East meets West

For this paper, choose one activity, behavior or art form performed in both the East and the West. Discuss how the performance of the activity differs between the two cultures and how these differences reflect differing value(s). (Note that you need not explicitly use the word values in your paper.) Your audience is other students in our class; in other words, you can assume the reader has had the discussions and the background knowledge of a typical classmate.

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.

This paper should be based on solid facts drawn from your own research, so be sure to read Lunsford's discussion of a research paper in chapters 10-13, including 12g and 13c on citing sources. 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 risk writing a paper consisting mostly of other people's ideas rather than your own ideas.

You should formulate your paper around a single, interesting, focused thesis, which you will support using hard evidence. Your paper should be about 1200-2100 words (4-7 pages).

Citations and bibligraphy

Any statement you make which isn't common knowledge or which isn't argued within your paper should include a citation (see Lunsford). Common knowledge is any knowledge which you might expect a typical member of your audience (in this case, a classmate) to have.

In your bibliography, in addition to Lunsford's guidelines, add one sentence to each reference which explains to the reader why the source is (or isn't) reputable.

Be sure to document (i.e., provide citations for) both Western and Eastern views in your research. Beware of making assertions based on hearsay rather than research. In addition, be sure to document differences in values as well as information on your specific activity.

Grading guidelines

You will be assessed primarily on your ability to argue a clear and appropriate thesis that focuses on the differences and/or similarities in value(s) of the two cultures and your effective use of sources. For this particular paper, I will use the following grading guidelines. (These guidelines are taken nearly verbatim from Lewis Hyde.)