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Unit of study_

CHNS3648: Classical Chinese B

Semester 2, 2021 [Normal day] - Remote

Continued study of Classical Chinese grammar and vocabulary through original texts. Students will gain the knowledge and confidence to explore a wider range of ancient and early-imperial Chinese philosophical and literary writings, including some poetry, thereby acquainting themselves with certain major authors in the Chinese tradition. Supplementary reading in English will enable them to broaden and deepen their understanding of Chinese culture while practising some basic research skills.

Unit details and rules

Unit code CHNS3648
Academic unit Chinese Studies
Credit points 6
CHNS2112 or CHNS2612 or CHNS2904 or CHNS1314 or CHNS2612
12 credit points in the Chinese Studies major
Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Xiaohuan Zhao,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Reading Project Resulting in an Essay
Long answer/essay
30% Formal exam period
Due date: 22 Nov 2021 at 23:59
1,500 wrds; 2,000 characters in Chinese
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO3
Small continuous assessment group assignment Classwork
Attendance, Participation and classwork
10% Ongoing Equivalent to 750 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO2
Small test In-class test 1
Multiple choice and short answers
20% Week 05
Due date: 06 Sep 2021 at 09:00

Closing date: 06 Sep 2021
Equivalent to 750 wds
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
Small test In-class Test 2
Multiple choices and short answers
20% Week 09
Due date: 11 Oct 2021 at 09:00

Closing date: 11 Oct 2021
Equivalent to 750 wds
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
Small test In-class Test 3
Multiple choices and short answsers
20% Week 13
Due date: 08 Nov 2021 at 09:00

Closing date: 08 Nov 2021
Equivalent to 750 wds
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
Group assignment with individually assessed component = group assignment with individually assessed component ?

Assessment summary

  1. Classwork (equiv. 750 wds)
  2. 3 x open-book in-class tests (equiv. 3x750 wds=2250 wds)
  3. 1 essay (1,500 wds or 2,000 Chinese characters)

Assessment criteria

This unit uses standardsbased assessment for award of assessment marks. Your assessments will be evaluated solely on the basis of your individual performance.

Language for assessment
All the assessment tasks must be conducted in the language (English and/or Chinese) strictly according to the requirements and instructions. If you’re unsure of which language you’re supposed to write your exercise or test, you must consult your tutor/marker in advance. As for the essay, one may write it in English or in Chinese, but note that there is a difference in the requirement of the length for the essay as shown in the assessment task table above.

Attendance and Participation (10%)
In order to receive a participation mark, you need to attend class online and be punctuate. For FASS guidelines on attendance, please
see the “Attendance” section below. For each class period, you should come prepared by reading for that class period and doing any required written exercises. Possible components of your participation mark:

Reading Short Passages
You may be given a passage to work through before or during the class. In that case, your participation mark will depend on evidence that you made a serious effort to understand the passage, or to actively seek to resolve problems you might have in understanding it. (Serious effort: Full Marks; Attempted but lacked serious effort: Half Marks; Did not attempt: Zero Marks)

Giving Answers to Exercises
If asked to prepare exercises, you may be called upon to give answers out loud during class. You should do so promptly, showing that you are following what is going on and that you prepared the exercise beforehand. (Prompt correct answer: Full Marks; Delayed, incomplete, or incorrect answer: Half Marks; Unable to answer: Zero Marks)

Short Quizzes
Occasionally there will be short quizzes at the beginning of tutorial class on the content of the previous lecture. In that case, your participation mark may depend on how well you did the quiz. (Mostly correct answers: Full Marks; Approximately half correct answers: Half Marks; Only one or two correct answers or arrived too late: Zero Marks)

Other Exercises
For supplementary passages (outside of the textbook), there will be some brief exercises and questions to answer. These will be specifically designed to prepare you for the exams and will be similar in format to exam questions.

In-class Open-book Tests (60% total):

Three 50 minute inclass tests will take place during the semester. Each one is worth 20% of your final mark. The exams will have the following components:
10% Vocabulary and questions about in-class passages
5% Grammar questions
5% Translation of an unfamiliar passage

Specific details of the exam and marking criteria will be discussed in class. Note that for the final translation component, you may consult a dictionary, say 漢典, for words unfamiliar to you. The translation must be written in English.

