• Class Number 3696
  • Term Code 3230
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Topic On-campus
  • Mode of Delivery Online or In Person
    • Dr Mark Strange
    • Dr Esther Klein
    • Dr Mark Strange
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 21/02/2022
  • Class End Date 27/05/2022
  • Census Date 31/03/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 28/02/2022
SELT Survey Results

Literary Chinese is a written language that matured long before the Qin dynasty (221-206 B.C.), when China first became an empire. It continued to be used by China's governing and elite cultures for nearly three millennia. A command of Literary Chinese is therefore indispensable for the study of any aspect of Chinese literature, thought, history, politics, or society before the twentieth century.
The idioms, syntax, style, and allusions of Literary Chinese continue to pervade the modern language. Its enduring influence results from the fact that the great legacies of Chinese culture, right down to the present day, have been largely preserved in this medium. Contemporary Chinese political and social discourse, and education, places increasing emphasis on knowledge of pre-modern Chinese culture and on familiarity with texts written in Literary Chinese. So without a grounding in Literary Chinese, it is impossible to gain a full understanding of the language or content of newspaper articles, literary works, and scholarly prose written in contemporary Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the People's Republic of China. It has also shaped the linguistic and cultural traditions of Korea, Japan, and Vietnam.
This course focuses on the analysis and translation of a selection of texts for beginners from the pre-Qin (before 221 BC) and Han (206 BC to 220 AD) periods. Students develop an understanding of the main grammatical forms, function words, and sentence patterns of this formative period of Literary Chinese. Students will also study techniques of translation, as well as the cultural backgrounds essential to understanding the texts at hand.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Recognise and translate in a way appropriate to context a vocabulary of about 700 items.
  2. Identify and explain the basic grammar and sentence structures used in a range of short anecdotal and philosophical texts from pre-Qin (before 221 BC) and Han (206 BC to 220 AD) times.
  3. Differentiate linguistic registers used in basic texts of Classical and Literary Chinese, and translate these accurately into English.
  4. Identify basic textual references through the use of standard Sinological reference tools; and consider these references against the immediate background of intellectual and cultural developments in pre-Qin (before 221 BC) and Han (206 BC to 220 AD) China.

Required Resources

Fuller, Michael, An Introduction to Literary Chinese, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 1999, rpt. 2004.

Other course materials will appear on Wattle and, where necessary, will also be distributed in hard copy in class. Lists of relevant contextual readings will also be posted on Wattle.

Students should ensure that they have access to a good Literary Chinese dictionary. The course convenor will be happy to offer recommendations.

Course updates and announcements will appear on Wattle. It is important that students regularly consult the course site and check their University email accounts for notifications.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction; reading skills
2 Structures of Literary Chinese
3 Lun yu 1 (Fuller, Lesson 1)
4 Lun yu 2 (Fuller, Lesson 1) Quiz 1
5 Han Fei zi 1 (Fuller, Lesson 2)
6 Han Fei zi 2 (Fuller, Lesson 3) In-class test
7 Lü shi chun qiu (Fuller, Lesson 4)
8 Han Fei zi 3 (Fuller, Lesson 5)
9 Lie zi (Fuller, Lesson 6) Quiz 2
10 Zhan guo ce (Fuller, Lesson 7)
11 Meng zi (Fuller, Lesson 8)
12 Revision Quiz 3

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Active participation 10 % * * 1, 2, 3, 4
Analytical exercises 15 % 27/05/2022 30/06/2022 1, 2, 3, 4
Quizzes 15 % 18/03/2022 03/06/2022 1, 2, 3
In-class test 20 % 31/03/2022 18/04/2022 1, 2, 3
Final examination 40 % 02/06/2022 30/06/2022 1,2,3,4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

Active participation

Students will be expected to prepare the texts that are studied in each session throughout the semester. The aim here is to encourage students to make reasoned, rather than purely reactive, decisions in interpreting and translating texts.

Students will be expected to contribute in an active and constructive manner to the analysis of the language and content of materials under study, as well as to general discussion with both the lecturer and their classmates. Consistent participation is essential to achieving the learning outcomes and successfully completing assessments.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 27/05/2022
Return of Assessment: 30/06/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

Analytical exercises

Students will be assessed on three types of regular exercise in the analysis of Literary Chinese texts:

-      completing preparatory exercises for in-class discussions;

-      submitting grammatical analysis and translations of assigned texts;

-      completing supplementary activities and review exercises supplied on-line, through the course Wattle site.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 18/03/2022
Return of Assessment: 03/06/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3


Students will sit three on-line quizzes during the semester. Each quiz will be worth 5% of the total grade. Students will have to complete these quizzes in a fixed time limit. Students will be tested on items of the context, grammar, and vocabulary covered during the course.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 31/03/2022
Return of Assessment: 18/04/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3

In-class test

Students will sit one in-class test before the mid-semester break. The test will be worth 20% of the total grade. It will contain questions about the vocabulary, grammar, and non-linguistic contexts of the texts under study. It will also demand a brief translation, with some relevant vocabulary supplied.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 02/06/2022
Return of Assessment: 30/06/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Final examination

Students will answer questions on points of grammar and vocabulary, and on such information as the author, date, context, and type of the text. Students will also translate a selection of seen and unseen texts from Literary Chinese into English. Some relevant vocabulary will be supplied.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information. In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service — including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy. If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
Dr Mark Strange
02 6125 2993

Research Interests

Dr Mark Strange

Dr Esther Klein
02 6125 3207

Research Interests

Dr Esther Klein

Dr Mark Strange
02 6125 3207

Research Interests

Dr Mark Strange

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions