RESEARCH PROJECT: THESIS SENTENCE ASSIGNMENT INSTRUCTIONS
Paul’s letter to the Romans is perhaps the most logical and systematic of his letters in terms of presentation of a biblical theology, so it requires detailed study. Careful study of Scripture in its context leads to much better results than simply looking for material taken out of context to support a preconceived doctrine. So, the good student of Romans will first analyze Scripture, but always with a view to learning the theological point. An effective way to learn Romans, then, is to select a topic from a list of passages or sections of Romans on which you conduct scholar level research and analysis of the biblical text and then explain the results of the biblical analysis of the passage or section and the theological theme that can be drawn from the passage or section of the letter.
GUIDANCE FOR WRITING A THESIS SENTENCE
The sentence may be submitted as an attached Word document or typed or copied into the textbox.
Students must be careful to submit assignments that qualify as thesis statements. Ways to do that follow:
1. The sentence must be a complete sentence. A question cannot serve as a thesis statement because it does not set forth an idea to be demonstrated.
2. Thesis sentences must not contain grammar and spelling errors. If there is a sentence in the paper that must be clear, it is the thesis sentence. Using good grammar promotes clarity.
3. A Thesis sentence is not a statement of purpose or method. A statement of method is something like this: “I will review all the passages in Romans to determine what Paul means by justification by faith.” A statement of purpose might be “I am writing this paper to determine what Paul means by justification by faith.” Those sentences cannot be defended. A defendable thesis statement might be “When Paul uses the phrase ‘the righteousness of God’ in Romans he means both a righteousness that God provides and the fact that God is just to both punish sin and to save sinners.” One would offer evidence of that thesis statement by explaining what Paul means in the passages where he uses that phrase and would develop evidence that Paul meant what the thesis says.
4. The thesis must focus on the book of Romans, not on general doctrine. A statement of general doctrine or something like, “Sanctification is an important topic in the Scriptures that is often overlooked.” Since the paper must be developed from Romans, the thesis should state what the paper will demonstrate from Romans. Another example is something like “Justification has been a matter of significant controversy in the history of the Church.” That is true, but it does not address Romans.
5. To develop a useful thesis sentence, adequate knowledge of what Paul teaches about the subject will be needed. It will likely help to do enough research to be clear about what Paul wrote.
6. Finally, students sometimes submit a sentence that has to do with what the church teaches. It might be something like this, “The modern church no longer properly teaches the Old Testament as Paul did.” The first problem is that the sentence does not demonstrate a point to be proven about Romans. The second problem is that the proposition will prove impossible to demonstrate. The amount of research necessary to determine what the modern church teaches will be monumental. In addition, the diverse nature of the church will make it difficult to form any single thing that is taught.
Note: Your assignment will be checked for originality via the SafeAssign plagiarism tool.