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SAMPLE RESEARCH PAPER PROPOSAL
Great Books Asian Classics – Prof. Fenkl
Final Project Proposal
Shamanism: An Exploration in the “Technique of Ecstasy”
Introduction: The introduction provides a brief overview of shamanism as an ancient
practice that is found throughout history and across cultures. This paper will examine
traditional forms of shamanism, as well as neo-shamanism, the re-emergence of shamanic
practices in contemporary Western culture. Ultimately, this paper argues that shamanistic
practices are effective methods of healing developed and utilized as a spiritual path for
thousands of years.
Working Thesis: Despite the prevailing dismissive and often negative Western scientific
attitude toward shamanism, this ancient method of healing is an effective practice that,
through a transpersonal experience in which an individual undergoes a change in
consciousness, the individual gains access to his or her archetypal, inner resources which
results in healing, insight, and self-empowerment.
I. Traditional Shamanism (the first part of this paper briefly answers the following
questions concerning traditional shamanism):
a. What is a shaman
This section discusses the definition (and issues of defining) the traditional
concept of a shaman. It provides a brief overview of the origin and
distribution of shamanic practices around the world throughout history.
b. How does one become a shaman
This section discusses a shaman’s initiation process, training, and death-
c. What does a shaman do