Phase 4: Preparing to Share: Emerging Ideas

Updated 1 year 4 days ago

In Phase 3, I have obtained information on my topic, and in Phase 4, I will start to plan my final product.

In order to create my own project, I first looked at the project of some previous alumni: Ashley T., Jie Ling.T, and Mia. C. Ashley. T's product was about the Great Leap Forward and had separated her video into different parts to explain the context, mistakes, and impact of the Cultural Revolution. Jie Ling. T studied Local Legends and separated her video into different stories that she collected. Mia. C's project was about the body language and had separated her video into the three parts stated in her thesis. I believe the products could have included some of their own opinions on this since this is also included as part of their learning; however, all projects indeed made it clear to the audience of what they have learned on the journey and the shared the content in a very organized fashion. 

I will focus my final product on examining the reason for the changes in Xizhou and how the larger picture of China impacted such changes. I believe my audience will be people who are interested in Chinese and Xizhou history, and I want to challenge them to see Chinese history and the current state of China in a new perspective. My thesis is: to explain the impact of Chinese history on Xizhou’s local history, one must examine the changes in economy, environment, and culture. For my own project, I plan to write an analysis of the local history, specifically focusing on how the larger trends in China influenced Xizhou historically. 

Below is an outline for my final product:


Introduction for the essay:

  • A brief description of the trip and its purpose
  • Description of my project and reason for doing it
  • Description of my research method and direction

I Introduction of the final product:

  • Background of Dali and Xizhou (e.g. Culture, population, brief history)
  • Thesis statement: to explain the impact of Chinese history on Xizhou’s local history, one must examine the changes in economy, environment, and culture

II Economic Changes

  • Context of the Xizhou Merchant League era
  • Explain why the league died off—due to the new type of government
  • Transition into how the new government changed the economy of Xizhou
  • Analyze Xizhou's current economic state, compare it to the past
  • Explain the impact of this constant development-seeking economic state on the people 
  • Transition to environmental changes—explaining how the current economic state also impacts the environment

III Environmental Changes

  • Quotes from field research about people's descriptions of old Erhai
  • Explain the current state of Erhai
  • Explain historical reasons of why it is polluted (Great Leap Forward, commercialization, current economy and government)
  • State impacts of the current state of Erhai and how it impacts the public and government 
  • State impacts of the Erhai protection policy in the public (business owners and farmers and other citizens of Xizhou) and government 
  • Provide perspective on the issue and the current state of matter (also include expert opinions)

IV Cultural Changes

  • History of Xizhou's culture (e.g. religions, customs, architecture) and how it was changed and impacted (e.g. Cultural Revolution) 
  • Explain the current state of Xizhou's culture (e.g. religions, customs, architecture)
  • Explain why the current state is so (give example of how the culture is mishandled) and tie it to the government's role in the process of culture preservation (nationally and in Xizhou)
  • Share Mr. He's (local high-school teacher) story of how he interacted with the government
  • Provide governmental perspective 
  • Impacts of the loss of culture to the people and Xizhou as a whole 
  • Possible solutions (include the possible challenges)

V Conclusion

  • Give an outline of the types of people I talked to
  • Tie collected stories from field research to the three kinds of changes (one for each kind of change, also including summaries of the different viewpoints for each type of change at the end of each story)
  • Tie the people's stories back to the Environmental change part, strengthening the idea that the people changes with the rest of China 
  • Show the people's need for inter-dependability and how the history (e.g. Cultural Revolution) and the current state of China has affected such relationships and needs
  • Tie current status of Xizhou to the old status once more (focus on Bai culture)
  • Tie it to the thoughts of Mr. He on rebuilding Xizhou based on its culture
  • Explain why that solution can help the most (tightens Xizhou people's bond, helps economy, provide a better environment for next generation)
  • Provide some requirements for this plan to carry on: depends largely on the next generations, the passing of culture through connecting with the voices of the elderly
  • Explain the importance of listening to the voices of the village: the Chinese state of governing made people less prone to talking about their opinions and histories and the histories of Xizhou, meaning that culture gets lost within the lack of connection
  • China's trend of secrecy also impacts people's habits of sharing
  • Conclude by restating thesis and explaining how the understanding of individuals is what builds up an understanding of the different aspects and impacts of the larger picture


Next, I will start to work on my final product.

I'm fourteen years old and was born in America, Minnesota. However, my family moved to Shanghai when I was 1 year old, after that, I have lived in Tianjin for a while, then moved back to Shanghai. The days at Xizhou had been very memorable and taught me a lot, I will certainly return to visit at times in the near future.