Information Literacy Assignment Evaluating a Scholarly Article STEP 1: Pick ONE of

Information Literacy Assignment

Evaluating a Scholarly Article


Pick ONE of the following research topics/areas and evaluate a scholarly article directly related to it:

Reseach how meditation, yoga, fasting, OR an ascetic practice impacts the brain and/or the body

Research death practices or rituals inside of one of the religions covered in the course ( Islam, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Yoruba, Judaism, Daoism, Atheism)


Combine the answers to the following sections/questions within a 2 page double-spaced short essay:

Please give a brief description of the idea or topic you are interested within the study of religion. It must be related to one of questions assigned above. Then write down five keyword (or keyword phrase) search terms. (Think of important words and phrases from class lectures, discussions, and readings.)

Choose three databases to research, include the three databases you chose (i.e. ATLA, JSTOR, etc)

Now search for articles on your topic:


Use 2 or 3 keywords in your search.

Use quotes (“ ”) if you want to search for a phrase.

On the results page, look for the search limiters to narrow your results (i.e. by date, source type, subject, or by re-sorting).

Peruse the detailed article records to pick up better keywords and to learn about your topic.

Cite the article you are going to write about in a major citation format ( MLA)

Briefly describe your search experience (approx. 150 words), include in your description answers to the following questions:

Which database did you find the article in?

Which keywords worked best?

Which search limiters did you use?

Is your article a peer-reviewed journal article? How do you know?

Did anything surprise you?

What did you learn about your topic and about research in the researching process?

Now write a 550 word essay about your article. Include the following:

Who wrote the article, what is their area of expertise, and where was it published?

What is the article about? Try to write a short abstract.

Describe two key arguments in the article and the evidence the author uses to support the argument.

How strong is the argument? How would someone counter this argument?

How does this article (and the argument you describe) connect to other readings in this course?

(Course reading: Stephen Prothero, “God is not one,” 2010. ISBN: 978-0-06-157128-2)

In what ways could this argument help you develop a research paper thesis (even though you are not writing one*)?


2 pages


Proper citations

No Plagiarism

3 Databases


Research process

about author

Clear description

Analyzed two arguments made

Larger connections