For this exercise your task is to discuss the introduction of one of your assigned readings. For this assignment, please refer to the Imperial Reform Section of “Introduction: The Rising Tide of Change,” in China in Revolution: The First Phase, 1900-1913 by Mary Wright,
Read the opening section of the introduction (from page 24 to the end of the second paragraph of page 28). It is not necessary for the purpose of this assignment to read the entire chapter, though you should read the rest of it for the purpose of the class.
How does the author introduce the subject matter? Discuss how the author introduces the context of the argument. (What is the main historical problem, or dynamic, that the author wishes to engage? How is this problem framed in terms of the greater historical context? What rhetorical techniques are used? Think about how the author introduces a historical argument.)
What is the author’s central argument? What does the author wish to add to the discussion of the subject matter? How do they wish to address this particular historical problem? (What historical question is the author attempting to answer? What is their proposed answer to this question?)
Think about your expectations for the argument. For instance: what concerns or questions do you expect the author to address? What kind of evidence might the author provide to convince the reader of the validity of the argument? What counterarguments might they address? How does the author establish the significance of this argument/research? How is it significant? (Use examples and quotes from the text as needed to support your observations.)
First contextualize and skim the reading in your head–then respond to the above questions, being careful to explain how the subject matter is introduced and put into context, what the argument is, and how the introduction sets up expectations for the rest of the book.
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