|[a] Library...of Congress RF|
Click below for the other section of this assignment:
Writing From Sources A Writing From Sources B
Chinese History and Culture
Writing From Sources
Your balance of primary and secondary sources should be about 70% primary and 30% secondary. Engagement with both primary and secondary sources at the same time is a very important historiographical skill that requires practice. This assignment gives you an opportunity to work on the balance all historians must seek in their reading and their writing.
Just to get you thinking about possibilities, I have included some possible categories. They are only intended as guides. You will need to refine them as you think about your paper. These categories are intentionally broad, in order to encourage you to think about a wide variety of readings in your course books and supporting materials. Your actual topic should be a good deal more focused.
* women, gender relations, family...
* rebellion, social disorder, war, banditry, famine
* poverty, peasants, agriculture, tenancy
* outcasts, rebels, “barbarians"
* family life, social organization
* bureaucracy, taxation, land ownership, government work
* intellectuals, examinations, ruling
* religion, spirits, ancestors, ghosts, “heaven....
* myths, historical writing, and other narrative prose
|[c] Book Buy RF|
Remember that choosing appropriate sources is part of the assignment. Part of the skill I am looking for is the ability to choose appropriate sources. The better you know your readings, the better you will do when you choose from among your many class readings.
Your paper should be between 3,000 and 3,500 words, or approximately ten to twelve pages. There is usually little to gain by exceeding 3,500 words. If you do, you are likely writing for reasons other than a good grade. This is fine, but not required. If you “need” to write a longer paper (if you are compelled to write thirty pages on Qing bureaucratic culture, for example), please feel free to do so. I will read every word, and comment accordingly. 3,500 well-written and well-argued words will put you in “95+” territory, though, so consider your other classes before using this assignment to begin your doctoral dissertation.
|[d] Historical Source RF|
The real problem lies with “minimalism.” I urge you to put enough time into your paper so that you write more than a handful of pages. Papers under 2,500 words almost always lack development and serious analysis of the sources. I admire efficiency when I see it, but don’t assume that it courses through your authorial veins. Papa Hemingway might write a beautiful 1,783 word masterpiece called “The Aged Literatus and the Yangzi” or “Goodbye to Munitions.” You’re not Hemingway…yet. Write 3,000+ words.
You may consult any other books you deem necessary, but your essay will be judged on your ability to write directly from the sources you have chosen. While it is acceptable to choose a source or two from beyond our course materials, my intention is for you to make the most of the detailed syllabus we have studied in this class. This assignment is meant to judge your ability to use primary and secondary sources. It is not meant to be the final word on the subject!
Ebrey: 271-279 The Yangzhou Massacre
Ebrey: 318-322 Mid-Century Rebels
Mair: 190-191 On the Cicada: In Prison
Mair: 452 They Fought South of the Wall
(Add several appropriate secondary sources, such as sections from The Gate of Heavenly Peace, History in Three Keys, or other materials.
Ebrey: 64-68 The Classic of Filial Piety
Ebrey: 69-71 Wang Fu on Friendship and Getting Ahead
Ebrey: 238-244 Family Instructions
Mair: 264-265 Written on Seeing the Flowers...
Mair: 274-275 Ballad of Selling a Child
(Add several appropriate secondary sources, such as sections from The Talented Women of the Zhang Family, Producing Guanxi, or other materials.
Ebrey: 105-108 Tales of Ghosts and Demons
Ebrey: 120-122 The Errors of Geomancy
Ebrey: 280-281 Proverbs About Heaven
Mair: 226-227 Presented to the Taoist Paragon Mao
Mair: 371-386 Heavenly Questions
(Add several appropriate secondary sources, such as sections from The Gate of Heavenly Peace, Soulstealers, or other materials.
Ebrey: 97-104 Buddhist Doctrines and Practices
Ebrey: 109-111 Cultural Differences Between North and South
Ebrey: 169-171 Longing to Recover the North
Mair: 209-213 Journey North
Mair: 274 A Fan From Korea
(Add several appropriate secondary sources, such as sections from The Gate of Heavenly Peace, The History in Three Keys, or other materials.
Ebrey: 91-96 Ge Hong's Autobiography
Ebrey: 128-131 The Examination System
Ebrey: 195-199 A Schedule for Learning
Mair: 254 Don't Read Books!
Mair: 580-589 An Explication of "Progress in Learning"
(Add several appropriate secondary sources, such as sections from The Talented Women of the Zhang Family, In One’s Own Shadow, or other materials.
Source Paper Checklist
______ Read the assignment carefully and think about possible paper topics. E-mail (or stop by and ask) me any questions you may have about the assignment.
______ Choose eight-to-twelve sources from an array of syllabus materials.
______Create a provisional title for your paper and e-mail it to me with the sources in the "examples" form listed above. DUE NO LATER THAN Wednesday, April 12 by 10:00 p.m.
|[e] Representation RF|
______ Carefully (re-)read your chosen sources in light of what you have learned from the course thus far.
______Write an essay about Chinese society, culture, or politics by relying primarily on those sources you have chosen. Your "audience" should be very intelligent people (such as your professors in other classes) who know relatively little about China. You are the expert, but you must convey the cultural and historical details you have learned to someone who knows a good deal about academic argument.
For this assignment ONLY, you should not make a separate title page. Center your title at the top of the first page, followed by your sources—exactly as shown in the examples on pages two and three. Begin your essay immediately below. Double-space the text of the essay. Finally, put the word count number at the very end of the paper.
|[f] Nooks and Crannies RF|