In what ways do manga and anime express and shape Japanese religious views? What
is distinctive about the ways these media give voice to religious ideas?
Your response must be in standard essay form. This means the following:
1) You will begin with a clear and substantial thesis that addresses the question and
proposes a position that you will defend. This thesis will appear in the first paragraph of
the essay, and it should lay out your main point (or points) in unambiguous terms.
2) The first thesis paragraph will be followed by paragraphs consisting of arguments that
defend your point. These will require you to draw on the assigned readings from the
course and refer to specific passages that support your arguments. You may use any
reference system to refer your reader to the source you are using. For example, you can
cite your source within the text itself (e.g. deBary, Sources of Japanese Tradition, 276),
or you can provide the reference as a footnote. Do not worry about providing a
bibliography, as I will assume that you are drawing exclusively from the assigned
readings. If you rely on sources outside of the course readings, you must provide a
bibliographic reference. Be sure to maintain consistency in your citation format.
As you defend your thesis, you should anticipate criticism of your points. You do not
have a lot of space to go into detailed defenses of your thesis, but you should
acknowledge multiple points of view as you defend your central arguments.
3) Your response must have a clear conclusion. This should appear as a separate, final
paragraph that summarizes your argument, restates your thesis, and draws together the
persuasive examples that you have provided.
Other than this, I will expect your responses to be written clearly. Spelling must be
accurate (including the spelling of Japanese words), and grammar must be consistent.