*all the details on the assignment are listed under the link provided in additon to the following:
1) This essay is discussing the CULTURAL differences/similarities. Therefore You are
comparing 2 different cultures (West, India, China) and using the texts from those
cultures to back up the cultural theme.
One text per culture will do, but you can use more if it is deemed appropriate.
(There is no minimum of 3 texts – whatever texts you use, needs to portray the theme
of the culture in depth so you may want to use more but it is not mandatory!)
2) Q: What if two texts from the same culture have contrasting views so it doesn’t
represent a clear description of the culture? Should you use these examples or stay
away from them?
A: The texts from a given culture may have opposing views, and one may discuss this,
but it is also possible to take a particular text that for the writer exemplifies
what the culture stands for and use that in the comparison.
It may be stronger to stick with one view on the culture to defend the main theme.
3)Q: It says in the outline… “develop and support a thesis as to the major
similarities OR differences that the given theme manifests…” Are you expecting
one or the other or both similarities and differences
A: one may find similarities and differences or either of these. There are no
expectations to what you find here, so you choose! You may find you can expand the
discussion if you do both similarities and differences!
4) Q: Should we use personal experience?
A:the syllabus states that the student should articulate what one of the chosen
themes means to him/herself. That could be done without personal experience
figuring into this mix, but it makes more sense if personal experience backs this
5)Q: can they use a contemporary example (not personal) to supplement the theme?
6) Q: Do the texts chosen to be discussed have to fall under one theme
(Wisdom/Folly, Good/Evil etc) that is presented in the reading schedule and in
lectures… or can you pull texts from other sections but still relate to one theme
A: as long as you are aware that the text(s) chosen will be used to exemplify a
given theme (even if not presented under that rubric in the syllabus). The texts given under a particular thematic unit also have
reference to the others. Life/death, freedom/slavery, etc. are not airtight
compartments, and a freedom/slavery text may relate just as well to the life/death
theme. Students should acknowledge this, but what is of major importance is your
understanding of the theme you have chosen, what it means to you (via clear
definition) and how that theme manifests in two different cultures.
Over all, students should focus on the development of some thesis that, with respect
to a given theme, articulates cultural differences and/or similarities. That is the
essence of the assignment.
Books used for the assignment are:
Culture and Values, Vol. I, 7th Ed.
World Literature and Thought, Vol. I, The Ancient Worlds
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