Assignment guidelines for final essay or project report DRA144

Assignment guidelines for final essay or project report DRA144

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The essay or report needs to have an hypothesis or question to pursue – in any area that interests you enough to be able to do some significant research. The key element is integrating a close analysis of one of the exercises into the larger topic, whether that topic be history, philosophy, science, performance, education, sports, or psychology. The close analysis may relate directly to the work you have done on the video exercise, but should not be a simple repetition of that work.

The reason that you are asked to use an exercise we learn in class is that the main learning experience of the course is to understand some of the principles involved in a daoist movement system. These systems have existed since before recorded time, ie since before 3000 BCE. They are places where people have tried out their relationship to things in the world, and to other people. From these relationships they have acquired an understanding of the energy in their own bodies and how it complements the energy in their environment. This is the main meaning of the 3 daoist virtues that I talked about in class: kindness, respect, and an awareness of balanced ecology (benevolence, humility, frugality in the old vocabulary).

The principles are the ways that we bring the virtues into reality in everything that we do.

So: the principles are the learned result of doing the techniques well.

And: doing the techniques well depends on carrying out the smaller, more detailed and precise, keypoints.

Choice of question/ hypothesis:

Whatever you choose for a question or hypothesis it should be something you are genuinely researching and do not have easy answers to.

It should be something you are wondering about either immediately in terms of wushu/taiji or in a related way about another area of knowledge, or something in your daily life.

This final essay is an opportunity to think this question or hypothesis through, from the perspective of at least one principle that you have learned. The essay can be mainly about the topic of your question/hypothesis, but I expect you spend some time demonstrating to me (your reader) that you have learned why certain keypoints are needed for an effective technique, and how that technique, if it is carried out well, has helped you learn about the principle you want to bring to the topic you have chosen.

3 academic references are required.

Tworeferences could come from the longer list in the bibliography in the resources section online under FILES in Canvas, but one should definitely be new. New references can come from the list of resources that each group has posted online under DISCUSSION in Canvas. Please asterisk (*) all new references.

Important: If you use internet references they should either be academic, or you should include a sentence about why you trust them. There’s a lot of rubbish out there on the net and you need to demonstrate that you can make distinctions.

Essay format or project report

The assignment may be more like a scientific exploration with a project report (if you want to do this kind of writing choose your topic early because it takes time to organise), or it may be a more classical written essay.

1) For a speculative, historical, conceptual, critical or theoretical essay the structure can be a ‘normal’ critical essay, or, it may be more experimental if you check with the TA or me first. You must do this before the class on Monday November 25th.

2) If the assignment is based around an application (as with exploring the use of the exercises with groups of people) or with an experiment (as with assessing the impact of the exercises in a sport), it may take the form of a scientific report. This kind of report needs more focus on methodology, making sure that you have a selection process for the people you choose, comparative groups or actions so that you can make deductions about differences, and sound observational procedures. It does however still need a clearly state hypothesis to start out with, and some kind of assessment to conclude.

The usual plan for an ‘application’ essay is as follows:






What you make of it

Conclude – how do you fit what you have found out back into the conversation

The title that I choose is What are the effects of practicing Taichi on the lungs in long-term

The exercise that I choose is Kaimen movement.