What are al-Afghani’s views on the role of Britain and Russia in the late nineteenth century?

What are al-Afghani’s views on the role of Britain and Russia in the late nineteenth century?

History of Modern Iran

Term Paper Assignment

GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS: There is no specific length requirement for papers. I would be

surprised to see a paper shorter than five pages or longer than a dozen, but the crucial

consideration is that the papers be as long as necessary to discuss the subject adequately, no

more, no less. The quality of the content is the crucial thing, not some arbitrary number of


All papers for this course are to be written in clear and correct standard written English.

Slang, jargon, pop psychology, and pomposity are to be avoided like the plague. Correct

grammar is required. Papers must have a proper introduction, main body, and conclusion.

Pages must be numbered, double spaced, and single sided.

Notes are required for all direct quotations, interpretive points or little known pieces of

information attributed to an author, and for any information which is controversial or cannot be

presumed to be part of an educated person's general knowledge. You must follow the correct

form for notes and all other elements of essaywriting style. In this course you MUST follow the

AChicago style.@ Guidelines for doing notes are available at the course=s Blackboard web site

: go to Syllabus, then click on Citation and Bibliography. For further reference on any matter of

style, consult Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers (widely available in paperback) or the

Chicago Manual of Style (on which Turabian is based.) Notes may be put either at the bottom

of the page or the end of the essay; the choice is yours. The system of citing works by the

author's name and a page number in parentheses in the text is NOT acceptable.

Many students use Microsoft Word as their word-processing program. For some odd

reason, its default numbering for notes (at least in some versions) uses Roman numerals.

However, you must NOT use Roman numerals for your notes. Word gives you the option of

selecting Arabic numerals instead. That is what you should do.

The organization and wording of the essay are to be each student's own. A moderate

number of direct quotations (accurately copied and properly cited) may be used occasionally to

illustrate a point.

TERM PAPER: The aim of the term paper is to help students develop their analytical and

writing skills while exploring a particular topic in Iranian history. Think of the assignment as

writing a paper for specific educational purposes rather than imitating the chronological narrative

of the textbook. Organize your essays into a well-thought-out, well-written discussion of the

issues I ask you to address (see below).

Your paper should not be organized as a summary or paraphrase of the individual

readings. The subject of the term paper this semester is the document by al-Afghani in

Lloyd Ridgeon, ed., Religion and Politics in Modern Iran; it is an assigned reading for this

course (topic 7). Your paper should address the following topics:

What does al-Afghani think is wrong with the way Iran is governed in the late nineteenth century?


What are al-Afghani’s ideas about good, or at least acceptable, government?

What are al-Afghani’s views on the role of Britain and Russia in the late nineteenth century?

What does the document reveal about al-Afghani as a person?

You may, if you wish, address any other topics you consider pertinent, but that is not

necessary. You must address the questions listed above.

You do not need to do lots of additional readings beyond what is assigned for this course

in order to do this paper. In fact, there is no advantage to scrambling to do lots of extra reading.

Make sure that your paper has a proper introduction, main body, and conclusion.

CRITERIA FOR GRADING TERM PAPERS: Papers will be graded on the basis of: 1) whether

or not you explicitly address the assigned questions about the al-Afghani document; 2) how well

you substantiate your answers; 3) the sophistication of your answer; and 4) how well the paper

is written and organized.


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