Final essay: details

Google doc version of this page


  • 1000 words (±10%, excluding name, title, footnotes and bibliography).
  • Develop your own question or thesis, which allows you to demonstrate your learning throughout the semester, and traces a topic or theme throughout the course of Chinese history.
        • Tip: Comparing and contrasting two or three different time periods about a specific topic or question will work well with this word limit.
  • This is not a research essay, but an analytical essay: use the materials provided to you throughout the course (including in-class handouts and materials on the website). There is no need to find additional materials, but if you choose to do so, make sure the sources are reliable and of good quality. You should confer with me if you want to use additional materials.


  • Mon. Nov. 25 (or earlier):
        • You will get feedback on the feasibility of your idea.
        • Send in via e-mail or share a google doc with your proposed question or thesis.
              • Include which texts you intend to use.
        • I strongly encourage you to include a rough outline. This outline may change based on feedback, or as you start to write and find new, better ideas to work with.
              • The more detail you can provide at this point, the more precise our feedback will be.
  • Tue. Dec. 3: First version (earlier would be great, but I don’t want to interrupt Turkey-fest)
        • The first version is not graded, but you must make a solid first attempt. This means: full paragraphs and sentences, and references as required to comply with the AIC.
        • You can include a brief paragraph explaining what you do and don’t yet like about your essay, this will help me and your peers with providing more focused feedback.
  • Dec. 3- Dec. 6: peer reviews (electronically, you will be assigned two people/two essays)
  • Mon. Dec. 9: Final version, together with all other written work


  • Submit first draft and final version as a Google doc, or place in your HST269 Google Drive folder.
        • Why? Easiest way for me to give feedback, and to prevent me from losing your work in my inbox or office.
  • Grant access to your document for commenting, or higher levels of access.
  • Use Chicago Notes and Bibliography style for references to all materials used, including the textbook by Hansen.
        • Please re-acquaint yourself with the basics of plagiarism prevention:
        • You need notes and page number for information, whether cited (with “ “) or paraphrased (retold using your own words), as well as information you simply don’t carry around in your head but have checked/found somewhere (online, library, assigned readings,…).
              • Top tip: don’t trust your memory: fact check, like a good historian and a good journalist do!
        • Include a bibliography- even for this short piece.
              • Why? This makes it easier for me to provide feedback on how to enrich your essay by drawing on additional materials.
  • Tip: Learn how to insert a footnote. (Google Doc menu: Insert > footnote,video tutorial)
  • Tip: Writing Center can help you with all stages of your essay, from concepts and ideas to structure, and checking grammar and assisting with bibliography/footnote formatting.