Original TaoDaodejingZhuangziEarly Daoist ScripturesOpening The Dragon GateThe Tao of Pooh
The Evolution of Daoism
IDEA 390
This course explores the evolution of Daoism from the earliest masters to its popularization in the West through a student-centered pedagogy that focuses on in-depth reading and lively discussion. (Cardinal Directions: Humanities, Writing Intensive • iCons: Being Human, Experiencing Place, Thinking Globally)
Taiji with Heaven and Earth

Your final grade will ultimately depend on my assessment of your performance in each of the above areas, though the following descriptions should provide you with a rough idea of the defining characteristics of students within particular grade ranges:

AConsistently demonstrates a deep understanding of the major concepts and themes of the course, develops insights into their broader significance, and maintains a high level of intellectual engagement in class discussions.
BDemonstrates a serious commitment to the course and a strong grasp of the major concepts and themes but with less depth and/or consistency than the “A” student.
CDemonstrates a basic grasp of the course material as well as a reasonable effort to attend class and participate in discussions.
DDemonstrates a minimal commitment to the course and a weak grasp of basic concepts and themes.
FFails to demonstrate an acceptable degree of effort in the course through low attendance, inability to discuss basic concepts and themes, missed assignments and/or plagiarized work.
Taiji with Heaven and Earth
Learning Outcome
Students should be able to demonstrate the skills associated with the “close reading” of primary source texts or an analogous method of analyzing non-textual primary sources through (i) the detailed analysis of at least one primary source passage; (ii) the identificaion of significant ideas and/or themes in primary sources associated with the seminar topic; and (iii) the development of a thesis that utilizes the first two skills to argue for a coherent perspective that is relevant to the seminar topic.
Taiji with Heaven and Earth
Writing Standards
All papers should be submitted on Blackboard/Assignments and must conform to the standards associated with one of the two main writing formats for the humanities: Chicago Style or MLA. References — both direct quotations and indirect references to the ideas of another author — should be properly cited according to the rules of your chosen format and must include page numbers so that the reference can be easily located. Late papers will be penalized a full grade (e.g. A to B) for the first day and one degree (e.g. from B to B-) thereafter. Papers that contain significant instances of plagiarism will receive a 0 and be reported to the Office of Academic Affairs in accordance with college policy. All submitted work may be used for program assessment (with names removed).
Taiji with Heaven and Earth
MyJournal
In order to prepare for class discussions, you will write a 250-word reflection on the assigned reading for each class period. The reflection should not be a mere summary of points made by the author, but should focus on a single theme that connects different parts of the reading. Reflections must be posted to MyJournal on Blackboard before the start of class; twelve of your reflections will be randomly graded over the course of the semester and the two lowest scores will be dropped, for a total of 20% (10x2%). For guidelines on writing journal entries see the MyJournal Rubric below.
Taiji with Heaven and Earth
Position Paper/Class Presentation
In addition to the MyJournal reading reflections, you will write a more formal 4-5-page (1,000-word minimum) position paper on the assigned reading for a class session that you will select on signupgenius.com. As with the reading reflections, you should focus on a single issue, but for this assignment you must explore the issue in more depth and develop a “thesis” — the main point that you hope to demonstrate in the body of the paper. Your paper should begin by quoting a passage that exemplifies the issue you wish to explore. You should then write an introduction that briefly discusses the issue and concisely presents your thesis statement. The body of your paper should explain the author’s perspective on the issue through quotes from the reading as well as any other sources (primary or secondary) that you deem relevant. In order to develop a meaningful thesis, however, you will need to go beyond interpretation by directly engaging with the author’s perspective: Why is the author’s position significant? Is it supported by sound reasoning? Does it rely on questionable assertions? Are there important factors that the author has not considered? Is there a more coherent perspective on the issue? While it is ultimately up to you to decide how to engage the author’s position, it is essential that you develop a particular position on the issue, which should be clearly expressed in your conclusion. Finally, you will make a 10-minute presentation of your thesis during the class session that you selected on signupgenius.com. For guidelines regarding both assignments see the Position Paper Rubric and the Class Presentation Rubric below.
Taiji with Heaven and Earth
Midterm Paper
The Birth of Daoism
The Midterm Paper will be an 8-10-page (2,000-word minimum) essay on the relationship between the texts that we are covering in this section of the course: Neiye, Daodejing, Zhuangzi, and assorted “Syncretist” writings. You may choose to emphasize the similarities that allow us to speak of an emerging “Daoist” tradition or the differences which remind us that the term “Daoism” did not yet exist when these texts were produced. You might highlight the historical factors that contributed to the development of Daoism or focus on a particular philosophical or religious issue that you want to explore in more depth. One way or another, your paper should include references to at least three primary and two secondary sources with the ultimate goal of establishing a unique thesis that presents your own perspective on “The Birth of Daoism.” For details on the grading of this assignment see the Midterm Paper Rubric below.
Taiji with Heaven and Earth
Topic Paper/Final Paper
The Evolution of Daoism
This course carries the “Writing Intensive” gen ed designation, which requires students to go through an iterative composition process” that includes invention, drafting, reviewing, and revising.” The result will be a 12-15-page (3,000-word minimum) paper that develops your own perspective on The Evolution of Daoism.” You are free to explore the topic in whatever way you want, though you must discuss at least one text from each of the three periods that we focus on in the course: The Birth of Daoism (Neiye, Daodejing, Zhuangzi, assorted writings of the Syncretists”), Medieval Developments (Early Daoist Scriptures), and Contemporary Manifestations (Opening the Dragon Gate, The Tao of Pooh).
 
