East meets West
This is the first of two research assignments. The two assignments
This document describes the first of these two assignments.
- An oral presentation in which you discuss one activity, behavior
or art form performed in both the East and the West. You will discuss how the
performance of the activity differs between the two cultures.
- A research paper in which you identify how the differences in performance of the
activity reflect differing value(s).
You can (and, for most topics, should) restrict East to some region or
country in East Asia, and restrict West to a region or country in
Europe or the Americas.
Naturally, your audience is other students in our class; in other
words, you can assume the audience has had the discussions and the
background knowledge of a typical classmate.
Your presentation (and your paper) should be based on solid facts
drawn from your own research. Choose the quantity and quality of your
sources carefully. If you include too few good sources, you'll be
uninformed; if you choose too many, you will be swamped with too many
You will give a 10-20 minute well-practiced PowerPoint presentation to the
class and be prepared to field questions. (The presenter should feel
free to say, "I don't know," in response to a question; better that
than to answer a question with pure speculation.) You should e-mail
me the PowerPoint presentation so that I receive it before 8am of the
day you are schedule to present. In addition (just in case) be sure a
copy of the presentation is in your home directory or bring
it to class on a disk or the like.
This oral presentation is worth 10% of your final course grade. I
will assess it using the following grading guidelines:
- A grade of F is reserved for a failure to comply with the
terms of the assignment.
- The D presentation, in some significant way, fails to address the
- The C presentation, while it attempts to addresses the question,
is sufficiently hard to follow that the audience may not
understand how the activity's performance differs in any
substantive way in the East and the West. The presentation
may be poorly organized, or the presenter may not explain the
core differences. Sometimes the C presentation
is well prepared, but isn't practiced. As a consequence, the oral
portion of the presentation is rushed, choppy, or garbled.
- The B presentation is easy to follow and addresses the question
asked. Each slide has enough information to help the
presentation, but not so much information that the slide detracts
from the presentation. The presentation is comfortably paced,
giving the audience time to absorb any material on the slides and
time to hear what the presenter is saying. The presentation
clearly identifies how the activity is performed differently in
two cultures in a way that conveys why we should care. The
presenter might be nervous and might have to stop to collect his
or her thoughts at times, but the presentation is still clear.
- The A presentation has all the qualities of a B presentation, but
in addition it is lively, well paced, and interesting. The sure
mark of an A presentation is that those in the audience continue
to think (and talk) about the presentation after is over.