For this project, you will delve deeper into your study of Afghanistan and its rich, complex culture and/or Khaled Hosseini’s book The Kite Runner as a means of understanding the unit in greater depth. First, choose one of the following topics and sign up on the sheet posted in class; topics will be given out on a first come, first served basis:
Ahmad Shah Massood, the "Lion of Panjshir" Heroin addiction/treatment
history of the Taliban
History of kites
plastic surgery, cleft lip
Afghani opium trade
Afghani refugees in the U.S.
Treatment/place of Afghani women
Zahir Shah of Afghanistan
Afghani Northern Alliance
“Sharia” Islamic Law
General Abdul Dostum
President Hamid Karzai
myth of Rostam and Sohrab
pomegranate, history and symbolism
madrassa Islamic schools
John Walker Lynde
Hafez, Rumi, Beydel, Jami, Saadi (poets)
Your essay should be in the range of 4-8 typed, double spaced pages (not including your Works Cited). You should make reference to a minimum of four (4) outside sources, and your essay must conform to the MLA style of documentation (you must use parenthetical references throughout the paper to show where you found quotations and all ideas that are not your own). Specifically, this is what I will be looking for:
1. A great title that piques curiosity about your topic and motivates the audience.
2. An introduction complete with opening hook or lead, full background information, and a clear, arguable thesis (poor: The war between the British and native Afghanis was very bloody; solid: The bitter war between the colonial British army and the native Afghanis demonstrated the extreme difficulty in fully subjugating this often hostile land, no matter how technologically advanced or skilled the invader).
3. A fully developed, multi-paragraph body that gives background on your basic topic and fully supports your thesis; that is, you must SHOW that your thesis is true with evidence from credible outside sources (Wikipedia is NOT a credible source for this essay).
4. A moving conclusion that is not mere summary or rehash. How does your topic reflect the richness or complexity of the Afghan people and their culture? How does your topic tie in with reading the novel The Kite Runner?
5. Competent use of parenthetical references and construction of a Works Cited page.
6. Careful attention to grammar and mechanics.
7. The absence of PLAGIARISM.
8. A rehearsed, entertaining oral presentation to the class of your topic. You should also include some type of visual element (for example, a Powerpoint presentation or poster) to complement your presentation. If you are doing Afghani food or clothing, you might actually prepare some food for us and/or wear some actual traditional Afghani clothing.
Afghanistan Project Component Evaluation (CLICK ON THE HYPERLINK)
A: The “A” project stands out. It meets all aspects of the project description in superior fashion. The written portion is free of major grammar and mechanical errors, and all ideas expressed are fully developed with detail and/or explanation. The oral portion is obviously practiced and takes a minimum of two minutes; the presenter does not rely strictly on reading off note cards, but rather addresses the entire class, gives eye contact, and speaks in a clear and understandable fashion with appropriate inflection. The project is the product of creative effort and a high level of thought. It reflects an understanding of the concepts in the novel and films we have studied, and the presenter is able to explain in compelling fashion how the project connects to these works. The “A” project also has an appealing visual element to it as well. All required information is on time.
C: The “C” project is average. It meets most elements of the project description, but has areas that can be more complete. The written portion may have several grammar and mechanical errors, and more detail and/or explanation would be helpful. The oral portion takes at least two minutes, but the presenter may not always give eye contact. Likewise, the presenter’s voice may be soft or monotone, or the rate of delivery too fast or slow. The presenter shows an adequate understanding of the materials we have covered, but may not be able to show or explain a strong connection between the project and concepts or ideas in the novel and films.
D and F: These projects are below average. They may meet some of the elements of the project description, but far too many elements are left unaddressed. The written portion has many grammar and mechanical errors, and little detail or explanation is given. The oral presentation takes less than two minutes, and the speaker gives the impression of being underprepared. There are frequent stops or pauses in the presentation, and little planning or practicing appears to have been completed. The project has little obvious connection to the ideas and concepts in the myths and films or the speaker fails to adequately explain those connections.
I want no duplication of topics. Therefore, the first to sign up for a particular topic will have full claim to that topic. So get moving and thinking about what you want to pour your energies into.