Reading and Responding: "The Kite Runner"


Kite Runner Tasks


Please find attached below the Questions and Handouts to be completed for the Kite Runner:

On Monday 21 March, you will need to hand in:
  • Summer Homework
  • Themes Table
  • Characters Table
  • Chapter Questions (with all questions attempted) for Chapters 1-17
  • Chapter Questions (with at least some notes made) for Chapters 17-25.
  • Kite Runner DVD Questions

Kite Runner Discussion Questions.doc
The Kite Runner DVD Questions.docx
Themes Table.doc
Character Profile Table.doc

Kite Runner Resources


Handed out in class:

Kite Runner Quotes.docx

A Very Brief History of Afghanistan.docx


A few useful links:


A Synopsis of the Kite Runner from Khaled Hosseini's Website

Videos of Khaled Hosseini describing life in Afghanistan, The Kite Runner and Writing

The Kite Runner on Wikipedia

Kite Runner SAC


  • The Kite Runner SAC will be held in period 1 and 2 on Friday 18 March.
  • You will be able to use all of Period 1 and 2 to write.
  • You will be able to look at an essay plan sheet and a dictionary, but no other notes or your novel.
  • The SAC will be held under exam conditions - you will not be allowed to talk to other students.



The SAC Questions and the Essay Plan Proforma are attached below:

SAC Questions.doc

Kite Runner Plan.doc

You are strongly encouraged to practice writing out your essay in full before Friday. Many students spend a lot of time in the SAC trying to find the right way to phrase an idea, the right word or the right way to link one paragraph to the next. You may have found this happened to you in the practice SAC. If you practice writing your SAC when you have plenty of time, you will remember how you phrased something when you come to write it in the SAC. It is expected that you will write 800-1000 words during periods 1 and 2 on Friday 18 March. You cannot afford to waste any time!

If you would like any extra help, please email me or come to one of the following sessions:
  • Tuesday 15 March - 12.40 - 1pm in A1
  • Thursday 16 March - 12.40 - 1.15pm in A1
  • Friday 17 March - before school (time to be advised) in C13

If you would like to complete and receive feedback on an additional essay, please choose from the following practice questions and email to me before Tuesday 15 March.
  • “There is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft…There is no act more wretched than that of stealing, Amir.” How does this relate to the characters in The Kite Runner?
  • “He [Hassan] knew I had betrayed him and yet he was rescuing me once again.”

If you are absent on the day of the SAC:
  • If your absence is considered 'approved' by your senior school coordinator, you will be able to complete the SAC after school in the following week (usually Thursday) under exam conditions and your essay will be marked as if you completed it in class on March 18
  • If your absence is considered 'unapproved' by your senior school coordinator, you will be able to complete the SAC after school in the following week (usually Thursday) under exam conditions, however, your essay can only be marked S or N.

Essay Writing Help

Your essay should have
  • An introduction
  • 3-5 body paragraphs
  • A conclusion


Before you write, you should

1. Decide what your contention will be
2. Brainstorm
3. Plan


Both brainstorming and planning are incredibly important and will help you write faster and easier and with more depth, more detail and more structure. Remember: more depth, more detail and more structure = more marks!

Decide what your contention will be

  • Before you start to write, you need to decide what your contention will be.
    • Your contention is what you believe / what you are arguing.
    • For example, for the practice essay question: "Amir is unworthy of Hassan's loyalty. Discuss"
      • If you believed that Amir is unworthy of Hassan's loyalty throughout the whole novel, your main contention is: Amir is unworthy of Hassan's loyalty throughout the whole novel.
      • If you believed that Amir is worthy of Hassan's loyalty throughout the whole novel, your main contention is: Amir is worthy of Hassan's loyalty throughout the whole novel.
      • If you believed Amir is unworthy of Hassan’s loyalty when they were children, but becomes worthy of his loyalty after rescuing Sohrab, your main contention is: Amir is unworthy of Hassan’s loyalty when they were children, but becomes worthy of his loyalty after rescuing Sohrab.
    • For the practice essay question, “There is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft…There is no act more wretched than that of stealing, Amir.” How does this relate to the characters in The Kite Runner? What might your contention be?

