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 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
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.)
- The F paper is rare. This grade is usually reserved for cases of
plagiarism and excessive lateness. However, exceptional failure to
comply with the terms of an assignment may also result in an F.
- The D paper, in some significant way, doesn't answer the question
that was asked. It lacks a thesis or an argument, or it has a thesis
which is inappropriate to the assignment. A D paper which does answer
the question is filled with mechanical faults (errors in grammar
and/or spelling). Paragraphs do not hold together; ideas do not
develop from sentence to sentence. This paper usually repeats the
same thoughts over and over, perhaps in slightly different language
but often in the same words. It is usually rambling and
- The C paper has a thesis which is vague and broad, or which
answers only part of the question(s) asked; or it may make a good
argument without first offering a thesis statement (usually in the
introduction). The C paper rarely uses evidence well; sometimes it
uses no evidence at all and relies entirely on unsupported personal
opinion. Even with a clear and interesting thesis, a paper with
insufficient supporting evidence is a C paper. Sometimes a C paper
has a good deal of evidence, but it is not part of a coherent argument
and the reader can only make sense of it with great difficulty (if at
all); thus, the evidence is ineffective. This paper may not
effectively address cultural values.
- The B paper makes sense throughout. It has a thesis that is
appropriate, complete and worth arguing. It does not digress, and it
ends by keeping the promise it made to the reader in the beginning.
The reader always knows where the paper is going and what the author
wants to say. The paper presents interesting ideas, supported with
sound evidence which is both to the point and well documented. This
paper effectively addresses cultural values related to the particular
The paper is well organized and although some sentences may not be
elegant, the ideas in them flow well and thought naturally follows on
thought. The paragraphs may be unwieldy now and then, but they are
organized around one main idea. The reader does not have to read a
paragraph two or three times to figure out what the writer is trying
The B paper is, for the most part, mechanically correct. There will
be occasional spelling and grammar errors, but these are few in number
and do not prevent the reader from following the ideas in the paper.
- The A paper is rare. It has all the qualities of a B paper,
but in addition it is lively, well paced, interesting, even exciting.
Everything in it seems to fit the thesis exactly. The paper has
style. Reading this paper, the reader feels a mind at work. The sure
mark of an A paper is that the reader continues to think about it
after reading it, even wanting to tell others about it. In the A
paper, the connections to cultural values are particularly clear and deep.
This paper may have a proofreading error or two, even occasional
misspelled words or a minor error in grammar, but these errors are the
consequence of the normal accidents all good writers encounter.