Interrelation between Chinese Food and Culture


Interrelation between Chinese Food and Chinese Culture

Length: Approximately three-four pages. Quality is more important than length.

Sources: This should be your own writing, but if you use information from elsewhere please cite (list it). Do not count the works cited page in the length. The same applies to any informational tables or charts.

What to do: You will write explores connections between Chinese food, culture, and language. may include personal experience, but as much as possible write in third-person.

You have flexibility in how to shape your topic, but you do need to reference these three sources:

1) Lin Yutang’s  “On Diet.” This is excerpted from Food and Chinese Culture:  Popular Cuisines. You should be able to find the article in Google books; by googling “On Diet.”

2) The movie Eat, Drink, Man, Woman. directed by Ang Lee. The movie is probably available in Netflix, but you can also find the movie here: Username/password = 3354/33543354

3) Pages assigned from our book The Eater’s Guide to Chinese Characters (In the readings folder).

For these three references — although recommended — you do not have to watch the entire movie, you do not have to read the entire article, and you just need to look at The Eater’s Guide so you are familiar with the relevant pages. So you could watch the first two clips of the movie and read the first 10 pages of the article to get an idea of how the article and film present the topic of Chinese food.

Once you are familiar with the references, here’s what to write.

Assume your audience is a group of college-educated readers not greatly familiar with Chinese language, food, or culture. You will do your best to explain to this reader some concepts about the culture of Chinese food, and to some degree how a non-Chinese person might go about learning to recognize a few items on a Chinese menu. You could mention that you recently took a Chinese culture class that used the above three references, and you give an overview of each reference. For the movie you are not analyzing the entire movie or retelling the plot. You are trying to explain how the theme of Chinese food is integrated into the film.

For “On Diet,” you could make a short comment about something Lin wrote that caught your attention, and finish by giving your own comment about an aspect or feature of Chinese food that is interesting to you. If you don’t know much about Chinese food, you could write from the perspective of a particular question you have about Chinese food.

If you are having trouble getting started, your first sentence could be something like: “Recently I read Lin Yutang’s “On Diet” and also watched the film Eat, Drink, Man, Woman. Both the article and the film reminded me of the central place of food in Chinese culture, and here I would like to share some reflections of Chinese culture through food, including the language.”

You are welcome to provide your own first sentence(s), but that’s the general idea. After you get started, do your best to write in third person. Keep the focus on explaining your points to the reader, and follow the basic conventions of concise, organized writing.

Whatever you write, you want to be as analytical as possible. Avoid pure description, and stress explaining why a phenomenon is significant.

You may do some simple research, and don’t have to be totally original as long as you remember to cite sources.

Grading Rubric

Clearly stated argument

Clear transitions between paragraphs

Uses accurate language. (Do your best, don’t worry too much about small mistakes in English, but be careful not to stink it up).

Follows assignment instructions

Grades of A, B, and C.

“A” is excellent. An A paper reads effortlessly, has persuasive power, and has little to correct. It can be shown to another instructor who quickly agrees it is an A.

“B” is above average. “B” papers may have minor writing errors, are somewhat persuasive yet not totally convincing, and have some minor corrections regarding style or logic.

“C” is average. “C” papers are not very convincing and/or have errors of logic or style. However “C” papers do generally follow the instructions given for writing the essay.

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