Essay (30% total)
Over the course of the semester, you will carry out an independent research project leading up to an essay. Here are the stages for developing a topic and the terms of the assignment:
1. You will be asked to choose a person from one of the reading passages in the textbook lessons 9-15 (Shi Kuang, Sunshu Ao, Zeng Shen, Zi Gong, Huizi, Zhuangzi) or a highly focused topic from one of the supplementary passages (please consult with your instructorfor suggestions).
2. Find other classical Chinese texts/passages that mention this person or topic, making sure that you can find passages in at least two different primary other than the one from which the reading was drawn. We will discuss how to do this during class.
3. Assemble the relevant passages and find (or make) translations. Choose the ones that seem most interesting. You may need some help from your instructor at this stage. Tips for doing this will also be discussed during class.
4. Come up with an argument about the passages you have chosen. Develop an argument according to these steps.
a. Come up with a question, something about the sources on your topic that seems interesting or strange.
b. Try to answer your question, making sure the answer is not too obvious.
c. Test for a question/answer that is too obvious: try giving the opposite answer to the question. Would giving that opposite answer make you sound crazy/stupid? If so, the question is too obvious. Example: ‘Was filial piety important to the authors of the Analects and the Classic of Filial Piety?’ (too obvious!)
d. Express your answer to the question in one or two brief sentences. That is your argument.
5. Write an essay using the passages you found as evidence to support for your chosen argument. In writing your essay you should only use sources that were originally written in classical Chinese (no secondary scholarship at all). It is fine to use published translations, of course. However, when quoting you should include the original classical Chinese version of the quote. (You should also cite the translation, if you use it.) The essay is due by 23.59pm Monday 22 November.

NOTE: You can use webpages like the Chinese Text Project to help with your research, but you need to find an actual published source to cite in the essay. The essay should present your own ideas about the primary sources. You should not consult anyone else''''''''''''''''s ideas for the purpose of this assignment.


Plagiarism will result in a mark of 0 for the entire assignment at best (including the meeting/proposal component).
Plagiarism means presenting†someone†else’s†ideas†as†your†own. This includes copying OR paraphrasing from any book, article, or
website. For the purposes of this assignment, any material used must be original to you (your own words and ideas) or taken from a source that was originally written in classical Chinese and correctly cited. I take plagiarism very seriously and am extremely skillful at detecting it.

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

It is expected that, unless an application for a simple extension or special consideration has been approved, students will submit all assessment for a unit of study on the due date specified. If assessment is completed or submitted within a period of extension, no academic penalty will be applied to that piece of assessment. (2) If an extension is either not sought, not granted or is granted but work is submitted after the extended due date, the late submission of assessment will result in an academic penalty as outlined in section 7A of the Assessment Procedures 2011.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes

Attendance and class requirements

(1) Students are required to be in attendance at the correct time and place of any formal or informal examinations. Non attendance on any grounds insufficient to claim special consideration will result in the forfeiture of marks associated with the assessment. Participation in a minimum number of assessment items may be included in the requirements specified for a unit of study.
(2)Students are expected to attend a minimum of 90 per cent of timetabled activities for a unit of study, unless granted exemption by the Associate Dean or relevant delegated authority. The Associate Dean or relevant delegated authority may determine that a student fails a unit of study because of inadequate attendance. Alternatively, at their discretion, they may set additional assessment items when attendance is lower than 90 per cent.
(3) The case of any formally enrolled student who is absent from 50% or more of classes, regardless of the reasons for the absences, will be automatically referred to the end-of-semester departmental examiners' meeting for a determination as to whether the student should pass or fail the unit, or, if a pass is awarded, the level of penalty that should be applied.
(4) In exceptional circumstances, for example where there are Work Health and Safety considerations or professional accreditation requirements, and with the approval of the Associate Dean, unit of study coordinators may set out additional attendance criteria in the unit of study outline.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Continue the process of mastering basic classical Chinese grammar.
  • LO2. Begin moving beyond the study of specific grammar points, and begin to acquire the skill of independently reading and analysing whole passages.
  • LO3. Explore an area of classical Chinese culture that is of specific interest to them, while gaining some of the research and writing skills used by professional sinologists.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

Update dates for assessment tasks


Special consideration for illness, injury or misadventure
Special consideration is a process that affords equal opportunity to students who have experienced circumstances that adversely impact their ability to adequately complete an assessment task in a unit of study, as determined by the Coursework Policy.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

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