Value: 30% of Course Grade
Due Friday, May 15th, 2:00 pm
- This test covers the entire semester, including all readings and lectures.
o This is a take-home essay examination, so I am expecting real essays, with introductions, thesis, paragraphs, conclusions, etc.
o Don’t assume that “an answer” will be easily found in one section of one book. These essays require broad knowledge and analytical thinking. Among other things, this means that questions that look simple generally require a second look.
- This essay is worth 30% of your course grade: each of the essays is worth 15%.
o The grade is based primarily on the strength of your argument as an answer to the question: thesis, evidence (completeness and handling), logic.
o Clarity is crucial; structure is essential to a clear and effective argument.
o Be careful to address all parts of the question: when asked to pick between two choices, for example, it’s not enough to say what the positive argument for your side is without discussing the possible arguments for the other side.
- Citations and Plagiarism
o failure to acknowledge the source of your ideas or information is unacceptable.
o A Works Cited or Bibliography is not required unless you use sources outside of the course materials. You must cite the source of information and ideas that are outside of “general knowledge,” including information from your course texts. Format of the notes is up to you: I prefer footnotes for my research, but parenthetical citations are fine as well; any format as long as it clearly identifies the source and page of your information.
o These questions can be answered more than adequately with reference to assigned readings and lectures. You are welcome to do more research and include outside sources, but you must be sure that they are relevant and of sufficient quality to enhance your argument. Using outside sources instead of relevant course materials will be penalized.
- Technical Details
o Make sure that your name, e-mail address and the question are clearly indicated at the beginning of each essay, and that each essay begins on a separate page. Title pages are not required.
o There is neither a minimum nor a maximum length for these essays, but I would be surprised if you could answer any of them in less than 1000 words or needed more than 3000.
o Basic courtesies like correct spelling and writing in grammatical standard English are expected. Minor errors are acceptable; errors in substantial quantities will affect your grade.
o Double-spacing and title pages are not required, but readable type and font are.
YOU MUST DO TWO ESSAYS
1. Pick one of the following aspects of Japanese society and write a short history of the changes over the last three hundred years:
2. Compare and contrast the Meiji and 1947 constitutions, with particular attention to the relationship between the Japanese people and the government. How do the constitutions shape that relationship?
3. “The government of Japan — bakuhan, Meiji and post-war — has always been one of the chief engines of economic activity and a promoter of growth.” Do you agree? Why or why not? Discuss concretely.
4. To what extent does Fukuzawa exhibit traditionalism and continuity in his thought and actions, despite his belief that he is a modern and independent thinker?
5. Make up a question of your own: discuss it with me by May 8th to get approval.
Note: Though this is an exam, I’m entirely willing to give you feedback on your essays just as I would help you prepare for an in-class test or other essay assignments. If you have a question about direction, coverage, or relevance, the earlier you ask, the less time and energy you waste. I will happily look at introductions, conclusions, outlines, rough drafts, etc., in office hours or by e-mail.