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General Guidelines for the 2013 R. Thomas Schaub Religious Studies Essay Contest

  1. The competition is open to all IUP undergraduates and is not restricted to papers from or related to a course taught by a Religious Studies professor, although such papers are encouraged. Unfortunately, however, only one entry per student can be accepted, so students should please choose their best work. Those desiring advice of any kind are encouraged to discuss their essay with a department professor in advance.
  2. Style: 8-15 pages in length (excluding cover sheet and bibliography), double-spaced, no wider than one-inch margins, 12 cpi Times font. Use of citations must be consistent throughout, but students may choose from MLA or APA styles.
  3. Papers will be judged not only on content and the quality of critical arguments, but also on style and composition. Religious Studies is a diverse set of disciplines, and it is expected that papers on a variety of topics may be submitted—for example, papers on some aspect of a particular religion (Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, etc.), or on some general approach to religion, philosophy, or sociology of religion, etc. The main expectation, however, is that the paper utilize scholarly methodologies and promote academic discourse.
  4. Papers will be judged by a panel of Religious Studies faculty members.
  5. Awards will be made at the Spring semester gathering of the Department of Religious Studies at the end of the semester. There are three prizes: $150, $100, and $75 in Co-Op gift certificates will be awarded to the first-, second-, and third-place winners, respectively. In addition, all three winning essays will be published electronically on the department website.
  6. 2014 Submissions deadline TBA

Any questions? Please e-mail Dr. Alison Downie at

  • Religious Studies Department
  • Sutton Hall, Room 452
    1011 South Drive
    Indiana, PA 15705
  • Phone: 724-357-1360
  • Fax: 724-357-4039
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 7:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.