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COURSE SYLLABUS FALL 2019

RS-503  RESEARCH METHODS, WRITING, AND TECHNOLOGY


(1 CREDIT HOUR)

COURSE DESCRIPTION
A course designed to introduce the student to the skills necessary to produce graduate level
research papers and projects. This includes the proper formatting of papers (Turabian), source
documentation, and thesis formation. How to effectively read for comprehension and how to
express oneself properly is explored. Methods for using technology to discover information
appropriate to graduate work through the use of electronic databases, Internet resources, library
collections, and information literacy are addressed. Students will be introduced to the Canvas
LMS and BlueJeans video conferencing system used at Grace for all its courses.

CLASS LOCATION
3705 College Park Drive  The Woodlands, TX 77384

CLASS DAY/TIME
Tuesdays, 6:00–7:00 pm CT  August 13-October 1, 2019 (Module 1)

INSTRUCTOR’S CONTACT INFORMATION


Gregory P. Sapaugh, PhD  979.324.2152  gsapaugh@gsot.edu

TEXTBOOKS
Adler and Van Doren. How to Read a Book. Rev. ed. ISBN 9780671212094
Strunk and White. The Elements of Style. 4th ed. ISBN 9780205309023
Swindoll. Searching the Scriptures. ISBN 9781414380650
Turabian. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. 9th ed.
ISBN
Vyhmeister and Robertson. Quality Research Papers for Students of Religion and Theology. 3rd
ed. ISBN 9780310514022
ADDITIONAL MATERIALS FOR LEARNING
Computer  Internet access  Microsoft Word

Revision.04.10.2019.GPS
RS 503 Syllabus

COURSE LEARNING OUTCOMES


Upon completion of this course, Assessment
the student should have these characteristics: Instruments
Heart
A positive attitude toward producing the best work possible
Head
An ability to use the library and the search capabilities contained in it
An ability to to effectively research a Biblical or theological topic Reading
An ability to effectively read and comprehend a book Quizzes
A good understanding of the proper formatting of papers Assignments
A basic understanding of the hermeneutical method.
Hands
An ability to to synthesize research into a properly organized and formatted
graduate level paper

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND ASSIGNMENTS


Discussion Board (5%)
There is one required discussion thread—after Class 1. The student is responsible to provide
two things—a brief thread (<250 words) about himself and a reply (< 150) words to at least two
other classmate's threads. This forum will serve as an introduction. Please share about family,
ministry involvement, current job, where you live, etc. This will help us get to know one
another and, as a school, build a community of learning. A late discussion board is not accepted.

Quizzes (35%)
There are four quizzes in Canvas. Each quiz is closed book and notes and consists of ten
objective questions based on the reading and class discussion. The time limit is twelve minutes.
A late quiz is not accepted.

Assignment 1 (30%)
The first assignment concerns footnoting. The bibliographic information for five sources will be
provided in Canvas. The student will be responsible for assembling footnotes for a paper based
on these sources. A late assignment is not accepted.

Assignment 2 (30%)
The second assignment concerns making a bibliography. The bibliographic information for five
sources will be provided in Canvas. The student will be responsible for assembling a
bibliography based on these sources. A late assignment is not accepted.

COURSE GRADING & POLICY


Discussion Board 5% 50 points
Quizzes 35% 350
Assignment 1 30% 300
Assignment 2 30% 300
Total 1000 points

