Classic Buddhist Texts/Theology 3724. (Spring, 2015).

Classic Buddhist Texts/Theology 3724. (Spring, 2015).

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1
Classic Buddhist Texts
Theology 3724. (Spring, 2015).
First Paper Assignment:
HARD COPY due at the BEGINNING of class, Monday, March 9th.
Please respond to one of the following prompts. You do not need to respond to every facet of the prompt! Read on for writing guidelines.
Life of the Buddha, the Prince Siddhartha and his companion Udayin have a disagreement over whether the prince is right to – want us, his audience, to agree with

Siddhartha or Udayin? Why? How do you know?
Please consider all of Canto 4 before constructing your argument. With that said, I would recommend that you focus on only a few, select verses in your paper.
(2) In Cantos 22 & 23 of Manimekhalai , has been murdered. The King and Queen react in dramatically different fashions. With whom should we sympathize? Why? What is

the author teaching us by juxtaposing the King and Queen?
Note, you do not need to focus on both the King and the Queen if you have enough to say about one of them, alone. Please use specific passages to defend your argument.
(3) Please choose one magical episode from The Holy T . How, specifically, does the magical episode teach us about emptiness? What is the advantage of using magical

episodes? Please be sure to be focused in your analysis, supporting one main idea with evidence from the text. Be sure to define the term emptiness!
To succeed with this prompt you will have to include some of your own original ideas (rather than simply repeating the analysis we generated in class). You can either

choose an episode that we did not discuss in class, offer different interpretations of the episodes that we did cover, or expand on the ideas that we introduced in our

discussions.
2
Writing Guidelines:
The paper will be evaluated using the following rubric:
Thesis Statement/Statement of Argument (20 points)
Use of Evidence (25 points) Clarity of Argument and Prose (40 points) Creativity, Engagement, and Overall Interest of Argument (15 points)
(1) THESIS & EVIDENCE
Every paper should have a clear thesis statement in the first paragraph. A thesis statement will state an argument that you will defend in the paper. This argument

does not necessarily need to answer the complete prompt, as posed above. But it does need to argue something. Furthermore, the entire rest of the paper should explain

your argument and defend your argument. In defending your argument, please be sure to use specific evidence from our readings. The more specific the better.
You must make an effort to provide an original thesis that shows careful consideration of the question at play and takes a stand on an issue of interest. While a

strong thesis need not be overly creative, it must show some of your own thought.
To repeat. It is much more important to me that you have a clear, well-defended argument than that you thoroughly answer the questions that I have posed. The p p p p b

practice constructing a clear, well-defended argument.
W “ ” p p “B” p p ideas but do not connect these ideas together. They do not make a single, coherent argument.
Defend your original thesis with relevant evidence. All paragraphs in the paper must serve to defend the thesis. Each paragraph should have one main idea (ideally

stated in a topic sentence), and each sentence should make one point. ONE idea at a time!
3
(2) CLARITY
Please be sure that you define all of your terms. If you are using any fancy vocabulary or terms from class, please be sure to explain what you mean by them.
In reading over your paper, please ask yourself the following. Does the reader have enough information to understand each sentence ? each paragraph have one, single,

clear topic? Does every single paragraph help to defend my ? q p p xp what it means?
Clarity of prose entails: simple, clear sentences; topic sentences; transition sentences; paragraphs of reasonable length, each with only one main point; accurate use

of technical vocabulary from class; explaining quotations used, rather than hoping that quotations will do the explanatory work for you.
L “B” “ ” p p p z b b llow where you are going, from paragraph to paragraph (or often from sentence to sentence).
Format, etc.
(1) The paper should be three to five pages in length.
(2) Please use 12 pt. font, with normal (1 inch) margins, double-spaced. Please give your paper a title, number the pages, and include your name, the class title, and

the date in a single-spaced heading on the first page.
(3) The paper is due at the beginning of class on Monday, March 9th. I will only accept hard copies (unless there is an extenuating circumstance). Given the size of

the class, there will be strict penalties for lateness. Late papers will be penalized 1/3 “ ” “ -” “B- “ “ +” p x b q at least 3 days in advance.
(4) Parenthetical citations will suffice. No need for a bibliography.
Examples:
“T p ” L B dha, 61).
T B xp B , 15-19).

