Of Mice and Men In-Class Essay

Of Mice and Men In-Class Essay
Follow MLA format: only write on one side of the page, double-space, write in ink.  Put your name information in the upper right corner, and give your paper a title.

 Prompt:  Write an essay on one of the themes from Of Mice and Men. 

  • Topic 1: Friendship
    • Argue whether George’s act of shooting Lennie at the end of the novel is out of friendship or out of selfishness.
  • Topic 2: Loneliness
    • Argue which character / characters are the loneliest in the novel. Your body paragraphs can focus on individual characteristics of a single character or each paragraph can focus on a different character’s loneliness.
  • Topic 3: The American Dream
    • Argue whether George and Lennie (and Candy) would or would not have gotten their little house an’ lived “off the fatta the lan’!”

Be sure to have a topic sentence and closing sentence for each paragraph. Write 500-750 words (this prompt is about 400 words).

Discussion of the prompt:  Your essay will be a minimum of five paragraphs in length.  You need three main points total, one for each paragraph.  Use at least one quote in each paragraph, but preferably two.  Follow the outline below.  Remember to set up quotes with tags (introduce who said the quote and to whom they were speaking), and end quotes with page citations.

Example:  George tells Lennie “I ain’t mad.  I never been mad, an’ I ain’t now. That’s a thing I want ya to know” (106). This shows that…

  • Introduction:Open with an attention getter, mention the author & title of the text (title is underlined), briefly summarize the novel, then narrow to a thesis statement: “Friendship is X, Y, and Z.” or  “George and Lennie are / aren’t friends because X, Y, Z.”
  • Body: Three paragraphs, each one examining a characteristic of friendship, lonliness, or the American Dream or specific examples of each.
  •  Conclusion:   Summarize the main points of your essay, end with a final thought about friendship, loneliness, or the American Dream:   Would they have gotten their little farm?  Was George really Lennie’s friend in the end? What does loneliness do to the characters?
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