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All three of the processes described above will inform your decisions about what you need to read for a particular essay. If left unplanned, the reading stage can swallow up huge amounts of time. Fortunately, there is scope for developing efficiency in several ways:
The sheji 社稷 "altars to soil and grain gods" were the ritual center of a Chinese state. Originally, she 社 was the "god of the land" and ji 稷 the "god of the harvest" (cf. Houji above), and the compound sheji "gods of soil and grain" metaphorically means "the state; the nation". The Shiji (Campany 2005:21) says establishing a new dynasty required eliminating the sheji altars of the preceding dynasty and erecting one's own.