How to play Go
Write a paper which explains to the reader how to play Go so an astute
reader will be able to play and score a legal game of Go without
Assume that the reader is a literate adult, but knows nothing about
the game. You are free to assume that the reader has played other
games and therefore knows concepts common to many games such as
play, turn, and win. Include rules related
to the following concepts along with any others you feel appropriate:
equipment, moves, capture of a group, territory, and scoring. Be sure
your capture rules correctly handle ko, suicide and snapback situations. You
need not explain strategy, though you may choose to if it helps the
reader understand the rules.
Your paper should be about 500-800 words (2-3 pages). You will be
assessed primarily on clarity, your ability to connect with the
intended audience, and your ability to effectively explain the rules
of the game. Although it's best if you can avoid using any diagrams,
you should use diagram(s) if you cannot explain a concept sufficiently
clearly in words alone. Such diagram(s) should be placed in clear
context by your text.
If you aren't clear on some rules, you may wish to locate a set of
official rules on-line as a guide. When using such sources, be sure
to close the source and write your paper in your own words. Also, be
sure to cite the source.
A brief aside is in order for the student who is fond of using
they (or their) in place of he (or
his). Please read Lunsford section 29g for guidance on making
pronouns and antecedents agree, and section 33b on avoiding use of
he and his to refer to persons of either sex.
For this particular paper, I will use the following grading
guidelines. (Large portions are adopted verbatim from Lewis Hyde.)
- The F paper is reserved for cases of plagiarism, excessive
lateness, or some other serious failure to comply with the terms of
- The D paper, in some significant way, doesn't answer the question
that was asked. 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 directionless.
- The C paper is full of grammatical errors, or is somewhat hard to
follow due to a poor choice of overall structure. Probably the author
has misjudged the reader by assuming knowledge which the reader
may not have and has not carefully explained a significant portion of
- The B paper has few grammatical errors. It's easily understood
after one reading, and all the rules are clearly presented. The paper
is well organized and although some sentences may not be elegant, the
ideas in them flow well.
- The A paper has all the qualities of a B paper, but in addition it
is lively and well paced. Not only are the rules to Go logically
presented, but the author seems to have predicted where the reader
might get confused, lost, or bored, and has anticipated questions the
typical reader would have.