respond to one of the following prompts. You do not need to respond to every
facet of the prompt! Read on for writing guidelines.
Life of the Buddha, the Prince Siddhartha and his
companion Udayin have a disagreement over whether the prince is right to

want us, his audience, to agree with Siddhartha or Udayin? Why? How do you know?
Please consider all of Canto 4 before constructing your argument. With that said, I would
recommend that you focus on only a few, select verses in your paper.
(2) In Cantos 22 & 23 of Manimekhalai
, has been murdered. The King and Queen react in
dramatically different fashions. With whom should we sympathize? Why? What is the
author teaching us by juxtaposing the King and Queen?
Note, you do not need to focus on both the King and the Queen if you have enough to say
about one of them, alone. Please use specific passages to defend your argument.
(3) Please choose one magical episode from The Holy T . How,
specifically, does the magical episode teach us about emptiness? What is the advantage of
using magical episodes? Please be sure to be focused in your analysis, supporting one
main idea with evidence from the text. Be sure to define the term emptiness!
To succeed with this prompt you will have to include some of your own original ideas
(rather than simply repeating the analysis we generated in class). You can either choose
an episode that we did not discuss in class, offer different interpretations of the episodes
that we did cover, or expand on the ideas that we introduced in our discussions. 2
Writing Guidelines:
The paper will be evaluated using the following rubric:
Thesis Statement/Statement of Argument (20 points)
Use of Evidence (25 points)
Clarity of Argument and Prose (40 points)
Creativity, Engagement, and Overall Interest of Argument (15 points)
(1) THESIS & EVIDENCE
Every paper should have a clear thesis statement in the first paragraph. A thesis statement
will state an argument that you will defend in the paper. This argument does not
necessarily need to answer the complete prompt, as posed above. But it does need to
argue something. Furthermore, the entire rest of the paper should explain your argument
and defend your argument. In defending your argument, please be sure to use specific
evidence from our readings. The more specific the better.
You must make an effort to provide an original thesis that shows careful consideration of
the question at play and takes a stand on an issue of interest. While a strong thesis need
not be overly creative, it must show some of your own thought.
To repeat. It is much more important to me that you have a clear, well-defended
argument than that you thoroughly answer the questions that I have posed. The
p p p p b
practice constructing a clear, well-defended argument.
W “ ” p p “B” p p
ideas but do not connect these ideas together. They do not make a single, coherent
argument.
Defend your original thesis with relevant evidence. All paragraphs in the paper must
serve to defend the thesis. Each paragraph should have one main idea (ideally stated in a
topic sentence), and each sentence should make one point. ONE idea at a time! 3
(2) CLARITY
Please be sure that you define all of your terms. If you are using any fancy vocabulary or
terms from class, please be sure to explain what you mean by them.
In reading over your paper, please ask yourself the following. Does the reader have
enough information to understand each sentence ? each
paragraph have one, single, clear topic? Does every single paragraph help to defend my
? q p p xp
what it means?
Clarity of prose entails: simple, clear sentences; topic sentences; transition sentences;
paragraphs of reasonable length, each with only one main point; accurate use of technical
vocabulary from class; explaining quotations used, rather than hoping that quotations will
do the explanatory work for you.
L “B” “ ” p p p z
b b llow where you are going, from paragraph
to paragraph (or often from sentence to sentence).
Format, etc.
(1) The paper should be three to five pages in length.
(2) Please use 12 pt. font, with normal (1 inch) margins, double-spaced. Please give your
paper a title, number the pages, and include your name, the class title, and the date in a
single-spaced heading on the first page.
(3) The paper is due at the beginning of class on Monday, March 9th. I will only accept
hard copies (unless there is an extenuating circumstance). Given the size of the class,
there will be strict penalties for lateness. Late papers will be penalized 1/3 “ ”
“ -” “B- “ “ +” p x b q at least 3 days in
advance.
(4) Parenthetical citations will suffice. No need for a bibliography.
Examples:
“T p ” L B dha, 61).
T B xp B
, 15-19).

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