You will begin the process by writing a 1-page (250-word)
topic paper” that summarizes your argument and concludes with a concise statement of your thesis. Your topic paper should be accompanied by an annotated bibliography that identifies the sources you intend to use, with at least five primary sources from the course and three additional secondary sources to support your thesis. The bibliography should include brief annotations for each source, explaining how it is relevant to your thesis as well as any other relevant information, such as its strengths and weaknesses as an academic source. After receiving my feedback on the topic paper and annotated bibliography, you will write a first draft of the paper, which you will revise based on my comments to produce the final paper.
 
For details regarding the grading of these assignments see the Topic Paper Rubric and Final Paper Rubric below; for submission and formatting details see the section on Writing Standards above. Since this assignment is worth a significant portion of your final grade (5% for the Topic Paper and 25% for the Final Paper), you should expect to devote a considerable amount of time to this project; toward this end, I will be happy to meet with you individually to provide further guidance at any stage in the process.

Taiji with Heaven and Earth
Class Participation
The Class Participation mark (worth 20% of the final grade) will be based on your ability to demonstrate that you have made a sincere attempt to read and understand the assigned material. All attempts to seriously engage with the readings — from sharing your perspective on the material to simply asking a relevant question — will contribute to your grade. Although your mark will ultimately depend on my subjective evaluation of the quantity and quality of your participation efforts, you may reasonably expect to receive at least a “B” if you attend class regularly and actively participate in class discussions.
Taiji with Heaven and Earth
Office Hours & Contact Information
225 North Loomis Road, Room 23
Mondays to Fridays, 10:30-11:30 AM  Tea/Talk on Fridays from 4:30-5:30 PM
630-637-5619    bhoffert@noctrl.edu    http://bhoffert.faculty.noctrl.edu
Taiji with Heaven and Earth
Required Texts
  • Roth, Harold D. Original Tao: Inward Training (Nei-yeh) and the Foundations of Taoist Mysticism. New York: Columbia University Press, 1999.
  • Laozi. The Daodejing of Laozi. Translation and Commentary by Philip J. Ivanhoe. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Company, 2002.
  • Zhuangzi. Zhuangzi: The Essential Writings, with Selections from Traditional Commentaries. Translated by Brook Ziporyn. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 2009.
  • Bokenkamp, Stephen R. Early Daoist Scriptures. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1997.
  • Chen Kaiguo and Zheng Shunchao. Opening the Dragon Gate: The Making of a Modern Taoist Wizard. Translated by Thomas Cleary. Boston, MA: Tuttle Publishing, 1998.
  • Hoff, Benjamin. The Tao of Pooh. New York: Penguin Books, 1982.
Rubric's Cube
MyJournal Rubric
 

