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Debate on Religion in School

Debate the pros and cons of prayer, Bible reading, and religious observations in public schools. Should current laws change regarding these activities? Why or why not? Support your opinions by identifying the legal rights and responsibilities of the various stakeholders in the educational community.

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I would suggest that you begin your paper with a purpose statement paragraph. This alerts the reader to what information they will discover in reading your paper. Sometimes this is called the introduction, since it "introduces" your reader to the topic you will cover. Often this paragraph defines terms, so that everyone is on the same page with terminology. Yours might read:

Education is a complex institution, with numerous viewpoints and issues that reflect the diverse and varied population that public education in the United States currently serves. One such issue is the inclusion of religion: prayer, reading of the Bible and other holy writings, and the observance of religious occasions in the schools. This discussion will address these issues, and explore the views of the stakeholders of modern education. "Stakeholders" refers to those persons who are concerned with, or who have a stake in, modern education. This would include students and their families, education professionals, and taxpayers who support public education with their tax dollars, employers who hire public school graduates, and the colleges and universities who accept public school graduates for further education, among others.

Now, in the body of your paper, is where you will present your views, and the reasons that you have which support your position. The wording of the assignment lets you know that there is not a "correct" answer to these questions. What is important here are the reasons that you give to support whatever position that you decide to defend. If your professor expects you to cite outside references to help support your arguments, be sure to cite them according to the system you are using in this class. They are not all done the same way! Otherwise, this essay is asking for your own personal reflections, and as long as you ...