TRS3340 Virginia Commonwealth Wisdom of Wilderness Nature and Spirituality Paper

Nature and Spirituality Paper: Wisdom of the Wilderness, Due MONDAY 9/30

As with all work in this class, do not respond to the prompts for the paper outright. But within the course of writing the content.

The outline is similar to our first paper. Remember, it is an essay so keep the tone/voice personal. Just a warning too – one pitfall some make is writing a book report rather than an essay, so focus on the issues brought out for you in the reading,rather than describing what is in the book.

The Template ( Please read the directions as you go – and yes, you do need to use the headings!):

Intro and thesis

As always, introduce what you will discuss in your paper with 2-3 sentence in your own voice, and end with a thesis that says “I think……, because….” [Note the comma before the word because is required] Yes, you absolutely need a “because….” clause. This sets up your analysis, and is a sharing of your reasoning.

Your thesis can be on the “power of the slowing” concept, or nature and healing, or simply what you learned from the book.

My experience

Yes, do talk about your experience interacting with nature, and telling whole stories is a good idea. But make sure to compare this with what you read in Wisdom of the Wilderness, to show how you relate/don’t relate to the power of the slowing/nature and spirituality. You may add some quotes to do so, but in this section talk more on your experience. This section should be at least 2 long paragraphs/ 1 page.


Start paragraphs in this section with a personal claim that relates to your thesis “because….” clause. Then talk about specifics of the book, the metaphors used, and what you though significant points. Do quote to support yourself, and go in depth into the issues. But don’t review the book; examine issues. (Keep telling yourself “this is an essay, not a book report). Aim for at least 3 paragraphs/ 1.5 pages. Each paragraph in the section needs a claim, quotes, reasoning and personal examples.

Conclusion Sum up your paper, and re-state your thesis in a new way, given what you discussed. This is no place to quote; use your own words to end the paper.


Include the Wisdom of the Wilderness, but also any other sources you found helpful for writing the paper.

The template is meant to help you think through issues raised in reading this book, improve critical writing skills, and clarify expectations.

Sample papers are available in Writing Specifics.

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