HIST 3322 Idaho State University The Reformation Research Paper

Question Description

7 pages on a new topic of interest to the Reformation period


Be able to identify and articulate the differences – and many times, the nuances – between key groups in the Reformation on critical issues.


Step 1: Identify explain a contentious issue from the Reformation period on which at least three – if not more – branches of Christians disagreed. Briefly describe your chosen issue and its relevance to the Christian life and/or faith.

Examples of such issues include but are not limited to the Eucharist, church governance, the role of Scripture, baptism, the sacraments, the afterlife, the nature of God, the role of art and music in worship, the organization or style of worship, etc. etc. etc.

Step 2: Identify the various groups who held different views on the issue, and describe how each group conceived of that issue (e.g., how was the Eucharist understood and practiced by Catholics, Lutherans, Zwinglians, and Anabaptists?). Be sure to clearly describe where they were in agreement with each other, and where they differed, as well as the consequences of that difference (e.g., different style of worship, inability to agree on other matters, etc.).

Step 3: In your conclusion, reiterate why your chosen issue was important to Christianity and how differences over this issue among different Christian groups affected the development of the Reformation.

If you are revisiting the topic you wrote about in your first paper, be sure to rewrite your introduction and conclusion based on your additional research and knowledge about your topic!


Unlike the midterm paper, this final assignment is a research paper. Whether you choose to cover the same topic as in the previous assignment or a new topic, you are expected to build your descriptions and arguments on scholarly sources beyond just the two texts required for this course. Draw on at least 6 scholarly sources, two of which may be the two class texts if you wish to use them.

Scholarly resources include academic books or articles, whether in print or through an online repository such as JSTOR or EBSCOhost. I realize that the ISU libraries and many other libraries are closed, but there are a number of excellent online scholarly resources available for you to use. Check out the section called “Online Scholarly Resources” I have added in the General Academic Resources at the top of the course page for direct links to some major sites and databases for primary and secondary sources. (Note that you may need to sign in via the Oboler Library website in order to gain free access to some of these resources.)

Scholarly sources do NOT include general websites, Wikipedia, Youtube, or other places where the accuracy of the information presented cannot be verified.

No matter which sources you draw from in your paper, I expect that you will include citations wherever you draw specific information from a particular source. You may use whatever citation style you are most familiar with (Chicago, MLA, APA, etc.) as long as you use it correctly and consistently.

Questions about citations and source usage may be directed to me via email or crowdsourced to the class in the Course Questions & Academic Exchange forum.


7 or 10 full pages of text, depending on the option you choose. You may go over or under this limit by ½ page before losing points.

Times New Roman 12-point font or equivalent, double-spaced lines, 1 inch margins all around. Please include page numbers. Be sure to include your full name at the top of the first page. Multiple spelling and grammar errors will result in a reduction of your grade accordingly, so please proofread your text before submitting it. I prefer submissions in Microsoft Word for ease of commenting but will accept other formats as necessary.


This assignment is worth 30% of your final course grade. You will be graded on a 30-point scale, with partial points possible. I will look for the following when grading your papers:

  • Correct formatting
  • Consistent and correct citations
  • Correct spelling and grammar
  • Accurate information and source usage
  • Logical organization of your thoughts
  • Nuance and clarity in identifying a critical issue and in describing the various positions taken on it among various groups during the Reformation period.

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