Term Paper Topics
Why am I writing the term paper?
The term paper is expected to be a minimum of 2,000 words and is due in draft form on 10
Nov 2011 and revised form on 5 Dec 2011. You will receive more detailed instructions in
your tutorials on how to: come up with ideas for the paper, do research, organize your
findings, structure your essay, cite sources, and write clearly. The main reason you are
writing the term paper is that it will provide you with opportunities to develop important
skills that will serve you well in all your future writing, including how to...
• use the reading strategies you have learned in tutorial to approach the primary and
secondary source materials required for the paper
• gain a deeper understanding of a particular topic that goes beyond simply reading
about it or hearing about it in a lecture
• organize, relate and synthesize information from a variety of sources
• make generalizations about, and draw conclusions from, a range of specific information
• clearly articulate a thesis (a main statement to be proved) and maintain focus on the
thesis throughout the paper
• develop an argument (a set of reasons) to prove a thesis
• properly cite primary and secondary sources as evidence in support of an argument
• write clearly in a well-structured format
What are the TAs and the Professor looking for in the term paper?
In evaluating your term papers, we will be looking for evidence that you are employing all
the skills mentioned above to ensure that your paper has:
• an easily identifiable, plausible, clearly stated thesis related directly to the topic
• an apparent, organized structure that is appropriate for the thesis with logical
transitions from section to section
• an identifiable, sound argument (with multiple points) that develops and supports the
main thesis statement
• proper citations from primary and secondary sources to support each point of the
argument, with balance between your own ideas and those cited from other sources
• good sentence and paragraph structure, grammar, word choice, punctuation and
citation style with minimal spelling errors
We are not looking for a certain thesis as the right answer; we are looking for the presence
of a thesis, an argument to demonstrate it, evidence to support the points of the argument,
and clear, well-organized writing.
Premodern East Asian History EAS 103H1F – 2011
What primary and secondary sources can I use?
To research and write this paper, you should only use the Ebrey textbook, the de Bary
source book (any part of it, not just the assigned readings), supplemental readings posted on
Blackboard, and your notes from lectures. You will learn the proper ways to cite these
北美代写,论文Essay代写,网课代修,Exam代考 sources in your tutorial. You may use websites such as Wikipedia to simply remind yourself
of basic information (which is also covered in your textbook), but you should not rely upon
it as a final authority, nor should you include any text from any website in your paper. All
the language in your paper should either be completely your own or properly cited
from the textbook, source book and lectures. Failure to do this (either deliberately or
inadvertently) will leave you open to charges of plagiarism that could have serious
consequences for your university career.
How do I approach the term paper topics?
Each of the topics below (in boldface font) is followed by a statement in one sentence (in
sans serif font). In your paper, you should agree, disagree, or partially agree and disagree,
with the statement and state your position in your thesis. Then you need to develop an
argument with multiple points to support that thesis and demonstrate each of the points
with evidence from primary and secondary sources. Remember, there are no right or wrong
answers here, just ones that are supported well and ones that are not. Keep the following
guidelines in mind:
• your answer must touch on at least two of the three major regions of East Asia that we
now refer to as China, Korea and Japan, and you must compare your findings for each
region to one another
• this is a short paper, so you should restrict yourself to just one or two relevant time
periods for each region that you discuss
• give some thought as to how you want to organize your paper: will you deal with each
region separately and only relate them in your introduction and conclusion? or will you
jump back and forth between regions as you develop your argument? will your
argument follow a chronological progression? or will you organize it by subtopics and
jump around in time? (You will have a chance to discuss these approaches in your
There are several questions (in serif font) following each of the statements. These are
brainstorming questions to help you get started. Feel free to answer these questions in your
paper as part of your argument, but do not feel that you need to answer all of them as they
are written here. You are encouraged to adapt these questions as you see fit and to come up
with additional questions related to the topic on your own.
Finally, you may come up with an entirely different topic on your own provided it is relevant
to the course and you can answer it using the sources mentioned above. You will need to
write the topic in the same format as the ones below (topic/statement/questions) and submit
it directly to me via email by 10pm on Thu 13 Oct 2011 for my approval. Do not proceed
with writing the paper until you have received explicit approval from me via email.
Premodern East Asian History EAS 103H1F – 2011
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