 

Unsatisfactory
0 - .69

Good
.70-.79

Very Good
.80-.89

Exceptional
.90-1.0

MARK

LENGTH

<200
words
200-250
words
250-300
words
>300
words
.25%

STYLE

Ideas are poorly expressed with many spelling, grammar or  citation mistakes

Ideas are adequately expressed with few stylistic errors

Ideas are clearly expressed with some stylistic errors

Ideas are eloquently expressed with very few stylistic errors

.25%

REFERENCES

References lack page numbers

References focus on a single section of the text

References connect two distinct sections of the text

References connect three or more sections of the text

.5%

CONTENT

Mere summary of points made by the author

Identifies a significant issue but doesn’t explore it in sufficient depth

Identifies a significant issue and explores it in sufficient depth

Develops a unique insight on a significant issue

1%

TOTAL





2%

Taiji with Heaven and Earth
Position Paper Rubric
 

 

Unsatisfactory
0 - .69

Good
.70-.79

Very Good
.80-.89

Exceptional
.90-1.0

MARK

LENGTH

<750
words
750-1000
words
1000-1250
words
>1250
words
1%

STYLE

Ideas are poorly expressed with many spelling, grammar or  citation mistakes

Ideas are adequately expressed with few stylistic errors

Ideas are clearly expressed with some stylistic errors

Ideas are eloquently expressed with very few stylistic errors

1%
ENGAGEMENT WITH THE AUTHOR

Mere summary of points made by the author

Identifies a significant issue but doesn’t explore it in sufficient depth

Directly engages with the author’s perspective on a significant issue

Deeply engages with the author’s perspective on a significant issue

6%

THESIS

The paper lacks a clear thesis

The thesis is not sufficiently discussed in the introduction and/or conclusion

The thesis is presented in the introduction and clearly discussed in the conclusion

The paper develops a unique insight on a significant issue from the readings

2%

TOTAL





10%

Taiji with Heaven and Earth
Class Presentation Rubric
 

 

Unsatisfactory
0 - .69

Good
.70-.79

Very Good
.80-.89

Exceptional
.90-1.0

MARK

CONTENT

The presentation is poorly organized and does not demonstrate a good grasp of the reading

There is a reasonable summary of the author’s perspective on a significant theme in the reading

There is a good summary of the author’s perspective on a significant theme as well as a personal reflection on the issue

The presentation demonstrates genuine insight into a theme in the reading by providing a clear and convincing argument for a unique thesis

1%

DELIVERY

The content is read from notes and/or poorly delivered, there is little eye contact, and body language suggests great discomfort with public speaking

There is a heavy reliance on notes, mediocre delivery of content, poor eye contact, and some discomfort with public speaking

There is some reliance on notes, but good delivery, eye contact, and body language keep the audience engaged

The presentation maintains a high level of audience engagement with minimal reliance on notes and excellent delivery, eye contact, and body language

1%
MEDIANo audio/visual aids are used to enhance the presentationThe presentation is minimally enhanced by the use of a few audio/visual aidsThe content is enhanced by a well-organized audio/visual presentationThe content is greatly enhanced by a well-organized and creative audio/visual presentation1%

RESPONSE TO QUESTIONS

Unable to effectively respond to questions

Provides adequate responses to questions

Provides clear and coherent responses to questions

Demonstrates exceptional facility with the topic by providing clear and thorough responses to questions

1%

TOTAL




 Dr. Hoffert
+ Peer  Evals
Grade

4
+1
5
%

Taiji with Heaven and Earth
Midterm Paper Rubric
 

 

