The Arts Past and Present II
First Semester 2015-2016
Cut-off date: Week 10
Format and Word Count:
The student’s work should be presented in an ESSAY of around 1200 words.
The essay should include a list of references (print and electronic) at the end in addition to in-text referencing as per the requirements of the Harvard Referencing System. Proper referencing is a serious academic requirement and skill and will be rewarded accordingly.
Writing and Discussion Topic:
Cultural encounters are an eye-opener. However, they are not most often smooth, bringing not only “opportunities” but “challenges” in their course. Their impact on the individual can be quite intense, especially when that particular individual sees himself/herself or is seen as partaking of more than one “original” culture. The cultural encounter in such a case becomes fundamental to one’s perception of oneself and the cultures to which s/he relates. Explore how cultural encounters are manifested in literary works, specifically short stories from An Anthology of Short Stories from Five Continents, with particular reference to “The Joy Luck Club” by Amy Tan.
In the process of answering the TMA, you should make sure to include the below five sub questions:
1) How is the concept of cultural encounter treated in the short story ‘The Joy Luck Club’?
2) Is the author, Amy Tan, aware of the cultural encounter theme? How does she manifest that awareness in terms of ideas and her selection of words?
3) Are the main characters of the short story aware of the cultural encounter theme? How does the author express their awareness?
4) How is the mah jong used to highlight the theme of cultural encounter in “The Joy Luck Club”?
5) What role do “memories” handed down by family members play in highlighting the theme of cultural encounter?
Guidance on Addressing the Topic:
Before you embark on writing the essay, you need to read carefully Book 3 Cultural Encounters in order to familiarize yourself with the topic at large and make use of the skills presented in the book when writing your essay. You are strongly advised to consult sources on the topic and widen your knowledge of the topic under consideration, but it is of the utmost importance to document any words or ideas that are not your own. Once you have the material ready, it is advisable that you follow the steps (1-5) indicated in the section above to avoid omitting sub-questions. Although the topic is most relevant to Unit 4, you should demonstrate your knowledge of the complexity of the concept of cultural encounters as presented in the all the units to draw lessons and examples from them if need be, and not model your treatment solely after a particular treatment appearing in a single unit.
Note on the PT3 Form:
The tutor’s comments that appear here on the PT3 form and on the script of the student’s TMA should be taken seriously by the student as mentioned in the Course Guide.
TMA Marking Descriptor

(18-20) Excellent answers showing confident and wide-ranging knowledge of core material, good understanding of any relevant theory, and a capacity to address the question in a structural, direct and effective way, thoughtfully and with insight. Originality of thought or ideas from outside the course are an added asset. Examples are to the point. – Has an introduction defining plan of essay.
– Body divided into several paragraphs
– Conclusion which directly relates arguments to topic.
– Evidence that essay has been edited.
– Error-free grammar & register.
– Wide range of specialized terminology.
– Consistent in-text citation and form of referencing
B to B+
(16-17) Very good answers showing secure knowledge of course materials. Adopting an analytical approach and providing relevant discussion covering most of the key issues. Distinguished from A answers by being less insightful or by showing less comprehensive knowledge of the course. – First four criteria above maintained
– Demonstrates extensive grammar control.
– Terminology specialized but less varied.
– Minor Inconsistency in in-text citation and referencing
C to C+
(14-15) Competent answers reflecting adequate knowledge of the more directly relevant course material and concepts, with reasonable structure and adequate coherence related to the question set. – Introduction and/or conclusion short but still satisfactory.
– Evidence of editing.
– Less grammar control than above.
– Good range of specialized terminology.
– Inconsistent in in-text citation and referencing

Answers which omit some concepts /evidence and/or lack coherence /structure, and/or make minor errors while still demonstrating basic understanding. Or Bare pass answers which show awareness of some relevant material and attempt to relate it to the question. – Introduction and/or conclusion short but acceptable.
– no evidence of editing.
– Few grammatical errors that impede communication.
– Above average range of specialized terminology.
– Slightly confused introduction and/or conclusion, but body still fair.
– No evidence of editing.
– Some error types that impede communication.
– Fair range of specialized terminology.
– Inaccurate in-text citation and referencing

10 Answers which attempt to draw upon relevant material but do not reflect sufficient knowledge of the course and/or neglect the focus required by the question, and/or are incomplete in some important aspects whilst being acceptable in others. – No introduction and /or no conclusion.
– Body badly organized or irrelevant.
– Poor grammar control (extremely limited range of grammar & register).
– Limited or not specialized range of terminology.
– No in-text citations and no referencing

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