Talk with Dr. Wansink/other professors
You should always talk to your professor before starting a project to get their inputs and thoughts. Ask for their advice and then follow it.
Talk to the Religious Studies tutor
FREE tutoring is available in the Learning Center (located in the Clark building on the 2nd floor) for all subjects. The tutors are, for the most part, your fellow students who have been selected by their professors to tutor within the various subject areas. Please make use of this excellent, and FREE, source of help.
Talk to a librarian
The library staff can help you find books, magazines, articles, online resources and access to other research information that you never knew was available. They can also explain how to use inter-library loans to obtain books that are not kept here at VWC. The library is FREE: use it. Do not make the mistake of thinking that everything you need to know about a subject can be found online.
See also: Religious Studies Research Guide
Look on the web
The internet is a valuable research tool and can be beneficial to any project. However, verify the validity of the information you are using; everything on the internet is not necessarily factual. Please be careful of pulling information off of personal web pages and try to restrict searches to academic or professional sites. While the internet can be helpful, do not restrict your research to online sources (professors tend to frown on projects that rely solely on internet obtained information); visit the library as well.
Figure out what interests you
If the limitations of the project allow it, try to pick a topic that interests you. It is hard to "get into" a topic that bores you; imagine how much more so it will be for your readers of that topic. Find something that interests or intrigues you, get it cleared through your professor, and then go for it!
Just do it!
You can research a topic forever and still might feel like you do not have a grasp on the topic. Eventually, you need to just start writing. Do not research a topic to death hoping to get an idea of where you want to go with your paper. Start writing and the ideas will come. You can always do more research after you have started your project.
Turn in drafts!!
This can not be emphasized enough. Most professors will tell you that, if you hope to get at good grade on a paper, you should turn in drafts for inputs from your professor. Professors are usually happy to look at drafts for you; do not be afraid to ask them to do so. If you do not understand their comments on your draft, then ask them to explain the comments. The tutors in the Learning Center will also help you with your drafts.
General Research Links
As you begin to think about engaging in research, the following sites may be particularly helpful for general interest (for links to specific religions, please click on the appropriate links listed under World Religions on the menu bar at the top of the page).
If this is your first visit to this site, you may want to start with
the sorts of topical and engaging articles at:
If you want to know about specific religions, you might want to look
The Helpful Site for Understanding Religious Demographics:
Collections of Scripture from the Religions of the World:
Entertaining and Engaging Articles:
Daily News about Religious Issues:
Varieties of Religions and General Information:
World Religions in America: Harvard's Pluralism Project:
Religious Food Practices:
If, in the course of your research, you see sites which you believe
would strengthen this page, please share them with firstname.lastname@example.org.