Brainstorming

  • On a blank piece of paper or on your computer, write down all the things you might include in the essay.
  • Consider:
    • Can your main contention be broken down into sections? If you can already see how your main contention can be broken into sections, write down these sections and brainstorm under each section.
      • For example, if your major contention is: Amir is unworthy of Hassan’s loyalty when they were children, but becomes worthy of his loyalty after rescuing Sohrab, you might break it down into three sections:
        • Hassan is very loyal to Amir
        • Amir is unworthy of Hassan’s loyalty when they are children
        • Amir has become worthy by the end of the novel
        • Then brainstorm any ideas under each section
      • If the question can’t be easily broken down at the beginning, brainstorm under the whole question.
    • Are there any key terms you need to define?
    • Are any statements or facts made in the question that you might need to explain, prove, or disagree with?
    • Which characters could you talk about?
    • Which events could you talk about?
    • If the question includes a quote, but does not say who said it, or to who, or when, should you explain?
    • What quotes might you use?
  • You may wish to spend 30 minutes or more simply on brainstorming.
  • Don’t start to question these ideas yet.
  • Don’t think about what order you might write them in or if an idea or concept is enough to fill up a paragraph.
  • Just write down everything you can think of that is related to that question.


Plan


  • Read over your brainstorm
  • Identify and select three to five key ideas. Each idea will be a separate body paragraph within your essay.
  • This might be:
    • A separate paragraph for each section of the question, eg:
      1. Hassan is very loyal to Amir
      2. Amir is unworthy of Hassan’s loyalty when they are children
      3. Amir has become worthy by the end of the novel
    • A separate paragraph for each of characters you want to write about in relation to that question, eg.
1. Amir
2. Hassan
3. Baba
4. Minor Characters
  • Decide which order you will write about the key ideas in. You may wish to write about major characters first and minor characters second.
  • Consider: if you need to define any key terms, will you be able to define these in the introduction or should you define them in your first body paragraph?
  • Consider: if you need to explain who said a quote, to whom, what they meant, and when they said it in the novel, will you be able to do this in the introduction or should you explain this in your first body paragraph?

Introduction

  • In your introduction, you must do two things: State your contention and outline the structure of your essay.
    • State your contention: what you believe / will argue in the essay (see Decide what your contention will be, above)
    • Outline the structure of your essay
      • Before you write your introduction, you need to know how many body paragraphs you are going to have, and the key points that these will cover (See Plan, above).
      • In the introduction, list what you will argue and the order in which you will argue it.
  • In your introduction you may also choose to include:
    • An introductory sentence describing the book or its context (see the Kite Runner Resources page for links to a synopsis of the novel which may help you)
    • A definition of any key terms in the question
    • If the question contained a quote, you may need to explain who said it, to whom, when they said it and what they meant
  • Do not use “I”, “I think”, “I believe” or “in my opinion”. The reader will know that what you are writing is your opinion, what you think and what you believe.
  • If you find it hard to begin writing your essay without the words “I believe…” or “I think…” then think these words, but start writing after them. For example:
    • I believe Hassan is very loyal = Hassan is very loyal.
    • I think Amir is unworthy of his loyalty = Amir is unworthy of his loyalty.
  • Similarly, do not use "my contention is" The reader will know a statement is your contention.
    • My contention is Amir is unworthy of his loyalty = Amir is unworthy of his loyalty.
  • Do not use "this essay will" or "in this essay". Simply state your contention, followed by the key points you will make, possibly separated by firstly, secondly, thirdly. For example:
    • Wrong: I believe Amir is unworthy of Hassan's loyalty at the beginning of the novel, but becomes worthy by the end of the novel. This essay will show I am right by showing how loyal Hassan is, how unworthy he is at the beginning of the novel, and how worthy he is at the end
    • Better: Amir is unworthy of Hassan's loyalty at the beginning of the novel, but through his actions becomes worthy by the end. Careful analysis of the novel demonstrates, firstly, how loyal Hassan is, secondly, how unworthy Amir is of that loyalty at the beginning of the novel, and thirdly, how Amir changes to become worthy of Hassan's love and loyalty by the novel's conclusion.

