Instructions for Final Exam Paper
For the final paper in the course, you will be asked to integrate
what you have learned in the course (Please include some refective writing. Instructor did lectures in Zoom meetings and talked about Japan and Korean Popular Culture) into a full-fledged piece of
sociological analysis. As with the short essays, three will be a focus
on research question, theory, hypothesis, and data for testing. However,
there are additional points of emphasis:
You should include at least six sources other than the required
readings class in the paper, though these can include sources that you
have used previously in your short essays. At least one of the outside
sources must be an academic article or book chapter that uses concepts
and theories relevant to your research question. These can be
non-required chapters from the course textbooks, or can be articles
found using Google Scholar (login to Google with your UH id to get access to full text of more articles) or Ebsco Host.
The usual rules about being absolutely sure to fully cite your sources,
including page number where relevant, continue to apply. Needless to
say, please take special care to avoid plagiarism, even inadvertent, in
the final paper to avoid risking your class grade.
The paper should be at least 1500 words long, and there is no
maximum length. You are allowed to include material from your short
essays from this course in your final paper, but do so only in a way
that improves the, not just to make it longer. This in turn will
usually require editing and adaptation of that material rather than
straight cutting and pasting. Obvious padding of papers with irrelevant
material will be marked down for the final paper, since makes clear and
convincing analysis virtually impossible. Wholesale quoting of long
passages (more than a few sentences) from sources other than your own
short essays, even if properly cited, is therefore discouraged.
Your research question should involve some kind of comparison
between different soceities, either between Japan and Korea, or between
Japan and/or Korea and some other society/societies (e.g. China, the
United States). If you wish, the society you choose to compare with
Japan or Korea does not have to be a country; for instance you can
choose Hawai`i as a case for comparison. The need to provide and apply
evidence and to compare countries will put a greater emphasis on broad
understanding of the similarities and differences between their
societies.
In using concepts and theories to formulate your hypothesis,
you should show in-depth understanding of material from the course
lectures and books. To do so, you first explain the concepts and
theories you plan to use, then should incorporate the concepts into your
hypotheses in an appropriate way and/or show how your hypothesis can
logically be derived from theory. While you must use concepts and
theories from the course, you may use addition material from outside the
course in addition to provide a stronger basis for your hypothesis.
Unlike the short papers, you will be expected to not only
identify, but also obtain and report evidence relevant to testing the
hypothesis, using the evidence to analyze the hypothesis’s strengths and
weaknesses in answering the research question. Evidence can be either
numerical or descriptive text, as long as it can be used systematically
to test the hypothesis. Thus it should in some way plausibly reveal
relevant facts about some major aspect of each society you analyze, not
just one or a few people or organizations within the society.
Finally, you should suggest ways that the hypothesis and
underlying concepts/theories might be improved in light of your
evidence. You can do this by altering the hypothesis using your own
theoretical ideas or by bringing in new theoretical ideas from a another
source, but regardless, you will need to explain the reasons for your
suggested improvements by showing how this might better explain the
evidence you have presented. Try to think deeply about the underlying
phenomena revealed by the evidence in order to come up with theoretical
ideas to explain them.
Because it is the end of the semester, late papers will not be accepted,
since it will not be feasible to grade them in time. So please make
sure to get your paper in on time using the Laulima assignment turn-in
function under Final Exam Paper. If you are facing some kind of
emergency that makes it impossible to turn the paper in on time, it is
possible to petition for an incomplete (I) in the course, but University
rules only allow this if you can show that the emergency is something
outside your control and you have already completed the other work in
the class (e.g. the two short essays and reasonable attendance).
Unlike the short essays, there is no mechanical rubric for
grading your final exam paper, but rather an overall judgement of
quality based upon the thoroughness, clarity, and originality of your
analysis. In order to receive a top grade (27+), you should not only
fulfill the criteria described above, but do so in away that shows you
have thought deeply about the issue and put effort into your writing.
While there is no single formula for how one should structure
this paper, but in order to be clear, the paper should include at least
the following at minimum parts, though not necessarily exactly in this
order:
an introduction to the popular culture issue you are covering
identification of the societies you are comparing, description of
their main similarities and differences with regard to the issue
identification and justification of the research question regarding the issue and countries that you want to answer
identification and description of the concepts and/or theories
that you feel are appropriate for addressing the research question
incorporating the above concepts and theories to derive a hypothesis
identification of evidence from your sources relevant to testing the hypothesis
collecting this evidence, explaining how you did so
analysis of what implications the evidence has for the
hypothesis, identifying the ways in which it confirms or disconfirms the
hypothesis
analysis of how and why you could modify to the theories to improve their accuracy for the research question
overall summary of what you have learned from your analysis and
what further steps, if any, you would take if you were to continue
researching the issue in the future
Good luck, and let me know (sooner is better) if you have any questions!
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*I’ve upload my 2 previous essays on Japan and Korea; Feel free to add Hawaii and the United States in the Final Essay comparison on these pop culures*

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