The Samurai

The Samurai

 

Paper details:

Following the general directions for writing assignments, write 5-6 pages answering the following question: Both the selections of the Konjaku monogatari, translated by Wilson, and parts of the the Tale of Heike, translated as The Tales of the Heike by Watson and Shirane, offer a romanticized portrait of the samurai that some might call “fake news.” Select three aspects of these war tales that you think need to be investigated to see if they actually correspond to real life. You do not have to do any additional research. Instead, propose in a thesis what new light might be shed on the samurai if those three aspects of the war tales were more closely scrutinized through historical research. In other words, what three facts, traits, or themes do you propose checking in the war tales and what sort of conclusions do you hypothesize historical research might yield? Stylistic Guidelines: – Include a title and number the pages. Samurai can be singular or plural –avoid “samurais.” – A bibliography is not required unless you are using electronic or different versions of the text(s). – Use your preferred method of citation or internal citation: (Heike, pp. 22-23) (lecture by title) – Consult the “Writing Check List” for additional guidelines. General Guidelines: Write an essay answering the question. Do not summarize the plot of the stories. Draw your information from the Konjaku and Heike texts (not the introductions). You can also make limited use of the Hane and Perez text, Premodern Japan, and the lectures, but additional sources are not required: internet sources are prohibited. Develop your argument using specific examples from the texts. Cite examples with page numbers. Summarize long quotes. The only time you do not have to cite something is when it is common knowledge. Organize your thoughts into coherent paragraphs. Your paper should include: 1. An Introductory Paragraph a. Include the names of the translators and/ or authors and titles of the texts. b. State your approach and answer to the question in a clear thesis statement. 2. Numerous supporting paragraphs in a logical order. a. Use a topic sentence that explains the purpose of each paragraph. b. Make your point and cite evidence (with page numbers) to support it. c. Analyze the evidence presented clarifying how it supports your point. 3. Concluding Paragraph a. Restate your thesis. b. Add some concluding thoughts about the question. The paper will be graded on the basis of your success in responding to the assignment as measured in the use of textual evidence from the primary sources, clarity of argument and prose, and conformity to the stylistic guidelines for the assignment. For information about the standards for letter grades consult the syllabus. Contact the instructor or graduate teaching assistant early if you have any questions about this assignment. They are willing to answer questions by email and review drafts up to noon on Friday before the assignment is due – this deadline allows them time to respond. They recommend that you visit the writing centers on campus and/or have a friend read your paper — it will improve your writing. Plagiarism is presenting the work of another person as your own. As with all of the work you do in class, you must follow KU’s code of academic conduct in writing this paper. Any misrepresentation of work and plagiarism will be severely punished both in terms of your final class grade and according to university policies – plagiarize and you will fail the course and be subject to additional sanctions. Your work must be the product of your own individual and independent effort.

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