|6. Paper 1 Preparation|
|6.2. Module 6.2: Evaluation Criteria|
|This Module applies the planning for Paper 1 to the Evaluation Criteria
1, Boldface refers to Evaluation Criteria
2. Underlining refers to the organization of Paper One.
1. Elements of Organization (These Arabic numerals in bold face refer to the Evaluation Criteria.)
I. Opening paragraph: It needs both a thesis statement and an organizing idea. It should end with a statement of significance. (These Roman numerals refer to the organization of your essay in outline form.)
V. Closing paragraph: It needs a summary, a conclusion, and a hint of things to come. (These Roman numerals refer to the organization of your essay in outline form.) Hint: If you end up writing the opening and closing of the paper at the end of the writing process, after you have written most of the three-segment body of the paper, you would be right on task. Three body paragraphs should be 20 sentences each. Body paragraph
II. What is the American dream in general terms (but be prepared to relate your description to the novel)? 20 sentences Body paragraph
III. What is the American dream in The Great Gatsby? 20 sentences Body paragraph
IV. Relate the American dream to characters in the novel. 20 sentences
2. Methods of Development: Use description and example for the three-segment body of the paper.
3. Mode of Order: The overall mode of order for this paper is general-to-specific; however, consider what your mode of order is for each segment as well.
4. Mechanics: For a passing grade, review your paper for effective mechanics, with no more than four errors per page. Include two quotes from The Great Gatsby. Use a works cited page, referencing the novel. Consider using quotes to support the examples you are presenting of the American dream.
Notice that it is “the American dream”: lower case “t” and “d.” Only the “A” is capitalized.
Always underline the title of the novel, The Great Gatsby. You need to mention the author and the novel’s title once in the first sentence of the paper, but after that you can refer to him as Fitzgerald and to the novel as the “novel” to avoid repetitiveness. So the first sentence, your thesis sentence, might look like this:
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is a search for the meaning of the American dream in modern society.
5. Transitions: Use “first,” “second,” and “third,” for the three segments (paragraphs) of the body of the paper. Each is followed by a comma. Use “In summary,” and “In conclusion,” in the closing. Each is followed by a comma.
What transitions are you using to communicate your methods of development and your modes of order?
6. Format: Double space the entire paper beginning with your last name and page number in the upper right-hand corner, per MLA; note in the sample papers.
Four-line heading: Remember to put English 101, Paper 1 and your section number at this point. Follow the style from MLA.
So the four-line heading will look like this, with two minor changes that are noted below after the English 101:
4 October 2007 (or whatever the accurate date is)
Use a title that hints at the thesis. Don’t try to write the title until your paper is over, so you can be sure that it hints at what the overall idea of the paper is.
Indenting: Every time you indent, you indicate that a new paragraph is starting. Indents are five spaces. Because this is a five-paragraph essay, you will have five indents.
Formal tone: Eliminate the use of the following: “I,” “me,” “my,” “mine”; “we,” “us,” “our,” “ours”; “you,” “your,” and “yours”). Formal exposition is not about us; it is about the topic that is being developed.
Works Cited: This should be the last numbered page of your paper. Check MLA to see what one looks like. Follow the rules for creating your works cited references from MLA.
Follow the rules for creating your in-text citations from MLA. Use signal phrases following MLA.
Outline. For your outline for Paper 1, copy and paste your thesis statement, the three topic sentences for the three-part body, and the conclusion onto a separate piece of paper at the end of your paper. It should be an unnumbered page because an outline is not part of MLA style. The outline is just for English 101. Use Roman numerals for the five pieces (I-V) of your essay.
Study the Module Evaluation Criteria for additional information about how Paper 1 will be evaluated.
|6.3. Module 6.3: Outlining|
|This Module Section has two parts.
First, there is a sample guide for a detailed outline that may help you to make sure you have all the components of the paper.
Second, there is a sample guide for the very brief outline that must be turned in with Paper 1.
These presentations demonstrate the elements of the five-paragraph essay that is Paper 1.
A Full Outline would look like this (First, there is a sample guide for a detailed outline that may help you to make sure you have all the components of the paper.):
I. (5 sentences)
A. Thesis statement: this is the overall main idea of the essay
B. 3 Organizing Ideas
C. Statement of Significance
II. (5 sentences, 20 sentence body paragraph, 5 sentences)
A. Topic Sentence:
Start this sentence with “First,” and make it be about the American dream in general.
