Should Mrs. Wright from “Trifles” be accused of premeditated murder or of self-defense?
Decide upon a specific controversy suggested by one of the plays you’ve read for the course. A specific thesis should address a question, as do the following examples:
How does the play "Trifles" prove that emotional abuse is as damaging as physical abuse?
(Some readers feel that she was emotionally abused for years, and that she finally "snapped" and killed her husband in self-defense.)
Argue that Mrs. Wright’s fate in "Trifles" is symbolized by the fate of her pet bird.
Is Antigone insane? Does she act out of reason or out of irrationality? Some readers see that her actions reflect the height of irrationality, which is insanity.
Is Ismene in "Antigone" a coward for not helping her sister, or does she simply act rationally?
Is the death penalty justified in Antigone’s case?
Is Creon from Antigone a tyrant or a strong leader?
Remember, these are simply sample theses. You may choose one of these, or you may come up with a thesis yourself.
Steps to Consider:
Make sure your thesis is a controversy. For this essay " controversy" may be defined as any issue that generates at least two opinions. "People should not drive while drunk" is not a controversy. Very few rational thinkers would have an opinion against this statement. However, the issue has many controversies within it. Here’s one: "Any driver who is caught drunk while driving should have his car and his license taken away forever." Now that’s a controversy!
Identify the play’s full title and the author’s full name when you state your thesis. Titles of plays should be underlined. If you mention the author after the thesis statement, you should only use his or her last name.
Refer directly to the play to help prove your points. Please use at least two and no more than four direct quotations from the play.
Use the MLA Format for documentation to cite your use of the story. In the text of your essay, use the author’s last name and the number of the page on which the quotation appears. Example: Dee from "Everyday Use" reveals her true concerns when she exclaims, "You just will not understand. The point is these quilts, these quilts!" (Walker 253). Sample essays using the MLA Format can be found beginning on page 195 of your text. A guide for using the MLA format appears beginning on page 203 of your text . You will also find a more complete MLA guideline in your copy of The Quick Access Compact Guide.
Use the third person point of view. Avoid using the first person point of view unless you are relating a specific personal experience. The first person can sound too under-confident and weak: "In my opinion," "To me," and "I think" just sounds wishy-washy. The reader knows this is your opinion, so announcing it is unneeded. Avoid the second person ("You") at all costs!
Create an eye-catching title for your essay. Do not simply type the play’s title at the top of page one. Come up with an original, interesting title.
You are not required to draw from an outside source for this essay, but if you do must document it using the MLA Format. An outside source will require a Works Cited entry. A Works Cited entry is even needed if you are only using a story from our book as a source.Model of argumentation: Toulmin or Rogerian.
Your essay should be at least 450 words long.The cited source should ONLY come from the college english book: Making arguments about literature,A compact guide and Anthology,BedFord/ST.Martin’s, John Schilb and john Clifford.This essay about the play "Trifles" by Susan Glaspell, on page 143 in the book.
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