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-  2016 


Keywords: 宋代科举,应策,时文
imperial examination
,policy essay

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Abstract:The stratagem and suggestion writing first appeared in the zhike examination (a special imperial examination in the Song Dynasty). In the palace examination in 1070, the text took a form of policy-making questionnaire. Afterwards, this kind of examination was regularized and inherited through dynasties. Thus scholars gradually devoted more efforts into stratagem and suggestion writing. In palace examination, two capacities were considered important: knowledge of political ills and corresponding policies, comprehensive analysis and expression ability. Song scholars, who were requested to consider problems with the context of real politics, were keen to make changes and bold in criticizing the government, which could be partly related to the training before examination. From the perspective of the format, the system needed to assess the candidates of comprehensive thinking on social and political dimensions, and usually had several questions under one subject. Therefore, the answering sheet was actually composed of a few pieces of article, different from the one-question-one-answering sheet. As the policy essays were limited by subject, time and place, with practical purposes in addition, most candidates tried to cater for the rulers in praise of the current politics. They would figure out the real thought of authority and took it as the main argument of the essay. Some of them went so far in malicious attacks against the groups in disadvantage. Limited by personal experiences and consideration on fame and fortune, most policy essays could not provide insightful opinions. Shallow emptiness was the common defect


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