Jewish Civilization Final Paper 5 pg paper

| March 14, 2016



HEBR/J ST 010 (UP) & 010 (WD)


Papers will be worth 200 points (20% of your total course grade) and are DUE BY THE DATE AND TIME LISTED IN THE COURSE SCHEDULE. (Eastern Standard Time).

Late papers will NOT BE ACCEPTED. Submit papers to this course’s “Final Paper Drop-Box” in ANGEL.

Papers should be concise and three to five pages, with a maximum of five pages per paper. Points will be deducted for each page over the five-page maximum. Papers should be typed and double-spaced. Do not forget to include your name at the top of the paper. Watch for grammar, spelling, etc., as a poor presentation may mean that your points are not conveyed as well as they might be. So, do not ignore those factors.

READ THESE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY. If you have questions about what to write, contact me about them before you submit your paper.

The primary consideration in your paper scores will be the quality of your conceptual discussion. A second significant factor will be the accuracy of the information presented. Third, the information presented should follow a logical sequence and directly relate to your conceptual theme. Finally, I also will be looking for discussions that are specific and concrete; that do not over-generalize.

Use specific examples and data to illustrate the conceptual points. State the conceptual points explicitly. Consider the nuances and complex distinctions to be made about your conceptual points, and explicitly mention the distinctions that you find. Address and discuss multiple aspects and various sides of your conceptual points. Do not make your theme overly simplistic.

Be sure to focus on the factors that have produced the patterns that you discuss; avoid making generalizations about such patterns that are not supported by information, illustrations, or data. Be logical about causality; do not overstate the influence of the factors you present; be specific and direct with your causal assertions; limit the effects you ascribe to any particular factor. Refrain from making unsupported opinions, assertions, and predictions.

Do not discuss whether a pattern or people have worth or value (i.e., do not discuss Jews or others as “good,” “bad,” “proud,” “strong,” etc.).

This paper is being assigned in place of a comprehensive final examination, so be sure to consider all relevant course material when you write it. While I do not expect you to discuss all the relevant course material—that would exceed this paper’s scope—you should take into account material (from this course) that relates to your paper. Doing so will help you avoid unwarranted generalizations.

Organize your paper according to standard writing techniques. That is, introduce your topic and themes, discuss them, and describe the conclusions that you have drawn based on the points made and the examples you have presented in the body of the paper.

Read Dr. Sophia McClennen’s General Evaluation Rubric for Papers (link provided in ANGEL) for a further sense of how to write your papers and how they will be graded:”>

You are expected to write this paper on your own.


Base your analyses upon concrete examples and keep your interpretations limited to the support you provide through research-based examples. Do not over-generalize or “philosophize.” Derive your conclusions or theme from the material included within the paper.

Papers should discuss what we can be reasonably sure the Jews “have done” rather than on what Judaic sacred texts put forth or on what Jews may believe.

The point in the question is to take into account Jewish experience in more than one time and place. This is not an opinion piece. It is an assignment that asks you to demonstrate an understanding of the course material that cuts across more than one lesson.

TOPIC: Select two time periods and places in which Jews have lived. Compare and contrast Jewish society and/or culture in one time period and place with the other time period and place.

The time periods should be separated by at least 100 years.

Each “place” should be a region rather than a particular city. You may define “region” in your own way; however, the two “regions” should be two separate states (i.e., political units, kingdoms, empires, or nations). The two “regions” may refer to a single geographic region, if the paper discusses two separate states that ruled in that location (e.g., Judea under Persian rule and the State of Israel, or the Kingdom of Poland from about 1400 to 1648 and the Russian Pale of Settlement).

Your discussion of Jewish society and/or culture (i.e., “lifeways”) in these two time periods and places should cover a range of patterns. The patterns might be in the realm of subsistence, language & writings, political organization & governance, relations with non-Jews, material culture, gender norms, religious practice, and so forth.

Your discussion should explore the interconnections among several of the above kinds of patterns in Jewish lifeways. And, it should compare and contrast these interconnected patterns in one time period and place with those of another time period and place.

Discuss the factors that produce the patterns that you present, as well as, the ways that a pattern in one realm affects a pattern in another realm.

* * *

· Always specify the times and places of the examples that you use in the paper.

· Pay attention to any social tensions or crises that help to explain the patterns in Jewish history, culture, or identity that you are discussing.

· Be sure to situate the changes you discuss within the social conditions in which Jews were living.

· Draw only on events or patterns for which there is scholarly evidence.

· Pay attention both to the conceptual assignment as well as the specific information that illustrates the conceptual theme of the paper. Link the information you provide to a conceptual point, and describe that link explicitly. The term “conceptual point” refers to the abstract framework in which the patterns you discuss are placed. Your “conceptual point” is, in effect, your theory about social processes and change. Your “conceptual point” is your hypothesis about the kinds of factors that shape social processes and that change them.

· Any assertion or conclusion that you make should be supported by specific examples, by facts. If you have not done so for a particular assertion or conclusion, DO NOT include them in the paper!


Required course readings do not need to be listed on a separate works cited (references) page. However, quotations and specific figures from course readings should be cited parenthetically, that is, within the body of the text. For example:

· In 1994, the number of Jews living in Canada was 360,000 (Scheindlin 1998:258).


· As Scheindlin (1998:53) writes, “By decentralizing public worship, the destruction of the Temple thus contributed to the rabbis’ program of putting the responsibility for religious life in the hands of each individual.”

If you are citing or quoting something from one of the online lessons, a parenthetical citation is sufficient. For example:

· (Benjamin Lesson X)

If you wish to list an online lesson in a references page, one possible format is:

· Benjamin, Alan F. 2006. Title of Page. In, Jewish Civilization, Lesson X. University Park: Pennsylvania State University. Viewed DATE.

If you quote from materials that are not required in the course, they should be cited in full on a works cited page or in a footnote. Any generally used bibliographic format is ok. I care only that it is correct, complete, and used consistently.

To be complete, a citation must include the following: author’s name; full title of the piece; name of the work within which the piece is published (if applicable); editors (if applicable); year published; publisher and city of publication (if a book); page numbers; and, if a journal, information about the volume and issue.

WEB SITES should include the URL, the date you accessed the page, and the date the page was posted (if known) in addition to information about the page’s author, its title, and its sponsor or publisher.

It is NOT proper to include my directions about where a reading may be found (e.g., “ONLINE JOURNAL” and “ELECTRONIC RESERVES”).

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