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English 263 - Silence Breaker Research Speech: Assignment Info.

Assignment Requirements

Silence Breaker Research Speech


We studied Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave” and Purple Hibiscus. It is actually not unusual that human beings experience enlightening moments that change their perspective about the world, but it is rare indeed for people to find enlightenment and then decide to change something about their society as a result. Though rare, throughout history and across virtually all cultures, there have been extraordinary people who after becoming enlightened to injustice in the societies in which they lived have rebelled in order to create change for the greater good. In many cases, these people have suffered punishment or tragedy (like the prisoner in Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” who was literally killed when he offered a dissenting opinion); in all cases, they have struggled in some way. While they could have chosen to just change their own lives, they chose, instead, to change their world. To fully appreciate the commitment and courage it takes to challenge the status quo, in the next two weeks, you are going to learn about some other famous people who exhibited these qualities. You will do this through research, reading, and listening to presentations.



To teach your classmates about a specific person or group of people through research and presentation.

  • To practice and improve your research skills:
    • Finding and choosing appropriate resources
    • Reading for information and taking notes
    • Organizing research material and information effectively
    • Using correct MLA style for citations and a works cited page.
  • To collaborate effectively as a researcher, planner, and presenter (especially if working with someone you don’t know very well).
  • To communicate in a way that instructs and engages an audience.



You will work in small groups to put together a speech. (No, you may NOT pick your group. Groups will be assigned.)

  • Each group will research ONE person or ONE group of people, and each person in the group will read and annotate resources, take notes, write summaries, and keep a record of all bibliographic information.
  • Each group will be responsible for submitting an outline and a typed Works Cited page.
  • This research project will culminate in a 16-17 minute visual presentation that provides an in-depth look at the person and covers ALL of the assigned mandatory topics.



1.  Length: 15-16 minutes

2.  Visual aid: Google Presentation or Prezi (without much text). (Must be shared with me by the beginning of class on Monday, January 8th , despite the date of the actual presentation.)

3.  Cite at least FIVE different sources in your speech. (Cite Verbally)

4.  A Works Cited page in MLA format.

5.  A completed OUTLINE due before break.



  1. What is/was the person’s country of origin? What is/was the culture like? What are/were its rules/laws at the time this person lived? Describe the culture, the social norms, and the expectations for behavior. (political climate)
  2. What is the person’s background: upbringing, education, family? What pivotal moment(s) in his/her lives impacted his/her decisions? (Find some anecdotes about the person’s background.)
  3. Against whom/what does/did this person rebel? In what ways does/did he/she rebel? Describe the person’s beliefs and actions taken to fight for those beliefs.
  4. What are/were the outcomes of the rebellion both for the person personally (how did the person develop as a person?) and for his/her world (how did the person’s country and/or the world change?)? Describe the person’s legacy.



With your group, pick one person from the list below. Multiple groups cannot pick the same topic. Assignments will be given on a first come, first serve basis.


Malala Yousafzai (Pakistan)                         Indira Gandhi (India)       Benazir Bhutto (Pakistan)

Aung San Suu Kyi (Burma)                           Nelson Mandela (South Africa)

Kim Dae Jung (South Korea)                         Harvey Milk (USA)         Wangari Maathai (Kenya)

The Mirabal Sisters (Dominican Republic)    Rigoberta Menchu (Guatemala)                                       

Qui Jin (China)                                              Fidel Castro (Cuba)  


Groups will present on the day they are assigned. If you are excused absent on the day of your presentation you  MUST contact a group member AND Ms. Kim BEFORE class. A 20% deduction will ensue for a late speech.


**Also, if a group member is consistently absent or fails to complete assigned tasks, the individual may be dropped from the group. The dropped individual will be required to work independently and do many extra assignments in order to receive credit.

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