B. First example with description of the American dream in general
C. Second example with description of the American dream in general
D. Third example with description of the American dream in general
III.(5 sentences, 20 sentence body paragraph, 5 sentences)
A. Topic Sentence:
Start this sentence with “Second,” and make it be about the American dream as it relates to the novel.
B. First example with description of the American dream and its relationship to the novel.
C. Second example with description of the American dream and its relationship to the novel.
D. Third example with description of the American dream and its relationship to the novel.
IV. (5 sentences, 1 20 sentence body paragraph, 5 sentences)
A. Topic Sentence:
Start this sentence with “Third,” and make it be about the American dream and its relationship with three characters in the novel.
B. First example of a character in the novel and his or her relationship with the American dream.
C. Second example of a character in the novel and his or her relationship with the American dream.
D. Third example of a character in the novel and his or her relationship with the American dream.
V. (5 sentences)
A. Summary, using the phrase “In summary,” which should be three sentences long.
B. Conclusion, using the phrase “In conclusion,” which should be a restatement of the thesis in different words.
C. Hint of things to come.
Outline for Paper 1 to Turn in (Second, there is a sample guide for the very brief outline that must be turned in with Paper 1.)
The outline that you need to attach to your paper as the last page (unnumbered because it is not part of MLA) will look like this:
I. Thesis statement copied and pasted from your paper
II. First topic sentence copied and pasted from your paper
III. Second topic sentence copied and pasted from your paper
IV. Third topic sentence copied and pasted from your paper
V. Conclusion copied and pasted from your paper
|6.4. Module 6.4: Checklist|
Make certain that you have included the following issues in your papers: Your last name and the page numbers in the upper right-hand corner.
Double space your paper.
Use no other spacing format.
Include the four-line heading in the upper left-hand corner of the paper, double-spaced below the page number.
Correctly format and write your title, and make sure that it hints at the thesis.
The first sentence of the paper must include the author, the title of the novel, and the thesis statement. The opening paragraph also requires an organizing idea and statement of significance.
Each paragraph of the body of the paper is introduced by the organizational transitions “first,” “second,” and “third.” Each must be followed by a comma.
The length of the three supporting body paragraphs are about 20 sentences each.
The closing paragraph requires that it start with the organizational transition “In summary.” It must be followed by a comma. The summary should be three sentences in length, at least. The closing paragraph must have a conclusion, introduced by the organizational transition “In conclusion,” followed by a comma.
The total length of Paper 1 is five paragraphs.
There should be a very close relationship among the title, the thesis statement, and the conclusion.
Paper 1 turns out to be five paragraphs in length, with the three body paragraphs written with 20 sentences each. That means that the body paragraphs will be 20 sentences long, or a total of 60 sentences. The opening and closing paragraphs will be about five or so sentences in length.
The paper has quotes, with in-text citations and a works cited page.
You will need a citation for everything that you quote. This will be an individual choice.
For example, someone will want to quote from Democracy in America by De Toqueville. Someone will quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. Someone will quote from J. Meachem’s article about the American dream that is found in Modules If you quote or reference them, you will need a signal phrase, a MLA in-text citation, and a reference in the Works Cited page.
Everyone must have at least two quotes from the novel with signal phrases, MLA in-text citation formatting, and a MLA-formatted Works Cited page as the last page of their papers.
Go to Assignments to turn in your paper on time.
|6.5. Module 6.5: Sample Paper|
|Instructions: See this sample paper as an example only. It is not perfect, of course, but it does address most of the E101 formal exposition requirements that are listed in Modules Paper 1, Evaluation Criteria in Modules, and Assignments Paper 1.|
What needs to be done here is to use “First,” for the first 5-paragraph segment of Paper 2. Then use “Second,” for the second 5-paragraph segment. The second segment of the paper is new and is developed by cause and effect. It should have three characters and it should describe the effect of the dream on each one. The first segment, of course, is an edited version of the first paper, Paper 1. So you will notice that this paper is really just a new version of Paper 1, and it never really devotes three full paragraphs on the effects of dream on characters.
Gatsby and the Subjective American Dream
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby can be seen as a multi-perspective exploration of he American ream with varying ideas of what that dream can mean. this thesis lacks clarity about the values of the thesis in terms of the American dream and the novel…the novel is about tragedy, but this essay’s topic sentence mistakenly pretends that the tone may be neutral…the novel ends in tragedy, so the thesis statement must communicate that tragedy somehow…The dream that has been labeled uniquely American is a subjective concept, an idea open to interpretation and based on one’s own background and personal aspirations. In The Great Gatsby, the backdrop of early 20th century America serves as an environment for exploring the dream. Further, the individual characters of the novel demonstrate different facets of that ‘dream’.
