Languages & Cultures of East Asia

Trad 101, Sections 18-19-20-21   Fall 2000

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Due Date
November 15

     Essay Assignment 2

     The Linguistic Society of America's "Statement on Language Rights" ( includes the statement that:

"promoting our common language need not, and should not, come at the cost of violating the rights of linguistic minorities."

     Based on what you have learned in this class so far and on your personal experience or knowledge you had before this class, write an essay in which you take a stand on this issue. If you wish, you can focus your essay on one of the specific rights that are proposed in 10A through 10G. Your essay should consider issues of multilingualism and minority languages in both the U.S. and at least one East Asian country. Regardless of what you argue, a strong paper needs to state your position clearly, then support it effectively.

     As with the previous essay assignment, an "A" paper is one that meets the requirements of the assignment; is interesting and creative (do NOT simply paraphrase sections of the LSA statement); is well-organized and easy to follow; is well-written, with few or no technical problems; is factually accurate; is appropriate in style for your audience; and cites references whenever appropriate (see the citation handout previously given out in class). The essay should be:

___ 2-3 pages,
___ double-spaced,
___ 11 or 12 point font,
___ with margins of no more than 1 inch, and
___ it must have a title that clearly states your topic.
(make sure that you satisfy all these requirements)

     It is due by the beginning of class on November 15. No late papers will be accepted. If you are not in class, for whatever reason, it is your responsibility to get the paper to us before class.

October 11

      Essay Assignment 1

     In our "Cultural Concepts in Language" unit, we discussed a number of cultural concepts that are important in understanding East Asia. Among these were: hierarchy, in-group/out-group relationships, reticence, filial piety, and the importance of propriety/ritual. Pick one concept from the preceding list. Write an essay in which you briefly explain the concept and its importance in one or more East Asian societies. The course readings and the lectures should be helpful to do this part of the essay. Then compare that with a specific non-Asian society(s) you know. You will almost certainly be able to produce a stronger paper if you relate it to your own experience. An "A" paper is one that meets the requirements of the assignment; is interesting and creative; expresses and convincingly supports a clear thesis; is well-organized and easy to follow; is well-written; with few or no technical problems (i.e., grammatical, punctuation, spelling, etc.); is factually accurate. The essay should be 2-3 pages, double-spaced, 10 or 12 point font, with margins of no more than 1 inch. It is due by the beginning of class on October 11. No late paper will be accepted. If you are not in class, for whatever reason, it is your responsibility to get the paper to us before class.


As you begin working on your first essay assignment, please remember that it is VERY important to cite the source of any information in your essay that did not originate with you. This is true whether or not you give the information in the form of a direct quotation. Even paraphrases of information MUST be cited. If you borrow someone else's organizational structure for discussing a topic, that too should be cited. A good rule of thumb is that information that is widely available (for example, you could find it in at least 3 reference works) is general knowledge and need not be cited. Everything else should be cited. Err on the side of caution, so that you don't commit plagiarism, a serious academic sin. Below are some examples of how to cite information you use.

For citing something you heard in lectures, put the information in parentheses, as follows: (Dr. Liu; 9/1/00).

Books, chapters from books, or articles should be cited like the following examples: (Maynard, 1998; pp.6-8) (AP; August 6, 1997)

A website should be cited like this: (National Women's Education Centre, Japan website).

NOTE: All books, articles, and websites cited should be listed in a bibliography at the end of your essay. (the bibliography doesn't count towards your overall page limit.) At the bottom of the page is a sample bibliography. It includes examples of bibliography entries for a journal article, a book, a chapter from an edited book, and a website (in that order below). Note that the entries are in alphabetical order.

Finally, here's a reminder from our class syllabus:

Although we encourage you to get together to talk about the readings and ideas brought up in class, for all individual assignments you are expected to do your own written work in order to receive credit. Materials turned in as part of a group project must be the work of all group members. Words or ideas that come from someone else must be cited: "A good rule of thumb is this: Whenever you consciously borrow any important element from someone else--any sentence, any colorful phrase or original term, any plan or idea--say so, either in a footnote, bibliography, or parenthesis" (from "Academic Honesty in the Writing of Essays and Other Papers", Carleton College, 1990). See the University of Arizona Code of Academic Integrity for specific information regarding University of Arizona policy.


Etiquette-Conscious Japan Ponders Breakdown in Polite Talk. Associated Press article from CNN website, August 6, 1997.
Kang, Kyung-Wha and W. Barnett Pearce. 1983. Reticence: A Transcultural Analysis. Communication, vol. 8, pp. 79-106.
Kondo, Dorinne. 1990. Crafting Selves: Power, gender, and discourses of identity in a Japanese workplace. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Martin, Samuel E. 1964. Speech Levels in Japan and Korea. In Dell Hymes, ed. Language in Culture and Society. New York: Harper and Row. pp. 407-415.
"National Women's Education Centre, Japan" website.

September 22
      Internet Assignment

     This is a group project which involves using the Internet for research. We will assign you to groups in a way that insures each group has a mix of expertise in different areas. This assignment is designed to focus on the following skills:

1) researching a topic via the Internet

2) summarizing and expressing what you have learned and drawing connections between what you learn via the Internet and the facts and concepts you have learned through readings and lectures

3) evaluating information gained through exploration of the Internet (a major goal is to help you become discriminating "consumers" of the Internet)

     Keep these overall goals in mind as you work to complete the assignment:

1. Pick one East Asian country (China, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, or Taiwan) and pick one aspect of the language or culture of the country (possible topics could include, but are certainly not limited to: different dialects; the education system; popular culture (e.g., sports, food, movies, animation); religion; medicine; traditional customs; the political system; gender roles, etc.), and surf the web to find sites that will give you information about the language and/or culture of that country.

     Use the University of Arizona Library's RIO World Wide Web tutorial (available at <> and the two readings from your reading packet ("Five Criteria..." and "Thinking Critically...") to learn more about using web sites for research. Analyze the web sites you find according to the criteria covered by these resources. Coordinate your efforts so you don't duplicate each other's work at this stage. Be sure you critically evaluate the sites you look at.

2. Produce a group-authored 3-page double-spaced report summarizing the information you learned about that topic. Wherever possible, draw connections between the new information you've gained and information you already learned through readings or in-class activities (lectures, discussions, etc.).

3. Each group member should do a report (within 1-page) for at least one web site. (You don't have to do a report for every site you look at.) Two people from the same group should not turn in a report for the same site. These reports should be in the following format:

a) Give the URL and the title of the site.

b) Use the 5 criteria from the "Five Criteria" reading as headings for 5 sections of your report, but be sure to incorporate suggestions from the RIO tutorial and the "Thinking Critically..." reading as well.

What you turn in at the end:

3-page report (must be written with the participation of everyone in the group).

1-page evaluation report of at least one website from each individual in your group.

Your papers must be typed.

Due September 22, Friday.
Each group will present what they found  on that day. (10 minute presentation)