India Geography on Ancient Civilization

1. Read this guide sheet carefully.
2. Choose only one prompt and write only one paper. Do not write on both prompts; it is a waste of
your time. Life is short and time is precious.
3. Upload your paper (900 words to 950 words excluding footnotes, 1.5 space, Times New Roman 12, 1-inch
margin, footnotes should be Times New Roman 10 and single space) in folder “paper 1” on D2L. The folder will
open 24 hours before the due date/time. Paper should be saved either as docx. or doc. (not as PDF or Pages). If
paper is submitted as PDF or Pages, 15 points will be deducted. I cannot open Pages and I cannot make comments
on PDF. Your consideration of the above will most appreciated.
4. For policy about late papers, see syllabus p. 3.
5. It is students’ responsibility to ensure that their papers have been correctly uploaded. If you are unsure whether
your paper has been uploaded, email it to me as well. Use D2L to email me.
6. I will grade the most recent version of the paper (according to time stamp on D2L).
7. If student is facing an issue regarding the paper, student should email instructor promptly. This is the expected
behavior in a professional setting.
8. The aim of the paper is to measure your knowledge and understanding of secondary sources (lectures,
textbook, and explanatory notes of instructor, if any). There are no primary sources discussed in the two lectures
therefore no primary sources are to be used in Paper 1.
Prompt 1
1. Watch/listen to lecture titled “Understanding Physical Geography of India and Indian Ocean”
2. Read Trautmann, p. 1 to 15
3. Write a paper on the following:
India’s geography is varied and has shaped the life of people in ancient times. Examine the physical geography of India and explain how it has shaped life and society of various social groups. In this paper, students will want to do the following:
a) discuss the major parts of India’s physical geography: the Deccan, Himalayas, Indo-Gangetic Plains and monsoons;
b) examine how each part may or may not have shaped the lives of persons living in ancient times.
Prompt 2
1. Watch/listen to lecture titled “Mohenjo-daro, Harappa, Urbanization & Aftermath of Indus”
2. Read Trautmann, p. 16 to 31
3. Write a paper on the following:
Analyze the following aspects of Indus River civilization: its patterns related to urban planning, its discovery, its decline
and the diffusionism argument that emerged amongst scholars. In this paper, students will want to do the following:
a) discuss the disposition of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa (lower city, raised mound and granaries)
b) elaborate on its discovery in colonial times
c) demonstrate understanding of diffusionism argument and the impact of Mehrgarh in Harappan studies
Points – Scrutinize This List Carefully
1. Your paper should have a structure: an introduction, a body and a conclusion. Avoid opinions in your paper. A
statement like “Harappans were primitive” is not an argument but an opinion. A paper based on vague opinions
will obtain a low grade. Ensure that your paper has a clear introduction. The introduction should lay out what the
paper will do.
2. A vague paper will receive a low grade. Be as specific and detailed as possible. Detailed papers reveal genuine,
sincere and competent approach to assignment. The paper provides you an opportunity to shine.
3. Avoid generalizations; be specific; be detailed. Avoid vague terms like “things,” “people,” and “it is like”
4. Avoid colloquial language. Avoid terms like “it sucks”; “it is kind of”
5. Use “do not” instead of “don’t”
6. When possible, use the active voice rather than the passive voice. Example: “Rakhaldas Banerji excavated
Mohenjo-daro in 1921” is more powerful than “Mohenjo-daro was excavated by Rakhaldas Banerji in 1921”
7. Edit your paper rigorously so that your idea(s) come(s) across clearly. One good way to edit your paper is to read
your paper out loud or to read your paper as you are writing.
8. Each word in your essay should be used effectively and not be wasted. Write with purpose and economy. This
means write to convey an idea not to simply put words on paper.
9. When writing about historical events, use the past tense. It is okay to use the present tense when discussing a
primary source or the textbook.
10. Provide citations for direct quotes and any factual or interpretive points that are not your own. You should use
footnotes (not endnotes).
11. Cheating is most definitely unacceptable. Cheating means plagiarizing, buying a paper, copying from online,
using a ghost writer or any other method that is presenting work that is not your own. Refer to page 3 of syllabus
for the “Academic Integrity Statement.”
12. Do not use MLA or APA. Historians use Chicago style in their writings.
13. Cite the accurate page number and do not invent page numbers.
14. Even though you are using Chicago Style, there is no Work Cited page, bibliography or cover page. Keep it
simple. Sophistication resides in simplicity.
15. Your essay should have a title and page numbers.
16. Your paper is between 900 and 950 words. If your paper is over 950 words, it is fine. I am confident students can
write between 900 and 950 words for the first paper.
17. Follow instructions set out in this guide sheet. Do not invent instructions.
18. This is not a research seminar. Papers that use outside resources will receive a low grade. Outside sources are
Wikipedia, Britannica, and/or any other source from Internet.
19. There should be a flow in your writing, as in, the idea should flow from sentence to sentence. Consider this
paragraph from historian Lynn Hunt and see how the idea flows from sentence to sentence: “Writing is stressful.
Sitting in my computer chair my neck and shoulder muscles almost immediately tense up as I dig around in my
brain for the best phrase or even any coherent string of words, whether I am writing an essay like this one, a book
chapter, a letter of recommendation, or an email message to a friend. Writing is time-consuming. It’s a great way
to pass the time on a long airplane flight because you lose track of the passage of time altogether. It’s even better,
from that point of view exclusively, than watching an episode of Mad Men on your laptop. Writing means many
different things to me but one thing it is not: writing is not the transcription of thoughts already consciously
present in my mind. Writing is a magical and mysterious process that makes it possible to think differently.”1
1 Lynn Hunt, “How Writing Leads to Thinking,” Perspectives on History, February 2010, Accessed on January 17, 2021.
How to cite in Paper 1
1. How to cite secondary sources in this paper:
▪ You are using Chicago Style and should thus have footnotes in your paper. Endnotes are not
▪ For textbook, first mention: Thomas R. Trautmann, India: Brief History of a Civilization (Oxford;
New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2016), 5.
▪ For subsequent mention of textbook: Trautmann, 6.
▪ If same page of textbook is used multiple times on the same page of student’s paper: Ibid.
▪ For Lectures: Yoshina Hurgobin, Understanding Physical Geography of India and Indian Ocean,
▪ For Lectures: Yoshina Hurgobin, Mohenjo-daro, Harappa, Urbanization & Aftermath of Indus, 2021.
▪ For subsequent mention of lecture:
o Hurgobin, Physical Geography of India and Indian Ocean, 2021.
o Hurgobin, Mohenjo-daro, 2021. For more information on India Geography on Ancient Civilization see this:

India Geography on Ancient Civilization

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