First, why and how this universal and fluid concept of human striving for potential and contentment became American is up for discussion and perhaps could be rooted in Thomas Jefferson’s famously celebrated words that help make up part of the theme that is the American constitution; that elusive concept of the pursuit of happiness. topic sentence should be simpler THEN follow with discussion…While happiness itself is not, and cannot, be guaranteed, the freedom to pursue it is held as the high ideal for the state to base its own self-creation on. What is happiness anyway? Obviously for some it is more complex than for others. It could be wealth, fame, or social success. It could be a simple life free from unnecessary hardship. It could be owning a home or a business. It could be falling in love and having a secure life partner. It could be going to college, finding spiritual enlightenment, having children, etc. What it means is less relevant than having the freedom to pursue it. What makes America unique is that it is the only country founded on an idea, as opposed to nationality based on geography or ethnicity. The idea is freedom. Individual freedom that is a God given birthright is set to law in the American constitution. Perhaps this is the big reason for the dream having been titled American. Admittedly, it has taken centuries for this to actually manifest itself in a truly credible way. Jefferson himself was a slave owner who wrote of the black man’s inferiority to white men, even while stating the “All men are created equal.” needs a citation…For this to maintain substance, it cannot be applied selectively to only white men. Women and minorities must be included or the foundation is weakened with a double standard and hypocrisy. It took literally centuries of progress, from women’s rights to civil rights and now to our first black president. But even with all this progress, there is still work to do and a perpetual evolution to be had. Perhaps the dream can exist precisely because it is in its very nature to be free to find evolution without a dogmatic ideological barrier of laws that would permanently prevent this American dream, the pursuit of happiness, from growing and finding its home in the heart of American citizens and of those around the world who admire and respect it.
Second, The Great Gatsby explores different dimensions why different as opposed to all negative…again, the topic sentence pretends a neutrality when the writer should acknowledge that this is a discussion of a tragedy…of this American dream. As the story progresses we see how the dream is subverted by those who seem to possess all the elements integral to the dream, not the least of which is material wealth. For most the dream is something that is pursued, but never attained. For those with wealth, the dream’s promise of happiness is squandered and corrupted with greed, vanity and narcissism. The overall essence of the novel is tragic in that the higher ideals of the American dream are subverted by those who, even with all the elements seemingly in place, still thwart their own potential happiness. One could have health, wealth and a loving spouse, but still find discontentment and misery. Perhaps it is truly a matter of perspective in that those whose wealth is inherited, never experienced the pains and trials of poverty and therefore never learned appreciation, which in itself breeds discontentment. It seems the pursuit of the dream can bring more happiness than the attainment. And when finally attained, happiness is still elusive in the absence of healthy relationships. In a counter-intuitive way, this can be viewed as something positive and inspirational in the sense that we can let go of what we think will bring us happiness, (i.e. – material wealth), in light of the knowledge of those whose wealth not only can fail to bring happiness, but often brings it’s own source of misery. It is a classic assessment of the painful realities of capitalism as it relates to the American dream. In the capitalistic culture, competition and domination are valued over more down to earth human virtues. We as humans tend to forget the things that can truly bring happiness and get caught up in the sacrificial culture, where failure to succeed is seen as weakness and those who play the game differently are outcasts. Even the rich segregate themselves in terms of old and new, with the old rich looking down on the new rich as somehow uncultivated and as primitive as the impoverished culture from whence they came. What we see in the novel is how the old rich subvert the dream with their own aristocratic discontentment and show little interest allowing the dream to manifest for those who aren’t already in their bubble like subculture. This is actually a complete 180-degree subversion of the dream in that a major component in the dream should be the reality that anyone can achieve it. As Jefferson wrote, “All men are created equal…” from which one would conclude that for the dream to exist, it becomes contingent on whether the dream is truly and equally available to all, not just the privileged few.
