Hello, here’s the instruction of the essay.
Length: Three to four pages double-spaced. You are graded on the quality of your essay, not the length. Any bibliography or reference list is not included in the three-four page limit.
You are writing an interpretive essay, but it is likely that you will use outside sources. Please list and cite them. If you copy material from somewhere else without citing it, this is considered academic dishonesty. The rule is, if you find information somewhere else, cite it.
Assume you are applying for a scholarship that is related to Chinese language and culture. You are asked to introduce the Book of Poems (Shijing) and the TaoTeChing. You must succinctly introduce each work, and then select a text passage from each work to explicate. Don’t eat up textual real estate with long quotes. If you feel the need to include long quotes, append those quotes at the end of your essay, and don’t count this in your text length.
Your writing should make sense to a reader not very familiar with China. Explain your topic in laymen’s terms. Whether you get the scholarship (your essay grade) is determined by your ability to explain what is asked in clear language, and your writing is competitive (compared to your classmates).
You may decide how to write the essay, but a suggestion of points to include is listed here.
1) An introductory paragraph that mentions the general importance of the two texts. Follow this with two or three paragraphs that give an additional detail or two on the works.
2) Have an additional paragraph or two introducing and discussing an excerpt from each text. For example:
Shijing “Rat, rat, don’t eat my rice,”
TaoTeChing “Prizing no treasures keeps people from stealing … The sage governs them all.”
Feel free to choose other examples than what is listed above, and don’t forget to have a conclusion.
There are a lot of points you could mention to tie your essay together, but try to include the societal significance of these texts. For example much of the Shijing is folk poetry, and the TaoTeChing can be a model for life conduct or for governing. Try to also point out how your quotes are representative of the text as a whole, and not snatched out of context