*Chapter 26 – “Tradition and Change in East Asia”*
Thinking about traditions (“Chinese women”)
This assignment is worth 5% of your final grade and is due on Wednesday, 07 February. It must be handed to me in class. If late, it will be penalized at a rate of 10% per day overdue.
Posted on my office door is a list of possible research paper topics. To ease the strain on library resources, a maximum of two people may sign up for each topic. These topics come directly from the “Thinking About Traditions” and “Thinking About Encounters” boxes in every chapter of the textbook. You will sign up for one of these topics (or discuss an alternative topic with me) and write a paper on it. But first, you will submit a paper proposal, in which you will provide some possible lines of enquiry for your paper. Your proposal will also include a preliminary bibliography for your essay.
The proposal will be approximately 500 words. In three or four paragraphs, you will identify the topic that you have decided to research, and you will discuss some of your options. Based on your early investigation, what issues or arguments might your essay address? Are there competing or controversial interpretations of the topic? Have historians’ views of the topic changed or evolved over time?
Your proposal will also include references to three secondary sources (books and/or articles) that you will consult in preparing your essay. These three sources will not include generic websites or the course textbook. In the end, your paper will employ at least five secondary sources. Your proposal therefore reports on a work-in-progress.
The purpose of this assignment is to initiate the preparation of your research paper – to encourage you to commit to a topic, to do some preliminary research, and to present some possible directions that your essay might take. In the end, your research paper may or may not pursue the options presented or outlined in your proposal – after all, your own thinking on the topic will evolve as.