Body Paragraphs


Each body paragraph should deal with a different idea


  • Each body paragraph should deal with a different idea. For example, you may wish to have a different paragraph for:
    • The different characters you wish to write about – e.g. one paragraph for Amir, one for Hassan and one for Baba
    • Different sections of the novel – e.g. one paragraph for the beginning of the novel, when Amir is a child in Afghanistan, one paragraph for when he is a young adult in America, and one paragraph for his return to Afghanistan
    • Different points you wish to make, e.g.
1. Hassan is very loyal to Amir
2. Amir is unworthy of Hassan’s loyalty when they are children
3. Amir has become worthy by the end of the novel


When writing your body paragraphs, remember TEEL
  • Topic Sentence
  • Evidence
  • Explanation / Elaboration
  • Linking Sentence


Topic Sentence

  • Each body paragraph should begin with a topic sentence.
  • Topic sentences must:
    • State what you are going to argue in that paragraph – in other words, make a claim, which you will then back up or explain in the paragraph
    • Link back to the essay question / contention
  • Your topic sentence can also tell the reader in what order you will discuss key points.
  • Everything that follows the topic sentence should relate to/explain/give evidence supporting that sentence. If you think of another point, that doesn’t fit that topic sentence:
    • Put it in another paragraph OR
    • Redraft your topic sentence so it includes the new point.


Evidence
  • After your topic sentence, provide evidence to support your argument or idea. Evidence can include quotes or examples from the text.
    • For example, for the practice question: "Amir is unworthy of Hassan's loyalty. Discuss", you may wish to spend the first paragraph establishing how loyal Hassan is. Your evidence might be:
      • Example: Hassan tells Amir he would eat dirt if Amir asked him to
      • Example: Hassan, knowing how important the kite is to Amir, will do anything to bring it back to him, including challenging Assef, which leads to Assef’s rape
      • Example: Hassan confesses to stealing Amir’s watch and money, even though he did not do so, rather than let Baba see Amir has lied

Using Quotes


  • Use quotes from the novel to support your ideas
  • You can find a list of important and useful quotes on the Kite Runner resources page. Important quotes are also included in the discussion questions handed out in class and attached on the Kite Runner Resources page. These lists do not include all the quotes you can use, but will be a useful starting point!
  • There are two forms of quote:
    • Direct quotes: Quotes from the novel that appear in your essay exactly as they appear in the novel are direct quotes. and should be surrounded with quotation marks.
    • Paraphrased quotes: If you summarise the quote, rephrase it, or can't remember exactly how it was written in the novel, this is a paraphrased quote. You should still explain who said the quote and to whom, but do not surround the quote with quotation marks.
  • Make sure you include who said the quote, to whom, and what it means, e.g:
    • Don’t simply include the quote “I became what I am today at the age of twelve” as a complete sentence, without saying who said it, to whom, what it means, and how it proves your point.
    • Instead, you can say:
      • At the beginning of the novel, the narrator tells the reader “I became what I am today at the age of twelve”. He believes he becomes who he is as an adult in the moment he chooses not to defend Hassan from Assef’s rape. However, the reader can see that his adult character is also formed by …
    • Other ways of introducing quotes:
      • In the final scenes of the novel, Amir yells to Sohrab, “for you a thousand times over!”
      • Amir tells the reader, “…”
      • Unaware that Amir is able to hear, Baba tells Rahim Khan “…”
      • Hassan says to Amir, “…”
    • Try to include the page number wherever possible


Explanation / Elaboration

  • After you have written your topic sentence and provided evidence to support it, make sure you have explained what your evidence shows the reader and how it supports the paragraph’s argument or idea

Linking Sentence
  • In the best essays, the final sentence in each paragraph shows how the paragraph supports the essay’s main contention and / or links the paragraph to the next paragraph.
  • For example, for the practice question: "Amir is unworthy of Hassan's loyalty. Discuss", you could use your first paragraph to establish how loyal Hassan is and your second paragraph to show how Amir does not deserve it when he is a child. The linking sentence between them could be: “While Hassan demonstrates his loyalty to Amir in both his words and his actions, Amir demonstrates only how unworthy he is of that loyalty.”

Conclusion

  • Finally, your conclusion should summarise what you have argued and reassert or restate your contention.

Style

  • A text response essay should be written in a formal, academic style
  • Avoid colloquialisms and informal language and, if possible, abbreviations such as “don’t” and “can’t.” Use “do not” and “cannot”.