Objectives: The objectives of this assignment are 1) to formulate and articulate clearly your understanding of the reading material; 2) to demonstrate in writing and to deliver in speech your analysis of the text; and (3) to reflect critically on the reading and to challenge you to evaluate the ways how and what you understand China and Chinese society. Assignment: Reading Response Paper: Possible topics for the paper are studies of themes and subject matters, such as the legacy of Mao, gender issues, social disparity and injustice, urbanization and globalization, and so on to analyze how they are represented in the text. You can also study the characterization in the stories or examine the characters in the context of historical and sociopolitical changes. Other literature elements, such as narrative voice, style, etc., can be the focus of your paper, too. In all, you need to make a clear argument and present a reasonable claim, supported by evidence drawn from the text. Your paper should inform your reader of your thoughts, understanding, and insights about the texts. It does not have to be highly polished, but it should be coherent, and they should cite specific lines and passages to make your argument. Please avoid overly general or superficial observations. The most effective response generally offer some form of argument by analyzing specific passages from the reading to support points about the text that, in your view, are worth making or exploring further. Using the following prompts to help organize and focus your response to each class meeting’s reading: For fictional text (such as short stories): 1). Themes: What are the main themes of the story? How are these themes represented in the story? (citing textual evidence) 2). Characters: What kind of protagonist and characters do we have in the story? Do you see them grow over the length of the story? Do they have agency, or do forces beyond their control somewhat shape them? What are the historical and sociopolitical backgrounds in which these characters are situated? How do these factors affect the actions and the choices of the characters in the story? 3). Style, Form, and Creative Process: How does the writer tell the story? How are the themes constructed? Are the characters created persuasively and memorably, and how so? For non-fiction text (such as Spence’s writing, journalist pieces, and Yu Hua’s essays): 1). What issues, topics, or questions does the text examine–and why does the author believe them to be significant or worth examining? 2). What is the author’s thesis (or theses)? 3). How does the text go about investigating or examining its subject matter–what evidence does it draw upon, and what methods does it employ? 4). What aspects of the text do you find most useful or persuasive? Why? 5). What aspects of the text do you find least useful or persuasive? Why?
If you are assigned to both fictional and non-fictional text in your writing, please focus on fictional writing and use non-fictional writing as a secondary source to help you understand the fictional writing. Requirements and Style: The paper will be 3-5 pages, minimum of three pages in length. You will get 10 points deducted if it is lesser than three pages. The paper will be double-spaced with New Times Roman font, size 12. And make sure that you 1. Establish the connection between texts; 2. Cite at least two passage from the body of the text that you think are particularly insightful or helpful and explain why; 3. Raise two discussion questions at the end of the reading response paper. Reading Response Paper Presentation 10% 1. Presentations in class should correspond to the paper you write, but deliver it orally in class with a clear outline, arguments, points, and your line of thoughts, supported by evidence. 2. Discussion leader: presenters will raise two questions of the readings for further discussion. Questions can be specific or an open-ended question that stimulates discussion. 3. Time limit: within 10 minutes. 4. PowerPoint presentation is required. Grading Rubric for Presentation 1. Content-based on the strength of your paper, 35% a. Did the presentation enhance our understanding of the assigned reading? (10 pts) b. Did the presenter inform listeners of key ideas to be discussed and show deep rather than superficial thinking? (10pts) c. Did the presentation reference the readings as evidence and includes enough material to be convincing? (15pts)
2. Effectiveness of your presentation 35% a. Did the presenter provide a clear outline, a good structure to follow with main points laid out, and a closure for the presentation (10 pts) b. Was the overall presentation delivered effectively with audience and purpose in mind through approach, language, tone? (15 pts) c. Was this well thought out and did not appear as a rehearsal? (10 pts)
3. Successful discussion leader role 30% a. Were two good questions posed to generate class discussion? (15pts) b. Was the role of a discussion leader played successfully? (15pts)