Analysis of a Sura from the Qur’an

PAPER #1:  Analysis of a Sura from the Qur’an


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Please write a 4-5 page paper (double-spaced) on the following topic. The first draft is due on Friday, September 24th. You will receive a grade for the paper, as well as feedback to improve your paper. The final draft is due on Friday, October 22nd.


Imagine that you live in the middle of a desert and that the only portion of the Qur’an to reach your isolated village is Sura 17 (Al-Isra’ – “The Night Journey”). Excited by this discovery, you read this text several times and proceed to write an analysis of its major ideas and teachings.  Your task is to identify and discuss at least five themes and/or teachings found in Sura 17 in a coherent essay. Each theme must be supported by citing at least three verses from the Sura.



  1. You may want to review the Daniel Madigan reading (on D2L) for a reminder of some themes to look for. Feel free to include other themes as well.
  2. You should not cite any additional readings other Sura 17 (on D2L).
  3. Be sure to support each theme with at least three Qur’anic verses. Cite verses in the following format: (sura #: verse #); i.e., verse 11 of Sura 17 is cited as (Q 17:11).
  4. Be sure your paper has an introductory paragraph and a concluding paragraph.
  5. Be sure you have a clear thesis statement in your introductory paragraph. Your thesis statement should lay out the main themes you will be discussing. (e.g., “The five themes I will discuss is Sura 17 are a, b, c, d, and e”).
  6. Be sure your themes are distinct from one another and that you are not saying the same thing in different ways.
  7. Papers must be typed, double-spaced, in 12-point Times New Roman font with standard (1”) margins. The first paragraph of the paper should begin near the top of the first page.  Neither a title page nor a “sources cited” page is necessary.


Hints for Success:

  1. Read Sura 17 multiple times prior to writing the paper.
  2. Write an outline of your paper for yourself prior to writing the complete paper.
  3. In the Qur’an, the singular God is referred to by the pronouns “He,” “I,” and “We.” The translator consistently capitalizes the pronouns referring to God.
  4. While you may discuss Sura 17 with your friends, you must write your own paper. No two papers should look as though they were written by the same person.
  5. If you find writing papers to be a challenge, make an online appointment with UArizona’s Think Tank Writing Cenher ( ahead of the due date to show them your draft and to get help.
  6. Avoid common mistakes: it’s = it is; its = possessive. An effect (noun); to affect (verb).
  7. Avoid slang and excessive use of semicolons and contractions.

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