Research Paper Writing on India and Greece
In an India and Greece research paper, begin by developing an open ended, historically grounded question that is worth asking. Make sure that you read extensively through the classic texts before you settle on a topic. That way, you can be confident that the topic on which you've chosen to work will be productive and that the question you pose will be significant.
Focusing on one of the subject areas assigned for your track, identify an important text, event, institution or phenomenon about which you have a question. Your question can be one of historical interpretation, such as "how did this come about?" or "why did they do things in this way?". Or it can be one of textual interpretation, similar to the question posed in the first writing assignment.
Make sure that your topic is relevant to the time period and cultures you are studying. This means that if you choose to analyze a text about India or Greece, it must have been written in the period covered by the course; if you focus on an event, institution or phenomenon, it must have taken place or existed during that same period. Please note that you must confine yourself to one culture; that is, you may not write a paper that compares or contrasts one culture with another. In addition, you may not use a question that has already been posed in any of this quarter's writing prompts. You are otherwise free to explore whatever topic most interests you.
The following are helpful hints in formulating a topic for a research paper on India and Greece:
- Explain why you ask the question you do. Frame your explanation in terms of course themes and the historical context of the text or phenomenon that you're analyzing. Whatever your reason for posing the question, make sure that you communicate it clearly.
- Propose an answer to your question, making sure to place your answer within the appropriate historical context and drawing as necessary on material presented in lecture, in section, and in the assigned readings. Your main focus should be on the text or phenomenon that you are analyzing, but you will strengthen your argument by incorporating supplemental information from additional sources. Please remember, however, that you must confine yourself to lecture notes and assigned course readings. You may not consult outside texts or websites when writing your paper.
- Discuss at least one plausible alternative viewpoints that is, an alternative answer to your question. When you present the alternative viewpoint, be sure to discuss both the evidence that supports it and your reasons for believing that your own interpretation is stronger. You don't have to claim that your interpretation is right or true; you just have to persuade your readers that it is the strongest among competing views.
- Explain the significance of your thesis (the answer to your question). That is, since your goal in writing this paper is to clarify the meaning of a text or to explain a historical phenomenon, make sure that you explain, at least briefly, how your analysis will help your readers to understand the text or phenomenon that you examine as well as the culture that produced it. When you comment on the significance, make sure that you write in terms of the culture responsible for the text or phenomenon you are analyzing, rather than speculating about its significance to our own time.
The following are excellent sources to use for an India and Greece research paper:
You can use only following books for your sources:
For Greece -
- Plato - The Last Days of Socrates (Penguin Classics)
- H.D.F. Kitto - The Greeks (Penguin History)
For India -
- Jean Boisselier - Wisdom of the Buddha
- The Bhagavad - Gita (Bantam Classics)
The civilizations in ancient India began around the year 2500 B.C. and developed along the Indus River. The ancient Indian people were farmers who used the water from the Indus River for irrigation. Ancient Indians possessed architectural skills and the knowledge to build metal tools, and used them to build large cities with brick houses and narrow streets. Although these people did not have an alphabet, they are credited with creating the writing system
Unlike the ancient civilization of India, the ancient civilization of Greece did not begin near a river. The ancient civilization of Greece began around 3000 B.C. The people in Greece were not farmers, as the land possessed little fertile land on which to farm. Because of this, the ancient Greeks became great ship builders. They established colonies in many far-off places along the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea from which they imported food back to Greece.
Around 800 B.C. the Greeks began to build city-states. Because the mountains of the country separated these city-states, each one grew into an independent entity with its own laws, rulers, and money. Two of the greatest city-states were Sparta and Athens. The people of Greece were unified by a strong cultural identity, and they considered themselves to be the most civilized culture in the world. Any individual who spoke a foreign language was considered to be a Barbarian, a distinction that was established around 800 B.C.
The city-state of Sparta prospered as a result of its powerful army. Within Sparta, three distinct classes existed, and the government consisted of two kings. The first class of people consisted of citizens. Only those men born in Sparta were considered citizens. Although women had considerable freedom in Sparta including the right to own land and businesses, they were not considered citizens. The second class of people consisted of men from other city-states who moved to Sparta, while the lowest class consisted of slaves.