This section inculdes instructions for the informal responses and the two essays. General writing guidelines for the essays are also provided below.

Informal Responses

After viewing each film shown in class and/or attending any outside lectures pertaining to South Asia, you will be required to fill out a 1-page response sheet. You can submit it after the film or bring it to class next day. These responses are informal in nature aimed at enhancing your understanding of the films and lectures in the context of Indian history.


You are required to write two critical essays, based on any two of the books assigned for this course. Each essay should follow a certain theme (to be discussed in class beforehand), have an argument supported by evidence from the text and should be five to six pages long. I will give out topical questions for each essay beforehand. The papers should be typed in 12 fonts, double-spaced and have the usual 1 inch margin. Handwritten submissions may also be made if they are neat and legible. Please note the due dates for each paper. Late submissions are strongly discouraged.

General Writing Guidelines for the Essays

  1. Your essay should have a clearly stated introduction, main body and conclusion.

  2. In your introduction, you should outline your main argument.

  3. The main section of the essay should have multiple paragraphs each of which deal with a single issue. Each paragraph should also be connected to the next.

  4. Your conclusion will reiterate your key thesis.

  5. Grades will depend on your argument, use of examples, coherence and writing style.

  6. Please proofread before submission for grammatical and spelling errors.