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Chinese 442: Literary Chinese 中國文學

In the pursuit of learning, increase yourself daily;
In the pursuit of the Dao, diminish yourself daily.



Instructor: Professor David B. Honey 韓教授

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Course Materials


Chinese 441

Course Goals and Learning Outcomes

The Chinese Section of the Asian and Near Eastern Languages at Brigham Young University has established as one of its expected program outcomes “Read and analyze selected texts in classical Chinese and demonstrate a knowledge of key grammatical patterns.” The chief means to reach and assess this outcome is through CHIN 441. CHIN 442 builds on the outcomes of CHIN 441.

The first outcome specific to CHIN 442 is to improve proficiency in reading documentary Chinese prose, the literary language of the Middle Kingdom from Han to early Republican times.

The second outcome is to begin to appreciate the literary craftsmanship exhibited by the writers of documentary Chinese and to learn something of traditional Chinese history, literature and culture.

The third outcome is to review the basic grammatical particles introduced in Chinese 441, learn some more advanced ones, and practice using them in new contexts.

These outcomes will be reached through close readings of selected texts that clearly exhibit the linguistic norms of literary Chinese as well as exemplify its stylistic standards and through homework assignments that focus on the nature of Chinese morphology, syntax, and grammar. Independent Study students are expected to carefully prepare each assignment, meaning that all difficult words, including pronunciation, tones, and definitions, should be learned and reviewed for the exams.

The technical vocabulary of grammar should also be mastered. Your English translations should reflect the grammar of the original as closely as possible without violating proper English syntax and usage. Your attempts should be carefully compared with the standard versions produced by the instructor as feedback.

Read Documentary Chinese Prose
Read, analyze, and discuss documentary Chinese prose.

Compare Literary Styles and Discuss Chinese Culture

Compare and contrast the literary craftsmanship exhibited by the writers of documentary Chinese and discuss traditional Chinese history, literature, and religion.

Continue Learning Classical Chinese Grammar

Explain the use of the basic grammatical particles introduced in Chin 441, learn some more advanced ones, and practice using them in new contexts.

Course Materials

Chiang, Gregory. Language of the Dragon, volume 2. (Boston: Cheng & Tsui, 1999, 3rd printing, 2010). Available from the BYU Store.

Additional readings, grammatical aides, homework assignments, etc., will be included in each lesson.

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Course Organization

The course consists of thirteen lessons and two major exams: a midterm exam and a final exam. Each lesson includes practice homework assignments (covering several exercises in the textbook), one reflection paper, and one lesson quiz. Every lesson begins with a list of expected learning outcomes and the specific assignments for that lesson.

Student Learning Outcomes

The primary learning outcomes will be measured through the direct measures of each lesson quiz, reflection paper, and the midterm and final exams. Each lesson is tested. The midterm will be taken after lesson 6; the final exam will cover lessons 7–13. The homework is designed for practice; it will be corrected but will not be graded.


Each lesson has a homework set for a total of 13 homework sets. A homework set consists of selected readings and 5 homework assignments. Failure to respond to a question will results in a 0. The reflection papers are a 300-word reflection on a topic in English. You must complete the homework set and reflection paper for a lesson before you can access the lesson quiz.

Every lesson includes a lesson quiz, which is comprehensive, open book, and timed; you may take each quiz up to 3 times. Lesson quizzes will not become available until all the homework and discussion questions (if relevant) have been completed for that lesson.

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A proctored midterm exam is worth 20% of your final grade. It is closed book and notes. The proctored final exam is also closed book/notes and is worth 20% of your final grade.

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Hints on Translation Strategy

  1. Look up each word with the help of glossaries or dictionaries. Make sure to memorize the basic meaning, pronunciation, and tone of each word as all of this data is fair game for the lesson tests and exams.
  2. Produce a preliminary translation that reflects the grammar of the original as closely as possible. Make sure to account for every word of the original.
  3. Edit your translation to ensure correctness of grammar and smoothness of style. It is acceptable to change the word order around in your translation to attain a better style, but make sure that each element of the original is incorporated in your translation.
  4. Compare your version with the feedback.


Lesson 1

Lesson 2

Lesson 3

Lesson 4

Lesson 5

Lesson 6


Lesson 7

Lesson 8

Lesson 9

Lesson 10

Lesson 11

Lesson 12

Lesson 13



Your final course grade will be determined as detailed below.

Assignments and Exams Percent of Grade
13 lesson quizzes 36% (the lowest score will be dropped)
13 reflection papers 12% (the lowest score will be dropped)
13 sets of homework 12% (the lowest score will be dropped)
midterm exam 20%
final exam 20%
Grading Scale
A 93–100%
A− 90–93%
B+ 86–89%
B 83–85%
B− 80–82%
C+ 76–79%
C 73–75%
C− 70–72%
D+ 66–69%
D 63–65%
D− 60–62%
E (fail) 59% or below

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Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

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University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at t9coordinator@byu.edu or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at https://titleix.byu.edu/report or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at http://titleix.byu.edu or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.

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Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

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Course Policies

These policies are specific to this course. For additional information about general policies, please refer to Independent Study Course Policies page.


13 computer-graded homework sets (can not be resubmitted; lowest score will be dropped); 13 reflection papers (can not be resubmitted; lowest score will be dropped); 13 computer-graded lesson quizzes (can not be resubmitted; lowest score will be dropped)


1 midterm and 1 final exam (midterm and final exams may not be retaken); both are computer-graded.

Getting Help

Please use the help menu in this course to contact Independent Study or your instructor. 

Note: The Harold B. Lee Library website provides a number of online resources and librarians are available via phone, chat, and email to answer questions about library-related issues.

Inappropriate Use of Course Content

All course materials (e.g., outlines, handouts, syllabi, exams, quizzes, media, lecture content, audio and video recordings, etc.) are proprietary. Students are prohibited from posting or selling any such course materials without the express written permission of BYU Independent Study. To do so is a violation of the Brigham Young University Honor Code.

Copyright © 2016 Brigham Young University. All rights reserved.

Published by the
Department of Independent Study
Division of Continuing Education
Brigham Young University
120 MORC
Provo, Utah 84602-1514