Assignments

Weekly Reading Journal

Before class: submit three questions for class discussion to me before 5 PM the day before class (by e-mail). Write your own responses to these questions and any other responses to the readings in your journal (1-2 pages). Bring your journal with you the day of class for class discussion. Submit (in hardcopy) your weekly journal to me at the end of class. This version of your journal does not need to be polished, but should be thoughtful. If you choose not to type your journal, please write neatly. In addition, you are asked to separately submit a brief bibliography of 5-10 media sources related to the literary work under discussion that week. These will be copied and shared with the class. These mini-bibliographies will serve as the basis for the more formal annotated bibliography each student will submit. If I do not receive your journal/bibliography by the end of class, I will deduct points from this portion of your grade. More points will be deducted for each day that the journal is late.

Final Project

This class seeks not only to introduce students to highlights from the canon of traditional Chinese literature, but also to consider the idea of this literary canon as a "living tradition," both in contemporary Chinese societies and in the global Chinese diaspora. Therefore, our final projects will focus on contemporary media adaptations of famous Chinese literary works (in film, anime, comic books, computer games, Web sites, music, theater, and other media). Each student will choose one work of literature (poem, play, novel) discussed in class and research contemporary media adaptations of this work. The final project will consist of a Microsoft® PowerPoint® presentation and an annotated bibliography (see instructions below). Final project and Microsoft® PowerPoint® presentation ideas should be approved in advance by the instructor.

Annotated Bibliography

Introductory paragraph: a short explanation of what your subject is, why you chose it, and your methodology (how you conducted your search, what search engines and search terms you used).

Bibliographic entries must follow correct form according to Chicago Manual of Style. Note that there are two forms—Chicago A and Chicago B.

Annotations: brief paragraph describing the source and its relevance to the original work of literature. It is best if you can provide some evaluation of the source. Is it useful? How close does it follow the original? Is it popular? Some sources may seem frivolous, but think about what you can learn from it. If you're using a source taken from the Web, be careful to paraphrase information instead of directly copying, which is plagiarism. The same goes for article abstracts. It is okay to use direct quotes from your web site where relevant, but these must be in quotation marks and properly cited.

Watch formatting: check examples in Chicago Manual of Style. Doublespace between entries, etc.

Categorization: especially important for longer bibliographies. Divide sources into categories. Use subheadings to provide reader with an overview of the types of sources. For example: video games, stamps, theme parks, film and TV versions, etc. Alternatively, you may want to organize by national origin of source. For example: Japanese adaptations, British adaptations, Australian, etc. Think about what is relevant or useful for your topic. What is the overall message you're trying to convey in this document? Then decide if you want to organize by date, or author. Once you have made these decisions, check Chicago Manual of Style for correct form. Note that there are two forms—Chicago A and Chicago B.

Depending on your project, it may be important to divide between primary and secondary sources.

It may be useful to have a few sentences introduction for each category, depending on how you decide to categorize your sources.

Project Abstract

Please write a one-page summary description of your project. This brief abstract should cover the following questions:

  • What did you set out to do?
  • What are your primary sources?
  • What has already been done on this topic?
  • What are your conclusions?

Build on your project proposal.

Append your project bibliography as a guide to your sources.

General: Make sure you use complete sentences. Watch out for spelling and grammatical errors.

Goes without saying: Include your name, page numbers, staple or paper-clip!