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To Kill a Mockingbird Essay Topics

Choose one of the following topics and write a three-argument literary essay. Your
essay will consist of an introduction, three arguments, and a conclusion. You must
include a first page, in-text parenthetical citations, and a Works Cited page which
follow the M.L.A. (Modern Languages Association) format.

Topic #1 Maturity
Through their experiences, the children in To Kill a Mockingbird move from naivety to an
understanding of the ugliness of their society. Using the above statement as your guide,
explain how the children mature.
Suggested approaches:
Consider three different characters. In each argument paragraph:
Quotation #1: supports that s/he is nave about a topic/idea;
Quotation #2: explores the new understanding the character reaches about that topic
idea.
OR
Consider one character at three different points in the novel and prove his/her growing
understanding/awareness. In each argument paragraph:
Quotation #1: supports his/her level of naivety;
Quotation #2: explores his/her level of understanding.

Topic #2 Courage
To bring about change, whether it is personal or social, requires courage on the part of the
individual. Discuss how this statement applies to the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird.
Suggested Approaches: Examine a different character in each argument paragraph:
Quotation #1: supports the type of courage;
Quotation #2: supports the change that has occurred.
OR
Examine one main character at three different points in the novel and show how his/her
courage brings about change. In each argument paragraph:
Quotation #1: supports the type of courage;
Quotation #2: supports the change that has occurred.
Topic #3 Appearance vs. Reality
In the novel, many of the characters are misjudged and/or misunderstood. Choosing three
characters, demonstrate how they appear to others, and who they truly are.
Suggested Approaches: Examine a different character in each argument paragraph.
Quotation #1: supports how the character is misunderstood by others;
Quotation #2: supports who the character truly is.

Topic #4 Storytelling
Storytelling plays a major role in revealing characters and themes in To Kill a Mockingbird;
stories have the capacity to perpetuate harmful notions, to enlighten and to entertain.
Examine the practice of storytelling in the novel, exploring the effects of the stories told as
well as what they reveal about both the tellers of the tales and their audiences.
Suggested Approaches: Examine one story and its teller in each argument paragraph:
Quotation #1: examines the character of the storyteller as it applies to storyteller;
Quotation #2: examines the benefit/harm of the story on the listeners/community of
Maycomb.
OR
Consider the development of one story or storyteller at three different points in the novel.
In each argument paragraph:
Quotation #1: examines the character of the storyteller as it applies to storytelling;
Quotation #2: examines the benefit/harm of the story on the listeners/community of
Maycomb.

NOTE: NO ESSAY WILL BE ACCEPTED FOR MARKING UNLESS IT IS ACCOMPANIED


BY ALL THE IN-CLASS STEPS OF THE ESSAY PROCESS.

DUE DATE: Tuesday, April 18, 2017. This is a week 3 (We have class first period!)