All students are required to complete a 10 page (double spaced, proper citation and formatting) research paper relating to the general topic of “war and postwar Japan.” The paper is due at the end of the class. The paper should be based on wide reading of secondary and primary sources. Students may make a joint research project if desired, but each student will be responsible for 10 pages of research and text. Oral presentations of the research project will take place during the last week of classes.
There is no final exam for this course. The Research Report is due during the exam period, on or before November XX, the day our class would normally have its final exam. Research and writing of the paper will occupy students throughout the term. A paper proposal is due on September 19. This should consist an appropriate title for the paper and a one or two paragraph description of the research topic. An annotated bibliography is due on October 3. This should consist of a list of major primary and secondary sources, giving full bibliographic data, and some indication of the relevance of the source to your project.? On that same day students should be prepared to present their “best source” -the source or gevidenceh that best supports the argument of the research report. On October 10 students will hand in the gIntroductionh to the paper and outline of the project. A rough draft is due on October 24.
Short oral presentations from all students enrolled in this class are scheduled for November 5 and 7. The oral presentations will be between 3 and 5 minutes each (no longer). Students should prepare a one-page resume describing the research project, its significance and major conclusions. At least one primary source should be introduced. A brief bibliography of sources should be included. The instructor will announce the schedule for presentations?everyone should be prepared to give their oral presentation on November 5.
The topic should relate broadly to the central theme of this course: war and peace in contemporary Japan.? This is a chance for students to go into some more depth on issues covered in the course: Yasukuni, the Emperor System, Comfort Women, Nanking Incident, Hiroshima, Okinawa, the teaching of history, etc. There are many other possibilities. One could, for example, look at the history of school lunches (kyushoku) or issues related to minorities (Zainichi, Burakumin) or the history of the postwar press. The important thing is to select a topic that interests you! If you are having difficulty in selecting a theme, please email me or visit me during office hours or make an appointment.
In any case, the research reports are expected to be analytical and not simply a chronology of names, dates, and events. “This happened, and then that happened, and then this happened, etc. “The story you tell should answer a question: why did something happen and how? And you need to support your argument with evidence. Whenever possible take advantage of primary materials. If your topic is about Article Nine of the Japanese Constitution, for example, look back at the reception of Article Nine in the newspapers of 1946. Do not simply rely upon secondary texts that tell you how some scholar thinks about the event; go back and look at the evidence and do the thinking yourself!
The paper should be around 10 pages in length, double-spaced, font-size 12, Times New Roman. There should be an introduction to thesis or central argument, often in the form of question(s), the main body of the paper that discusses the topic and presents evidence, and a conclusion that attempts to answer the question(s) set out in the introduction. I prefer endnotes to footnotes or (parenthetical notes). In any case, consistent notation bibliographic style is required. Be sure to include a title page and a bibliography. I am not a page counter. The title page and the bibliography page(s) do not count as part of the 10 page assignment, but feel free to write more than 10 pages or if necessary, less than 10 pages. Just make sure that the quality of your research, writing, and presentation shines out! Good luck.