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RS 503 Syllabus

COURSE SCHEDULE

Class Date Session Content Assignment Due


1 Aug 13 Introduction 6:00 pm CT Videos 1.1, 1.2
Aug 19 11:59 pm CT Discussion Board 1
Footnote & 6:00 pm CT Videos 2.1, 2.2, 2.3  Reading Turabian Ch 1–4,
2 Aug 20
Bibliography 14–17
Aug 26 11:59 pm CT Quiz 1
Library Research
6:00 pm CT Videos 3.1, 3.2, Library Research  Reading V&R
3 Aug 27 Footnote &
Ch 1, 3, 11–16, 19, 22
Bibliography
Sept 2 11:59 pm CT Assignment 1
6:00 pm CT Videos 4.1, 4.2, 4.3  Reading Turabian Ch 5–7, 9–
4 Sept 3 Paper Template
12; V&R Ch 17–18
Sept 9 11:59 pm CT Quiz 2
Software 6:00 pm CT Videos 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4  Reading Turabian Ch 20–
5 Sept 10
Discussion 25; S&W Parts I-V
Sept 16 11:59 pm CT Quiz 3
Footnote &
6 Sept 17 6:00 pm CT Videos 6.1, 6.2  Reading A&V Ch 1–9
Bibliography
Sept 23 11:59 pm CT Assignment 2
7 Sept 24 Observation 6:00 pm CT Videos 7.1, 7.2  Reading Swindoll Ch 1–5
Sept 30 11:59 pm CT Quiz 4
8 Oct 1 Application 6:00 pm CT Videos 8.1, 8.2  Reading Swindoll Ch 6–10

ADVISING
For additional assistance or more information on degree plans or future courses that GRACE
may offer, please contact your academic advisor. You may find information on your academic
advisor in Populi. If you have ministry, personal, or spiritual issues you wish to discuss, please
feel free to contact me, or, you may contact the Student Services Department. All information
shared in such cases will be held in the strictest confidence.

ATTENDANCE POLICY
Grace School of Theology believes that interaction between the professor and students is a vital
part of training. This interaction may occur in the classroom and/or online. All classes utilize
Canvas as the online Learning Management System (LMS), whether the student is attending in
the classroom, only online, or a blend of both. All students are expected to participate in/attend
the course weekly. Faculty prepare assignments that are typically due on a weekly basis.
Attendance at Grace is defined as academic participation in the coursework such as
1. attending class (on-ground) and/or watching the lectures in Canvas (online),
2. discussion boards (DB)
3. completing tests and quizzes, and,
4. submitting any other assignments as required in the course syllabus.
Note: Student communication (email or texting) to the professor does not, in itself, constitute
attendance.
If a student has planned absences for personal reasons, they should notify their professor as
soon as it is known so that the student can work ahead and not fall behind. Professors will take

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RS 503 Syllabus

into account personal, family emergencies, but it is the student’s responsibility to notify the
professor as soon as possible of any potential disruption in their studies.

Module Classes (8-weeks)


Students enrolled in modular classes (8-weeks) who do not attend (as defined above) for 14
days in succession will receive a final grade of F/A (Failure to Attend) for the class.

Semester Classes (16 weeks)


Those students enrolled in semester-long classes who do not attend for 21 days in succession
will receive the same final grade of F/A.
Note: A student’s GPA and financial aid benefits (if applicable) will be affected when a student
receives the F/A grade. The professor determines attendance and is responsible for reporting
attendance to the Registrar on a weekly basis.

Intensive Classes (3-5 days within a Module)


Intensives are defined as the presentation of lectures with appropriate assignments within an 8-
week Module, condensed for 3-5 days. Professors who teach intensive courses determine
attendance and are responsible for reporting attendance to the Registrar on a regular basis.
Student communication (email or texting) to the professor does not, in itself, constitute
attendance. Students enrolled in an intensive who do not attend (as defined above) for 14 days
in succession will receive a final grade of F/A (Failure to Attend) for the class. A student’s GPA
and financial aid benefits (if applicable) will be affected when a student receives the F/A grade.

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY
Academic integrity is essential in our quest for truth and the student’s spiritual formation. Any
student proven to have committed any type of academic dishonesty such as plagiarism,
cheating, or falsifying information will receive disciplinary action. The degree of discipline will
depend on the severity and pattern of the offense. The first infraction of academic integrity will
result in either an automatic zero for the assignment or, at the discretion of the faculty member,
the resubmission of the assignment with a grade reduction. The second infraction will result in
automatic failure of the course. The third infraction will result in academic dismissal. A year
from the dismissal, the student may be readmitted to his or her program on the condition that
any further infraction will result in immediate and permanent expulsion from school.
IN ORDER TO ASSURE ORIGINALITY OF YOUR WRITING AND ENHANCE
YOUR CRITICAL THINKING SKILL, GRACE UTILIZES TURNITIN, A CANVAS
IMBEDDED THIRD-PARTY SOFTWARE THAT DETECTS AND REPORTS CASES
OF PLAGIARISM IN YOUR WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS TO YOUR PROFESSOR.

