hum 130 japanese historical periods A+ Writers |


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The first essay focuses on the first three units we studied after the Mid-Term Examination (the Heian Period, the Medieval Period, and the Tokugawa Period.) The second essay focuses on the final two units (the Meiji Period and the Showa Period.)

Here is a checklist to use once as you are writing the first draft of your essays, and after you have written a first draft of your essay as you are doing revisions. Make sure you have all of these points in the essay:

  • Have a good introductory paragraph
  • Clearly restate and address the problem/question
  • Define/clarify key terms
  • Present your approach to addressing the problem/question
  • Have a clear, justified thesis
  • Summarize/evaluate theories of relevant scholars you have read
  • Use references to the readings
  • Give examples to illustrate the theories of scholars and your own points
  • Offer your own appropriate argument in reply to the problem/question
  • Support our assertions, use a well-reasoned defense of your claims
  • Offer counter-arguments to your and other’s claims
  • Defend your argument against possible counter-arguments
  • Have a good, clear structure to the essay
  • Use good writing mechanics (spelling, complete sentences, use good paragraphs, etc.)
  • Have a conclusion/concluding paragraph
  • Do not argue for a conclusion that you cannot support; better to have a modest point that is made clearly with good reasons and evidence
  • Show some independent thinking

Here are a few more suggestions for the essay:

1) Make sure the essay addresses the essay problem or question, and that it has a clear thesis.

2) Be as specific as possible in your essay, back up your points with references to the readings in the book, and the readings on the Canvas course site. It is open book so you can use and quote the readings. Use examples.

3) Made sure you back up your points with references to ideas and concepts you have studied so far (for example, “mappo”, “Civilization and Enlightenment”, “imperialism” or “Heian Period.” )

4) Make sure that you define all significant terms, tell your reader what these mean. I know what they mean, but I want to see if you know what they mean.)

5) Give dates and historical context if relevant, for example if you refer to Lady Murasaki say the time period/dates during which she lived. This information is in the book and the Canvas readings.