•S = Subject – What the document is about?
•O= Occasion – The event that prompted the document
•A= Audience – The group for whom the document was created
•P= Purpose – The reason for the document. –Is it to inform? Is it to persuade? What is the perspective of the speaker? Is he/she somehow affected by the events going on around him/her? Does he/she approve or disapprove of what is going on?
•S= Speaker – What is the person’s name? What is the available biographic information? What class does he/she belong to?
•TONE = Tone – What is the mood of the piece? Is the tone sarcastic? Is it defeated?
Class notes on SOAPStone
Subject : How to select a good officials
Occasion: Helps to advise the emperor on what types of men should be part of the bureaucracy
Audience: The Sung emperor, but also a wider audience, perhaps even prospective bureaucrats who might want to know how to move up in the bureaucracy
Purpose: To advise the emperor and others on what it should take to be a good bureaucrat. Maybe that has been lacking? Perhaps this was prompted because of a decline in the quality of the bureaucracy. He is also clearly a Confucian since he has no problem addressing the emperor and giving him straight-forward advice
Speaker: Wang An Shi, Confucian scholar and prime minister to the Sung emperor
Tone: Respectful, but firm. Clear indication of the standards that should be implemented to maintain a strong bureaucracy