LATE ASSIGNMENT POLICY


In general, late assignments are not accepted for the sake of fairness to the students and the
professors who will have their assignments already reviewed and in most cases discussed in
class based on their due dates. The only exception to this policy will be made for students who
are under extenuating circumstances beyond their control. When extreme circumstances occur,
students are responsible to contact the professor to make alternate arrangements at his or her
discretion.

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RS 503 Syllabus

EXPLANATION OF LETTER SYMBOLS


A Work of exceptional quality.
B Work of commendable quality. Commendable means praiseworthy.
C Work of an acceptable but not distinguished quality. Such work is deemed a satisfactory and
adequate completion of the course objectives.

LETTER AND NUMERICAL GRADE SCALE


A + 99-100 B+ 91-93 C+ 83-85 D+ 75-77 F 0-77 I INCOMPLETE AUD AUDIT
A 96-98 B 88-90 C 80-82 D 72-74 WP* IP CLASS IN PROGRESS
A- 94-95 B- 86-87 C- 78-79*** D- 70-71 WF** F/A FAILURE TO ATTEND
* Withdrawal during the first nine weeks of a 16-week course or first five weeks of an 8-week course.
** Withdrawal after the first nine weeks of a 16-week course or first five weeks of an 8-week course.
*** C- is the lowest passing grade at the graduate level.

DISABILITY DISCLOSURE
Disabled students who desire accommodation for their disability must self-identify as an
individual with a disability and provide appropriate information that substantiates the disability
to the Student Services Department. Once confirmed, the Academic Affairs Department will
then assess the impact of the disability on the student’s academic program and record the
required academic accommodations. Instructors are not required to provide accommodation for
disability without proper approvals from Grace administration. Students are encouraged to read
the Grace Catalog which contains more information about the Reasonable Accommodation
Policy and the Disability Access Policy.

COURSE MATERIALS
Any instructional materials such as the instructor’s video lectures, course notes, and Power
Point slides that are made available for the student either in classroom or online must not be
shared with any individual or group of people outside the class. They must not be posted on the
web or published in any fashion without a written permission from the professor.

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
Adler, Mortimer J. and Charles Van Doren. How to Read a Book. Rev. ed. New York: Simon
and Schuster, 1972.
Bauer, David R. An Annotated Guide to Biblical Resources for Ministry. Reprint ed. Eugene,
OR: Wipf and Stock, 2011.
Carson, D. A. New Testament Commentary Survey. 7th ed. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2013.
Evans, Craig A. Ancient Texts for New Testament Studies: A Guide to the Background
Literature. Reprint ed. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2012.
Evans, John F. A Guide to Biblical Commentaries and Reference Works. 10th ed. Grand Rapids:
Zondervan, 2016.
Fee, Gordon D. and Douglas Stuart. How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth. 4th ed. Grand
Rapids: Zondervan, 2014.

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Glynn, John. Best Bible Books: New Testament Resources. Edited by Michael Burer. Grand
Rapids: Kregel, 2018.
Hendricks, Howard G., and William D. Hendricks. Living By the Book: The Art and Science of
Reading the Bible. Rev. ed. Chicago: Moody, 2007.

Longman, Tremper, III. Old Testament Commentary Survey. 5th ed. Grand Rapids: Baker,
2013.
Ryken, Leland. How to Read the Bible as Literature. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984.
The SBL Handbook of Style for Biblical Studies and Related Disciplines. 2nd ed. Atlanta: SBL,
2014.
Sparks, Kenton L. Ancient Texts for the Study of the Hebrew Bible: A Guide to the Background
Literature. Reprint ed. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2005.
Strunk, William, Jr. and E. B. White. The Elements of Style. 4th ed. Boston: Pearson, 2000.
Swindoll, Charles R. Searching the Scriptures: Find the Nourishment Your Soul Needs. Carol
Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2016.
Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. 8th ed.
Chicago: University of Chicago, 2013.
Vyhmeister, Nancy Jean and Terry Dwain Robertson. Quality Research Papers for Students of
Religion and Theology. 3rd ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2014.
Wald, Oletta. The New Joy of Discovery in Bible Study. Rev. ed. Minneapolis: Augsburg, 2002.

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