
To be able to display and print Greek text correctly, it is recommended that you download and install the SPIonic font : this link will start to download a zip file of the font - save it to a diskette in the A drive, or to a Memory Stick, UnZip it, and install SPIonic.ttf to your font folder by dragging it into the folder. If you need more detailed instructions, please contact Dr. Rollinson
SPIonic should already be installed on the computers in the Library and the Computer Labs. If it is not, please contact the Computer Help desk or Dr. Rollinson
Because Hebrew is written Right to Left, if you plan on including portions of Hebrew text in your Paper, it would be a good idea to download not only a Hebrew font, but also a Right-to-Left utility. The Instructor will be available to adivse you on this process.

Objectives of the Course

To enable the student :

  1. to gain experience in the development and presentation of a Thesis
  2. to gain experience in the writing of a Research Paper
  3. to gain experience in the presentation of a Research Paper
  4. to gain experience of Research methods and resources
  5. to gain experience in Critical Thinking
Student Expectations

Students are expected to write and present a Research Paper which will show a degree of original thought on the part of the student.
A mere summary of the ideas and statements of others will not be adequate.
In most cases a variety of contrasting views or interpretations should be discussed (these may be summaries of the writings of other authors - adequately cited), and then the position taken by the student should be presented and defended.

Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. Students should refer to the university catalogue for a definition of academic dishonesty and its penalties, or they should go to this Web Page and familiarize themselves with the relevant material.
Any student who, because of a disabling condition, may require special arrangements in order to meet the course requirements should contact the instructor as soon as possible so that necessary accommodations may be made.

ENMU Reasonable Accommodation statements :

  1. Any student eligible for and requesting academic accommodations due to a disability is requested to provide an academic accommodation form from Services for Students with Disabilities within the first two weeks of the beginning of classes.
  2. Instructors are to receive an academic accommodation form within the first two weeks of classes when there is an existing disability.
  3. If you have a specific disability that qualifies you for academic accommodations, please provide an academic accommodation form from Services for Students with Disabilities within the first two weeks of the semester.
Course Prerequisites : Senior standing

Suggested Background Knowledge/Skills : Students should be comfortable with reading and writing at College level, and should have sufficient word processing and library skills to be able to complete the Seminar without overstraining themselves.

The Instructor and Office Hours

The instructor is available to meet with any student regarding any matter. The instructor will be available at the office hours posted, and at other times by appointment. Students may contact the instructor by phone 9 am to 9 pm. Home phone 763-0101, with an answering machine to leave messages, or e-mail Dr. Rollinson


Grades will be based on the Final Paper

Computation of Grades
90 - 100 % = A
80 - 89 % = B
70 - 79 % = C
60 - 69 % = D
0 - 59 % = F

There is no set text-book for the Seminar this semester

Course Organization
  1. Final Paper - The Final Paper will be due by 9am, Monday, May 3, 2010.
    It is recommended that students try to complete their Papers at least a week ahead of time in case there are any problems with the computers or printers.
    Students should prepare five copies of the Final Paper (one for themselves, one for the Instructor and each Faculty Reviewer, and one as a Department Office copy). These should be handed or sent to the Instructor and the Faculty Reviewers by the due date.
    As an alternative, the Papers may be sent electronically as either MSWord .doc files or Portable Document .pdf files.
  2. If you are writing a Term Paper for another upper-level Religion Course, you may use the same paper for this course, provided it is of sufficient length and quality.
  3. Late Work - For work to be eligible for an "A" Grade, it must be e-mailed, sent, or brought to the Instructor on time. Students may send their Papers in early, and are advised to do so whenever possible.
  4. Makeup - Because of the nature of this course, there is no provision for "make-up" work.
  5. Extensions - extensions will only be granted under grave extenuating circumstances and at the discretion of the Instructor. If you think that you may need an extension, you should contact the instructor ahead of time with your request, and explain the situation.
Anticipated Student Workload

2 hours per week, note-taking, writing, Library, & InterNet


Copyright © 1999 Shirley J. Rollinson, all Rights Reserved

Dr. Rollinson

Department of Religion
Portales, NM 88130

Last Updated: November 15, 2009

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