Unsatisfactory
0 - .69

Good
.70-.79

Very Good
.80-.89

Exceptional
.90-1.0

MARK

LENGTH

<1750
words
1750-2000
words
2000-2250
words
>2250
words
1.5%

STYLE

Ideas are poorly expressed with many spelling, grammar or  citation mistakes

Ideas are adequately expressed with few stylistic errors

Ideas are clearly expressed with some stylistic errors

Ideas are eloquently expressed with very few stylistic errors

1.5%
PRIMARY SOURCES
There are significant problems with the discussion of the assigned readings
The paper fails to establish a clear relationship between the assigned readings
The relationship between the assigned readings is clearly established
The relationship between the assigned readings is insightfully discussed
6%

SECONDARY SOURCES

There are no references to secondary sources

The paper lacks appropriate references to peer-reviewed secondary sources

There are appropriate references to at least 2 peer-reviewed secondary sources

There are at least 2 secondary sources that are well chosen and skillfully used

3%

THESIS

The paper lacks a clear thesis regarding “The Birth of Daoism”

The thesis is not sufficiently discussed in the introduction and/or conclusion

The thesis is presented in the introduction and clearly discussed in the conclusion

There is an insightful thesis regarding “The Birth of Daoism”

3%  

TOTAL



15%
Taiji with Heaven and Earth
Topic Paper Rubric
 

 

Unsatisfactory
0 - .69

Good
.70-.79

Very Good
.80-.89

Exceptional
.90-1.0

MARK

LENGTH

<200
words
200-250
words
250-300
words
>300
words
.5%

STYLE

Ideas are poorly expressed with many spelling, grammar or  citation mistakes

Ideas are adequately expressed with few stylistic errors

Ideas are clearly expressed with some stylistic errors

Ideas are eloquently expressed with very few stylistic errors

.5%
SUMMARY OF ARGUMENT
The argument is not adequately presented
The argument is adequately presented
The argument is clearly presented
There is a clear and convincing presentation of the argument
1%

THESIS STATEMENT

There is no thesis statement

The thesis statement is unclera and/or weak

The thesis statement is cleraly written and identifies an interesting perspective on the evolution of Daoism

The thesis statement is eloquently written and expresses a significant insight on the evolution of Daoism

1%

ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY

There are less than 4 primary sources, 2 secondary sources, and/or no annotations

There are 4 primary sources, 2 secondary sources, and/or no annotations

There are 5 primary sources and 3 secondary sources with reasonable annotations

There are more than 5 primary sources and/or 3 secondary sources, all with insightful annotations

2%

TOTAL



5%
Taiji with Heaven and Earth
Final Paper Rubric
 

 

Unsatisfactory
0 - .69

Good
.70-.79

Very Good
.80-.89

Exceptional
.90-1.0

MARK

LENGTH

<2500
words

2500-3000
words

3000-3500
words

>3500
words

2%

STYLE

Ideas are poorly expressed with many spelling, grammar or  citation mistakes

Ideas are adequately expressed with few stylistic errors

Ideas are clearly expressed with some stylistic errors

Ideas are eloquently expressed with very few stylistic errors

3%
PRIMARY SOURCES
There are significant problems with the discussion of the assigned readings
The discussed readings do not cover all three periods and/or inadequately support the thesis
Readings from all 3 periods are effectively used to develop an argument that supports the thesis
Insightful discussions of the readings from all 3 periods develop a strong argument in support of the thesis9%

SECONDARY SOURCES

There are no references to secondary sources

The paper lacks appropriate references to peer-reviewed secondary sources

There are appropriate references to at least 3 peer-reviewed secondary sources

There are at least 3 secondary sources that are well chosen and skillfully used

3%
THESIS
The paper lacks a clear thesis regarding “The Evolution of Daoism”

The thesis is not sufficiently discussed in the introduction and/or conclusion

The thesis is presented in the introduction and clearly discussed in the conclusion

There is an insightful thesis regarding “The Evolution of Daoism”

3%
REVISIONS TO FIRST DRAFT

There were no significant revisions to the first draft

There were minor revisions to the first draft

There were significant revisions that responded to all major comments on the draft

There were substantial revisions that significantly enhanced the final paper

5%

TOTAL





25%

 
Original TaoDaodejingZhuangziEarly Daoist ScripturesOpening The Dragon GateThe Tao of Pooh