Third, three characters in the novel, Jay Gatsby, Nick Carraway, and Tom Buchanan, each bring a different …it is not about “different,” but about variates on tragic or negative…example of the dissatisfaction that can come from the subversions of the dream. Set in the roaring twenties, the characters interact in the culture of that day, attending parties, speak-easy’s, and getting rich quick. The ideology of capitalism begun to run amuck is the template from which this story takes us in and out of perceptions of the American dream. Our narrator Nick Carraway speaks in retrospect of his perception of Jay Gatsby’s, stating, “What fowl dust float in the wake his dreams” (6). Gatsby serves the point and embodies the contradiction between his own dream and the dream of his society. Gatsby throw huge parties he doesn’t even go to, saying he doesn’t like parties. His own desire for love is independent of his wealth. Perhaps this can suggest that the dream is meant to be more than material wealth, at least for Gatsby. Nick Carraway begins his summer in hopeful and excited optimism only to conclude the season in bitter disillusionment. His experience in high society exposes him to the emptiness that lies at the heart of the corruption. The capitalistic excesses are perverting the dream that at once is the fuel which propels the dream forth in the first place. As he witnesses his cousin’s husband, Tom Buchanan swimming in his blatant and shameless improprieties, the seeds of Nick’s cynicism are sewn. And with Buchanan, the archetypical rich kid and self-serving narcissist displays the ultimate perversion of the dream, rife with racism and aristocratic pompousness. He pays ten dollars for a dog and tells the dog seller to go buy ten more, seemingly annoyed with the very capitalistic ideology that serves his own every whim. In summary, defining the American dream can be an endeavor that is perhaps only fulfilled in accepting plurality. Ultimately, happiness is subjective and a personal responsibility, and with the pursuit of it guaranteed in our American constitution, the soil is fertile for the cultivation of this idea of the American dream. In The Great Gatsby, we see the darker shades and hear a potential death knell rung from the hands of uncontrolled capitalism, and can take away many things, including a warning for our own time. The dream is different for everyone. And the sad reality is that, the American constitution notwithstanding, as Nick Carraway’s father told him, “…all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had” (1). As much as we want to believe in the equality of human beings, ultimately that ideal is ultimately thwarted in favor of self-serving ideologies.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1995.
I. THESIS: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby can be seen as a multi-perspective exploration of the American dream’with varying ideas of what that dream can mean.
II. First, why and how this universal and fluid concept of human striving for potential and contentment became American is up for discussion and perhaps could be rooted in Thomas Jefferson’s famously celebrated words that help make up part of the theme that is the American constitution; that elusive concept of the pursuit of happiness.
III. Second, The Great Gatsby explores different dimensions of this American dream. As the story progresses we see how the dream is subverted by those who seem to possess all the elements integral to the dream, not the least of which is material wealth.
IV. Third, three characters in the novel, Jay Gatsby, Nick Carraway, and Tom Buchanan, each brings a different example of the dissatisfaction that can come from the subversions of the dream.
|6.6. Module 6.6: Sample Paper|
|Instructions: Here is a second sample Paper 1.|
| Chandler 1
English 101, Paper 1, Section #8044
27 February 2009
Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Wealthtitle does not hint at the thesis…
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby brings to light the tragic corruption of the American dream through the pursuit of pleasure and wealth at any cost. The American dream was an idea that started with our founding fathers when they wrote the Declaration of Independence. In the novel, we see how this idea has been twisted into a misshapen version of the original idea through greed and decayed morals. Then, through the eyes of Fitzgerald’s characters, we will gain learn that money cannot buy our dreams, no matter how much of it one might have. We live in different economical times, but it doesn’t take being fabulously wealthy to lose sight of the true meaning of our dreams.
First, the original idea of the American dream was thought to be based on the pursuit of happiness. The phrase “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” outlines every Americans’ idea of success needs an in-text citation. Our founding fathers unknowingly conceived the American dream when they wrote the Declaration of Independence. In his book The American Dream: A Short History of an Idea That Shaped a Nation, Jim Cullen explains “These words speak to us. It’s not only that they laid the foundations for sweeping social movements like the struggle to end slavery. . . . These words actually structure the minutiae of everyday existence: where we go to school, who we marry, what we buy”(38). When these words were penned, they were in a document that freed us from another country and made us citizens of our own nation and not immigrants to a new land. These words are what drive immigrants here to find new opportunities. Immigrants come to America with dreams of rising above racial and social boundaries to become wealthy and successful. In the early part of the 20th century, immigrants would come to Ellis Island by the boat loads and stand in lines just for the chance to raise their families free from poverty and political persecution. They came here dreaming of the streets being paved in gold and of opportunities abound for their children. Today, the American dream has been greatly mutated into a power hungry pursuit of money and pleasure. Big business rules the land and the cost of living is so high that we’re forced to dream of having more money to lead a better life. American historian James Truslow Adams once wrote in his book The Epic of America, “But there has also been the American Dream, that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to his ability or achievement. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of a social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position”(404). According to Adams, we should all have the chance to achieve what we are capable of, and not just strive for materialistic pursuits. The Epic of America was written in 1931, during a time of economical depression. This may have been a time when many Americans dreamed of having more money to attain happiness. We are once again in an economical depression, and we find ourselves even more obsessed with the quickest way to pursue a dollar. America was the land of opportunity, but ultimately has corrupted the pursuit of happiness with illusions of grandeur. Americans want it all and they want it now. We are no longer willing to work for it; we want it handed to us and expect our dreams to come to us.
