The Crucible: Literary Analysis Essay
Directions: Choose ONE of the essay prompts/topics below. Answer your chosen prompt in a five-paragraph essay based around a one-part thesis. Each of your three body paragraphs must include a quote from The Crucible. Since this essay has a more straightforward format than the Close Reading essay for Great Expectations, we will be focusing on the writing process as you move towards producing a final draft. Consequently, you will be required to complete the prewriting work in this packet, write TWO drafts, complete a peer-editing letter, and produce a final draft. Rewrites will NOT be offered on this essay, so visiting the Writing Center is encouraged!
Possible Essay Topics
1. Despite the Puritan background of the citizens of Salem, it seems as though almost every character tells a lie at one time or another throughout The Crucible. What specific role does dishonesty play in The Crucible?
2. Fear and faith are both powerful forces at work in Salem. In your opinion, what does The Crucible say or suggest about the relationship between faith and fear?
3. Many characters in The Crucible seem preoccupied with the status and maintenance of their reputations. What impact does the presence of this reputation-centered mentality have on the evolution of the trials?
Select a topic (circle or star your choice above), and jot down the first few ideas that pop into your head when you think about how you would go about answering your selected question. If you can’t decide on a topic, brainstorm ideas for two topics you’re thinking about. Based on how many ideas you’re able to come up with for each topic, choose one (if drafting doesn’t go well, you can always change your mind later on). Brainstorming:
Brainstorm a clear, coherent answer to the question (this will be the basis of your thesis). Answer:
Now, brainstorm what you could possibly focus on in your three body paragraphs to prove your thesis. In other words, what THREE reasons/ideas will you use to support/justify your thesis?
Formulate your thesis. Your thesis should clearly state your answer to the topic question. Since you will be writing a one part thesis, you do NOT need to include your three supporting reasons or ideas in your thesis. Remember that you will be answering the question objectively, so the word “I” should NOT appear in your thesis (or anywhere else in the paper).
Thesis: _____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________
Create a logical order of ideas for your paper. One idea (in terms of your thesis) will guide each body paragraph. Under each main idea, brainstorm potential quotes you will pull from The Crucible to support your argument in that body paragraph. You don’t necessarily need to include direct quotes yet; a paraphrase or note that will remind you of a specific quote is fine.
Body Paragraph 1: ______________________________________________________________________ Possible quotes:
Body Paragraph 2: ______________________________________________________________________ Possible quotes:
Body Paragraph 3: ______________________________________________________________________ Possible quotes:
Putting it all Together
1. In your introductory paragraph, include a hook statement/attention grabber that relates to your topic, and include a small amount of background information (assume your reader has read the book). Be sure to include the title and author...
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