Greetings Writers and Scholars,
This page will provide you with some ideas and prompts to begin the writing project you have selected.
A.THEME ESSAY :Write a paragraph that analyzes one THEME in Arthur Miller's The Crucible. Support your essay with at least 4 quotes from the play. Begin with a topic sentence that clearly states a message, moral or meaning.
1. Brainstorm 2-3 possible themes. Ask yourself, "What is Miller trying to convey to his audience?"
2. Select ONE theme and state it in a topic sentence.
3. Find 4 quotes in the play to support the theme. Write at least one sentence for each quote, explaining the importance and meaning of the quote. Try to expand on your ideas and relate them to the play as a whole, or the Act where you found the quote.
4. Organize your ideas into a rough draft paragraph.
5. Read over your draft. Look for areas that need clarification or explanation. Does each detail support the topic sentence? Have you explained each quote fully? Can you "clinch" the paragraph with a concluding sentence to restate your topic sentence?
6.Now proofread your essay for MECHANICS : Spelling, Punctuation, Capitalization, correct grammar and usage.
7. Now you are ready to write an excellent "final draft."
B.American Witch Hunts : 1950's McCarthyism and 1690's Salem: Research each era by consulting at least two web sites and 2 books or reference materials. Write a 5 paragraph essay that compares/contrasts the two periods in American history. Submit a bibliography of your 4 sources.
1. Follow the steps for the theme essay, but include quotes, examples and information from the reference materials you consult.
2. Remember : To compare and contrast your essay must include similarities and differences. Organization is a key ingredient in an effective compare/contrast essay. The writer can state similarities first and then state differences. This method is called "whole by whole". On the other hand,some writers choose to alternate similarities and differences.
For example : "While The Crucible is set in 17th century Salem, Massachusetts during the Salem witch trials, the playwright is also recalling the American witch hunts of the late 1940's in the U. S. Congress."
This writer is stating a difference in the settings, but noting parallels or similarities in historical events.
This alternating method or "point by point" method of comparison and contrast can be very effective.
As you are gathering information for your essay consider which method of organization might work best for your details and your personal writing style.
3. Check the proper bibliography format. Be sure to include the "big 5" : author. title. place of publication: publisher. copyright date.
C.Character Analysis : Select one of the following characters to analyze in a 5 paragraph essay that contains at least three quotes from the play : John Proctor, Deputy Governor Danforth, Elizabeth Proctor or Mary Warren.
1. Follow the steps for the theme essay, but select quotes about your CHARACTER.
2. Locate quotes that reveal your character's motivation, true feelings, beliefs and values.
3. Discuss your quotes fully, explaining why you have selected each.
D.Arthur Miller : Research the playwright by consulting at least three sources. Write a five paragraph essay that addresses the following aspects : early life, education and early writing career, major literary accomplishments, the playwright's themes.
1. Read about Arthur Miller to discover background and life experiences that might have formed his beliefs and affected the content of his plays and other writings.
2. Follow the steps for the other writing topics, including quotes from your reference materials and the playwright's own words.
3. Organize your paragraphs around main ideas. Write clear topic sentences.
E.The Salem Sentinel : Design an original and historically authentic front page for this newspaper, dated during the trials described in Miller's play. Consult at least 4 sources to learn about the Salem Witch Trials, the culture of the times, and the response of the community. Include 2 news articles, one editorial, and one advertisement. The banner should appear across the front page. Your name appears as "editor"; assign by-lines to your news articles. Your newspaper can be completed on a poster board, 8.5" x 11" layout or on newspaper size paper. Attach your bibliography to the back of your project.
1. This writing topic involves "inverted pyramid" style for newspaper articles.
A news article begins with a LEAD the topic sentence that answers the ?? who, what, when, where, why ?? questions of a news event.This style is the opposite of storytelling format. Begin with the "main idea" so the reader knows what the news article will address. Some examples you could use for articles are : John Proctor's testimony, the arrest of Rebecca Nurse, the arrival of John Hale or Danforth, the disappearance of Abigail and Mercy, or the hangings at the end of Act IV.
2. Obituary An obituary is a type of news article that reports a death notice. An obituary tells who died, when/how and gives the funeral arrangements. You could write obituaries for John, Rebecca, or Giles.
3. Reference materials about colonial New England will give you ideas for other types of news, advertisements or editorials that could appear on your front page.
4. Banner the name of your newspaper appears in large bold type across the top of the front page. Include the appropriate place, date and a publisher.
Reminders to all writers : Be sure to include all your prewriting, drafting, and revisions/proofing with your FINAL DRAFT.