Religion and the Life Cycle


1. Summary, Point, & Questions (SPQs): 


A summary should be done for each reading assignment on the syllabus that is marked with “SPQ#”.  Your submission of each SPQ should contain the following, in the exact order indicated:


1.    Summary:  One or two single-spaced pages on which you summarize the central points of the reading, separately and in your own words (full or nearly-full sentences).  The summaries should capture all of the main points of the reading and include sub-points that are indented.  Number the main points; indent and number (or letter) the sub-points.  Be sure to avoid merely listing topics without indicating the substance of each point.

2.    Point:  A carefully thought-out point that expresses your take on a specific passage from the reading.   This can be stated in two to three sentences.  Compose points and not opinions (so the word “because” or “therefore” should be in there somewhere).

3.    Questions:  Two discussion questions (numbered).  Each question should make reference to a specific passage or set of passages in the reading.  Be sure that they are not factual questions but question that will lead us to draw inferences from the reading and so delve deeper into it.   For your questions, you can state your understanding of the passage as best you can and in a few words before asking the question.  Avoid making reference to a passage and asking “what does this mean?”


Document Header
: Please label the first page of each assignment at the top with the SPQ number, the exact reading title, and your last name – exactly in that order, all in capital letters, all on one line at the top of the first page.  So the top of your document will look like this:





Name of Digital File:  Name your digital file/document as follows: SPQ# [your last name].  So it will look like this:



Deadline and Submission:

Summaries are due before class on the day of the assignment.  I will accept a late summary for one week after the due date at half points, after which I will not accept it.


Submit each SPQ to your SPQ Google file before class.  After the start of class it will be considered late. During class, have a printout or tablet copy of your SPQ in front of you, either on a tablet (flat) or in hard copy.



Excerpt of a good summary




Integrative Reflections

a.  For this section, please compose a set of broad reflections on what you take to be the major insights (if any) that you have gained from the readings and discussions.  Be specific about readings.   In your reflections, consider the implications for your life outside of academia.  There are no right answers and absolutely no need to seem more positive than you actually feel about the materials and the class. (minimum 500 words)

b.  Evaluate your own work in the class.  How do you think you did in listening, discussion, reading, and writing?  What would you do differently? (minimum 300 words)