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Course Documents

MCMP 2019: A good paper will...

Based on our class discussions I’ve summarized the qualities that we all agree the chapters of our book must have in order to engage our target readers and satisfy them.

A good paper will:

  • Describe the activity you’re focusing on before you comment on it.

  • Describe the activity concretely and vividly, so that our readers can clearly imagine it. (“Paint a picture in the reader’s head.”)

  • Raise and attempt to answer one or questions that would be of interest to, and relevant to, our readers 

  • Shed light on some intangible aspect of Chinese culture that our readers cannot see or readily perceive. ("Decode" something that is "coded".) Examples these might be:

    • Attitudes, beliefs, values, codes of behavior, psychological motivations, etc…

  • Make points vividly, using concrete examples. When you say something is true,”show me how you know it's true.”

  • Make generalizations in a thoughtful and nuanced way. (Avoid “blanket generalizations.”)

  • Define things the reader may be unfamiliar with—take the reader's likely level of background knowledge into account

  • Have a clear focus

  • Have a clear flow of thought

  • Draw on at least two different types of information sources in addition to personal experience

  • Follow Austin's Rules of Thumb (basic skills learned in EAP101)

  • Be written in English accurate and idiomatic enough that errors in the language do not significantly distract readers or impede comprehension

  • Follow my formatting guidelines

  • Not be plagiarized

A note on citation

  • For your rough draft, I am asking you to include a one-paragraph statement summarizing how you researched this paper, written in such a way that I could easily find the websites or articles you consulted. You may include a reference list, formatted in whichever style you wish.