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Japanese Research & Bibliographic Methods for Undergraduates: Homework & Exams

A full curriculum for students in undergraduate programs who have studied at least one year of Japanese.

Accessing Homework Assignments


Most, but not all classes have corresponding homework. When accessing and downloading a lesson from the 'Class & Curriculum' page, there will be .docx and .pdf files of the assignments. There are several ways course assignments can be given:
  • Print and photocopy the assignment, and hand it out in class for students to fill in by hand.
  • Upload the .docx or .pdf files to your institution's online course management system (e.g. Blackboard Learning System)
  • Upload the files to a 3rd party service like GoogleDrive or DropBox for your students to access.
The assignments are a mix of problem solving and written analysis. Some homework assignments require students to go to the library to locate materals or access library databases in addition to online resources.

You must review these assignments carefully. They were written especially for students at the University at Albany and the resources they can access. Your own institution likely has a different combination of books, journals, and databases available. Anticipate adjusting the assignments to reflect your university library's holdings.

Assignments for Lessons 16 - 25 :
For Institutions using Blackboard Learning System (BLS)

At the University at Albany, many courses are taught with the help of Blackboard Learning System. There are homework assignments given via the BLS' test module. If your institution also uses BLS you have the option of importing the assignments designed for BLS test module OR using the .docx / .pdf assignments included in the lesson downloads.
It is important to note that the .docx / .pdf files and the BLS modules differ in content. You may consider mixing and matching assigments based on your teaching style and personal preferences.
The BLS homework assignments are available for download to instructors who complete the access form.
You can see a video tutorial here on how to import and export BLS tests. Please be aware that in BLS a 'test' is any module that can be graded, regradless of whether or not it is an actual exam.


Covers lessons 1 - 12

The Nelson's Dictionary is recquired to complete the exam. Student's who have not practiced looking up kanji usually run out of time. Many sections of the test rely on Nelson's appendices to be answered properly. Included with the test itself is a grading rubric in an Excel speadsheet that calculates the score automatically. On the test each question notes how many points it is worth.

Final Exam:
Covers lessons 16 - 25

Like the midterm, the Nelson's Dictionary is neccessary to answer some sections of the exam. Another important test aid is a print out of the imperial ranks spreadsheet. Unlike the midterm, questions do not have set values, nor is a rubric currently available (though this is being worked on).

Final Project - Annotated Bibliography

Covered in Lessons 13  14  &  15

The final project for the course is announced during lesson 14: Bibliographies. Assignment details can be downloaded on the Class & Curriculum page. One key element of the project is that students do not choose a topic, but formulate a thesis. Lesson 15 covers writing an academic research paper. The reading assignment before class covers how to formulate a thesis, but sets aside some time in class to answer student's questions and concerns. For underclassmen (and some juniors & seniors) it can be the first time they are required to write a thesis statement.

It is a good idea to set a deadline for students to submit their thesis statement before they attempt to do research. Give students at most two weeks to formulate one. Several reasons for doing so are:
  • A poorly written thesis statement will result in a poorly done bibliography. You have the opportunity to give the students feedback so they can craft a focused, well-reasoned argument.
  • You know the scope of the library's holdings better than the students. Student's may want to write about an issue for which there are few or no resources in the collection.

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