Herodotus and Sima Qian

Checklist for Essay on Herodotus and Sima Qian



___  Three page essay (double spaced) using the small book Herodotus and Sima Qian.



___ Develop one main point or theme based on the information and insights you gained from the book.


Here are three examples of themes that could work for this essay:


“Herodotus and Sima Qian both use historical examples to teach lessons.”

“The stories from Herodotus and Sima Qian reflect the different values in their cultures.”

“The two historians have different views of what makes a great leader.”


(You can find more ideas for themes from Herodotus and Sima Qian, page 143, Questions 16-23.)



___ Relate your main point to developments in Greece and China in the classical era.  You may also consider how your main point relates to the life experiences of the two historians.



___ In your first paragraph, introduce the topic you are covering and state your main point.  Give the reader a basic overview of how you will develop your essay.



___  Develop your main point with specific information, insights and quotes from the documents (Part Two).  I recommend you use material from at least three documents by Herodotus and at least three by Sima Qian.  You may also use the introduction or information from our textbook.



___ Instead of footnotes, simply mention where you got your material and give a page number.



In his account of the reign of Empress Lu (Document 10), Sima Qian says Lu gained power through treachery and murder.  However, he also notes the people did well during her reign: “The world was at peace, punishments and penalties were rarely imposed, and criminals became few.”  (111)



___ Try to include at least twelve short quotes from the documents.



___  Please make sure you are mentioning the right author.  Thomas Martin wrote the Introduction (Part One).  He also wrote comments in italics at the beginning of each document.  The actual documents are by either Herodotus or Sima Qian.



___ Please use short or medium-sized paragraphs.  Three or four sentences can make a good paragraph.



___ In your conclusion, discuss how the readings can enrich our lives and add to our understanding of the world.  You may also note if you found any of the writings particularly rewarding.

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