Second, Fitzgerald explores the corruption of the American dream through the lives of various characters obsession with wealth and pleasure. In the novel, we catch a glimpse into the lives of the wealthy, and we see how their riches do not enrich their lives. The rich and beautiful are just as miserable as the poor and downtrodden. The American dream, as seen through Fitzgerald’s eyes, has decayed into materialism and a loss of values. Many of the characters in this novel spend their money on possessions and glamorous parties to bring meaning to their lives. Their lives are empty and lack a purpose. One example of this is Tom and Daisy’s child. Tom and Daisy are main characters in the novel, yet we only hear mention of their child a couple of times throughout the novel. In the first chapter of The Great Gatsby, Daisy reminisces about the birth of her little girl. To portray to the reader how jaded her view of the world has become she relates this quote: “I’m glad it’s a girl. And I hope she’ll be a fool-that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool” (17). It shows that people can have all they think they have ever dreamed, and realize that they would not wish these things on their children. Wealth cannot overcome the corruption of the American dream as portrayed by the separation of old and new money. While Daisy and Tom are example of East Egg residents or “old money”, on the other side of the bay lies West Egg or “new money”. The economy was booming in 1922 and the opportunity to make money was on the rise. The more money people made, the more they spent and the more they expected to come to them. It became an endless cycle of materialism and greed. The new money was good example of this. They had acquired their money through this booming economy, either through the stock market, or possibly more illicit ways such as bootlegging. They tended to be ostentatious with their money, buying the biggest houses and flaunting their money in front of everyone. The old money looked down upon this, seeing the new money as a lower class of being. So even though the West Eggers have achieved their dreams of gaining riches and buying big homes and spending lavish amounts of money, they were still spurned within their social class as being lower class. They were looked down upon by the East Eggers. Yet both sides of the bays, old and new money, expected every opportunity afforded to them through their great wealth. The characters in the novel have come to expect their dreams to come to them. Most working class citizens understand the value of a dollar. They’ve worked hard for that dollar and they will work hard for their dreams. In the novel we are faced with a different breed of American citizen. The upper class American. The old money had everything handed to them, from money to their property to their educations. They do not understand a day’s hard work. Many opportunities open themselves to people with money, especially those who have a name behind that money, and old money has both of those things. The new money came about because of the growth of the economy. They may understand how hard it is to earn something you work for, but money corrupts. They have what they want, and now they want their dreams to come to them. Everybody believes that if you can just be a little wealthier you can have everything you want. You can be free to pursue your dreams. That’s just not true. The pursuit of wealth is not equal to the pursuit of happiness.
Third, the American dream can be related to the characters of the novel in of course different ways but what does that mean…different which then show how to be successful or which then show how a tragic ending happens or…different ways. Jay Gatsby, Jordan Baker and Tom Buchanan are three excellent examples of the relationship between wealth and the corruption of the American dream. Jay Gatsby pursues his dream of re-creating the past in the future. He was poor man from North Dakota who dreamed of being with a girl. He had to leave this girl when he went into the military and when he came back, she was married to a wealthy socialite. He knew he had no chance of ever winning her if he stayed poor, so he pursued wealth through crime. He becomes the newly rich and buys the biggest mansion in West Egg directly across from Daisy’s home in East Egg. He throws lavish parties every weekend just in the hopes of luring Daisy across the bay. He staked everything he ever had on the only dream he ever wanted, a dream that was stuck in the past. Chandler 3 Even after he worked hard to amass his fortune and create an entire new persona for himself, he still failed at his dream. In the end, Gatsby ultimately fails in attaining his dream. Once Daisy learns of Gatsby’s methods of gaining his fortune, she is driven closer to Tom and chooses to stay with Tom in the end. Gatsby dies alone, stuck on a dream of the past that he sees for the future. Jordan Baker pursues her dream of being a successful golf player, through deceit. She is a shallow, dishonest person who really only cares about herself. We learn in chapter three that she lies and she cheats. Nick relates a story about Jordan’s first big golf tournament where “there was a row that nearly reached the newspapers-a suggestion that she had moved her ball from a bad lie in the semi-final round” (57). This is our first glimpse at Jordan’s true personality. She tends to lie to cover anything unsavory about herself. She wants to be a golf champion, and it’s apparent that she will use any means to reach her goals. Tom Buchanan, his dream being realized through football in college, is now a restless person seeking anything to distract him from everyday life. He and his wife move from place to place, never settling down anywhere permanently. Tom constantly picks up new hobbies, such as polo horses, to distract himself from his domestic life. He even goes as far have an affair, and makes no real effort to hide this affair from his wife. how is this relaed to distractng himself?Yet when his lover taunts Tom about his wife, he is quick to strike her out of anger. It seems Tom is frustrated with the life he leads. He finds different ways of occupying himself to help him forget his past. He clings to an old dream which makes him bitter. is any of this Tom’s way of expressing his power?