Using Asian Religion in America: A Documentary History as your only source, research a topic of your choice related to the role of Asian religions in the United States.

Note: this assignment has two parts – 

  1. An initial research question, which is worth 5 points and must be submitted to me for approval by Thursday, 2/13 at 11:59 pm, and 
  2. A final project submission, which is worth 20 points and due on 3/3 at 12:00 pm. 


Using Asian Religion in America: A Documentary History as your only source, research a topic of your choice related to the role of Asian religions in the United States. Then,  present your findings in a research paper or in one of the alternative project formats listed at the bottom of this page.

This text covers a wide range of time periods and includes primary documents from a wide range of voices. Your topic could focus on such issues as: missionary activities, changing public perceptions of a particular Asian religious tradition in the United States, the dynamics of immigration as they are experienced by members of a certain faith,  intergenerational dynamics, gender, the process of conversion, the role of Asian religions in U.S. popular culture, and more.  The project must draw upon AT LEAST 4 documents from the textbook and must be include a central argument (thesis).  You may use the Neusner textbook for background information, but for the most part, all of your research should be within the Tweed and Prothero text.

Part One:

Your first step is to develop and submit a research question for my approval.  I recommend that you delve into the textbook to find a theme that catches your interest. You may want to focus on the “introductions” to Part I, II, III, and IV, as these provide an overview of the readings in each section. As you review the text, formulate a question about a topic that interests you. You might want to start broadly, then revise and focus your question after you read more.  The book’s index is a great tool—use it!

For example, your initial question might be: “How did Buddhism come to America?”

Abetter focused question might be: “What role did American converts play in bringing Zen Buddhism to North American?”

Once you have your question, submit it to me by Thursday, 2/13 at 11:59 pm. I will either give you the full 5 points and tell you to move ahead with the project or ask you to revise and resubmit the question. You have the option to earn up to the full 5 points if you revise and resubmit the question.

Part Two:

Your next step is to finish reading your sources and write a paper, or develop an alternate project, that answers your research question.  I encourage you NOT to consult outside sources. If you cannot find enough readings on your topic in the textbook, develop a new question.



A traditional research paper: 5-6 pages long. You may use any citation method (MLA or Chicago), as long as you are consistent.  Keep in mind that any words taken directly from another text should be in quotation marks.

-A digital story, developed using iMovie or similar software. The story should be 4-5 minutes long and may include additional outside sources (visual materials). Be sure to include a final frame/ image that provides citation for all of your sources.

-A podcast, approximately 4-5 minutes long. The podcast should be based on an original script of your creation but may include short audio clips from other sources. Be sure to submit a word document with your podcast that provides citations for all of your sources.

-A historically informed ethnographic report. (Depending on your current location, this option may not be a possibility for everyone in the class). Choose a religious tradition that is discussed in the Asian Religions in America text.  Attend an event within that tradition, and write a 5-6 page ethnographic report. If you choose this option, you only need to cite 2 documentsfrom the textbook in your report. Use these documents to provide a contextual background for your observations. While the ethnographic report does not need to have a firm thesis statement like a research paper, it should have a logical sense of focus. A good way to get started is to come up with a list of questions that you’d like to learn more about before you attend the event.  Do some informal, preliminary research before going.  You might consider asking a friend if you could attend a religious service with them. Then, when you are there, pay close attention to the sequence of action.  Note who is there (Who participates?  Who leads, who follows?  How do people interact?).  Note the use of language and the use of space.  Pay attention to all five senses. What do you see, hear, feel, smell, taste (if relevant)?   After the event, as soon as you can, write down everything you can remember, in stream-of-consciousness style.  These notes will then serve as a “springing off” point for your final write-up.



INITIAL RESEARCH QUESTION AND REVISION: 5 points – you may resubmit as many times as necessary to earn the full 5 points!

FINAL  PROJECT: 20 points

Level of engagement with class material10 pts

(The project demonstrates thoughtful and deep-reaching engagement with the textbook)

Quality of analysis: 5 pts

(The project goes beyond summary to make an original argument that is clearly focused and well supported)

Writing or presentation quality: 5 pts

            (For written projects: The paper uses proper grammar, spelling, and citation methods. The writing is divided into paragraphs with clear topic sentences.)

(For alternate projects such as digital stories and podcasts: the project is clearly organized, using strong visuals and/ or audio components. The overall script is clearly your own; outside visuals and sound clips are used selectively and with care)

the book website :

the only thing required to do only part one , part two will be required in another homework posts . I need to take part one assignment and get reviewed by the professor before doing the part two. part one needed to do part two but only part one is required in this post. required only to do write a question and explain why you choose this question and what type of research paper you’re gonna use in part two .

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