What do the narrative, characters and setting reveal about a particular context of writing?

Chinese history

Research Paper is about Chinese history, and this paper have two part, fist part I need 300-400 words abstract, second part need 7 full pages Final paper. Please read the requirement carefully.

Basic guidelines:

  • Write in English and format it as follows: double-spaced, 12-point, Times New Roman, with 1.0-1.5 inch margins.
  • 6-8 pages. Your paper should not fall short of or exceed this limit excessively.
  • The abstract is 300-400 words. It should include the general scope of your paper, a few points of critical concern and/or methodologies you plan to take up or challenge, the claim or argument (thesis) that will inform and guide your research, and a tentative bibliography. It should be clear and precise.
  • Have a meaningful title, i.e., not just“Question 1”or “Li Bai.”
  • Draw from at least five sources. These may include books, essays in edited volumes, articles in academic journal, films and other visual materials from assigned course materials or outside sources. You are encouraged to draw upon all available course resources, e.g. lectures, discussion sections, assigned readings, as well as conducting independent library research outside of assigned material.
  • Use either MLA or Chicago Style citations. Choose one to use consistently.

The thesis: You must include a clearly stated thesis in the first paragraph and a summary of the argument at the concluding paragraph. A strong thesis is crucial: it is concrete and specific, not self-evident or obvious, and anticipates possible counter-examples and counter-arguments. A topic (This paper is about…) is not the same as a thesis (This paper argues that…). Your thesis is an argument that you would like to prove or illustrate to your reader with support from clear and well-chosen evidence in an organized manner.

What to write about: Possible paper topics that you can develop your own argument on are as follows. If you have another topic in mind that you are particularly invested in, please discuss it with your TA well in advance: 1. Zuozhuan (Zuo Tradition) or Historical Records (Shi Ji) 2. Tang or Song poems 3. Dream of the Red Mansion or To Live (written by Yu Hua, translated by Michael Berry) Literature is one of the most important modes of cultural production through which to understand Chinese history, society and politics both within and beyond its particular or immediate context (place, time, relevant major events, etc.) of production. Taking the literary text as an example here, these are some guiding questions as you formulate your research:

  • What claims can you make based on close readings** of the form, content and structure of the text?
  • How would you describe the “aesthetic” present in the text through textual, visual and/or sonic analysis?
  • What kind of aesthetic concern, practice or tradition is present in the texts?
  • What do the narrative, characters and setting reveal about a particular context of writing?
  • What is happening in the author’s life and how does it impact the writing of the text and what it is about?
  • How would you explain the form of the text in relation to its cultural, social or political function and influence? Is that impact local, national, transnational? Similarly, does the text itself impact, prefigure or shape historical events as they unfold?
  • How and why is this important in the given historical period or continue to be important now?
  • How do these texts connect to ideas, beliefs and representations of Chinese civilization? **

How to Do a Close Reading (via Harvard Writing Lab)

The process of writing an essay usually begins with the close reading of a text. Of course, the writer’s personal experience may occasionally come into the essay, and all essays depend on the writer’s own observations and knowledge. But most essays, especially academic essays, begin with a close reading of some kind of text—a painting, a movie, an event—and usually with that of a written text. When you close read, you observe facts and details about the text. You may focus on a particular passage, or on the text as a whole. Your aim may be to notice all striking features of the text, including rhetorical features, structural elements, cultural references; or, your aim may be to notice only selected features of the text—for instance, oppositions and correspondences, or particular historical references. Either way, making these observations constitutes the first step in the process of close reading.

The second step is interpreting your observations. What we’re basically talking about here is inductive reasoning: moving from the observation of particular facts and details to a conclusion, or interpretation, based on those observations. And, as with inductive reasoning, close reading requires careful gathering of data (your observations) and careful thinking about what these data add up to.

Ask how and why questions. We need more evidence, so we go back to the text—the whole essay now, not just this one passage—and look for additional clues. And as we proceed in this way, paying close attention to the evidence, asking questions, formulating interpretations, we engage in a process that is central to essay writing and to the whole academic enterprise: in other words, we reason toward our own ideas.

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