…All three of these characters have the money that seems to be required to realize or dreams, yet all of them ultimately failed at their dreams. Jay Gatsby died with nobody at his side, Daisy having stayed with her husband. Jordan Baker lies her way through life and has to cheat to attain her dream of being a golf champion. Tom Buchanan is not happy with the way his life has turned out, so he turns to arrogance and bullying to achieve his happiness, which he still fails at. Americans may believe that the answer to their dreams is money, but money does not equal happiness. this closing needs its own closing paragraph which is missing here…In summary, the American dream was originally a dream of achieving goals no matter a person social or racial background. According to Fitzgerald, the American dream was corrupted in the 1920’s and turned into a pursuit of wealth and personal pleasure. This can be related to three of the main characters in the novel who even with wealth, they all seem to fail at their dreams in one way or another. In conclusion, the American dream has become a corroded illusion of effortless wealth through sometimes reckless means. If weno personal references as in “we” continue this trend of expecting our dreams to fall into our laps, America will no longer be the land of opportunity; it will become the land of forgotten dreams.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 2004
Cullen, Jim. The American Dream: A Short History of an Idea That Shaped a Nation. New York: Oxford, 2003
Adams, James Truslow. The Epic of America. Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1931
I. The American dream is corrupted through the reckless pursuit of wealth and pleasure.
II. The American dream is the opportunity to rise above all boundaries and pursue one’s goals.
III. The Great Gatsby explores the corruption of the American dream through loose morals and material excess.
IV. Three main characters exemplify the gain of wealth and the loss of the American dream.
V. America continues in a downward spiral of greed and expectation.
|6.7. Module 6.7: Sample Thesis Statements for P1|
|Instructions: Here are some sample thesis statements for P1.|
|Do not use “and” in the thesis statement…the main idea of Paper 1.
Sample: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is devotes itself primarily to the failure of the American dream.
Sample: F. Scott Ftizgerald’s The Great Gatsby is about the terrible costs of the American dream.
Sample: F. Scott Ftizgerald’s The Great Gatsby is about the the American dream’s tragic impact on its major characters.
NOTE: Later, when you are writing your Paper 1–
To start your essay, use the following phrasing:
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (verb of your choice)…. Make this first sentence of the essay be your thesis statement.
There is discussion in textbooks about where to place your thesis: Should it be the first sentence? Should it be in the middle of the first paragraph or at the end of the first paragraph?
For this class, for the purpose of uniformity and clarity for your reader (me), make your first sentence be your thesis statement.
Consider that for Paper 1 you need one main idea.
Consider that “and” puts your thesis in the danger of having two.
Take this thesis for example:
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is about the folly in the American dream
and the dangers of pursuing possessions for purposes of self-gratification.
Thesis statements with two main ideas:
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is about the folly in the American dream
the dangers of pursuing possessions for purposes of self-gratification.
The thesis is about the dream’s folly
it is about the danger of pleasing oneself.
Which is the main idea?
Is the dream a folly
Is it a danger?
When you reach your closing, is it about folly and danger?
Are the three supporting 20-sentence paragraphs of the body about
folly and danger?
Do dangerous things tend to be “lacking good sense”? If it is about danger more than folly, then focus on danger. If at some point in the body you want to say that it is foolish, go ahead. This way with a focus on danger you can describe tone or setting in the second body paragraph and characters in the third body paragraph without concern about tying danger and folly together somehow.
Conversely, if the thesis is about folly and not danger, again you will be able to focus on folly without having to reconcile how folly can be dangerous. Nevertheless, you can make the point that a factor related to this kind of folly is danger.
As you start to work on your papers, consider a thesis statement that does not use “and” in it so that you are able to focus on a main idea.