Progressive paper


Now that you have committed to your paper topic and began to write last week, it is now time to officially get started on your paper. I have published what each member of the class is writing about in today’s announcements. Remember, you are composing a paper throughout the quarter, one that you will be quite proud about at the end.

Each step we take is for your guidance. Instead of simply saying, “Hey, write a paper,” I want to guide and mentor you in the writing process. I believe this is my job and this is what you are paying for. However, this does not mean that you are confined to the guidelines. This is not a paint-by-numbers approach. I am simply providing a foundation on which you can write a solid paper, using your own thoughts, insights, and creativity. 

Today’s assignment is complete/incomplete (20 points). You will be composing at least three paragraphs. 

(1) Compose an introductory paragraph that leads into the questions you are asking in this paper and your thesis statement. 

  • Start out your paper with the images of Jesus that you brought into the class, that you began your “dig” with. You already did this in last week’s writing assignment. I suggest using this as the introduction to your paper. 
  • Next, transition into the questions you will be asking in this paper. These are the topic questions you chose. Please put these into your own words. It is important to me that you understand what you are asking. So do not simply cut and past your topic questions from my prompts. Put them in your own words and style. Of course, they can contain words or phrases from the original prompts. But make them your own.
  • Next, transition into your thesis. Your thesis should concretely answer these questions. If you have not yet formed one, that’s okay. Put down an initial thesis. Or treat it like a hypothesis. It will change. 
  • Yes. Your thesis will change! But it’s good to put an initial one down in writing. In a volume I am editing, I just received a revision from a well-published, full professor. This professor voluntarily asked for more time to revise. This is the fourth revision from this scholar. And the thesis has changed each time. I say this to affirm that ideas and theses change. Writing is a process!
  • So, in short, a basic introduction will include: (1) a thoughtful way of introducing your questions with images of Jesus, (2) your questions, and (3) your thesis. 

(2) Compose the first section of your paper. Here you will look at the Gospel of Mark in light of your topic. You may use a subheading for each section of your paper. So you can start this section as Section One: The Gospel of Mark, or whatever subheading best matches your content. 

  • Write at least two paragraphs connecting the readings in Module Two to your thesis. So these readings include Powell on the Gospel of Mark and the Gospel of Mark itself. 
  • This is where you need to think critically. Find content that lines up with the questions you are asking. 


  • I want you to be able to use the citation guide of your own discipline. But I do want you to cite the texts. If you are a THRS major, use this guide (Links to an external site.) (based on Chicago Style). Or if you simply want to use the citation guide of biblical studies, feel free to use this link as well. Powell is cited in footnotes. See the style guide. Gospel texts are put in parentheses (Mark 5:1). See how Powell himself quotes the Gospels. Use him as a guide.
  • Use a file upload so that you can continue to add to this paper. 

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