prompt to what extent do humanity s greatest heroic ambitions for love acceptance and self empowerment plant the seeds for our greatest tragedies hatred alienation and helplessness

To respond to the following essay prompt using evidence (dialogue, imagery) from both The Great Gatsby and Othello, select one of the six characters from Othello: Othello, Iago, Desdemona, Cassio, Roderigo OR Emilia, AND then your Gatsby character’s counterpart: Gatsby, Daisy, Tom, Jordan, Myrtle OR George Wilson (NOT Nick).


  • Should state the subject (tragedy) of the essay and be interesting enough to make me want to keep on reading.You want to make clear your thesis here. Imagine the ideas of your intro inside a funnel: the early ideas are broad, more general, and the end of your intro states your thesis which is the most specific sentence/idea of the paragraph.
    • Begin with a hook: introduce me to the subject of your essay (1-2 sentences)
    • Identify and explore the theme and its function within the novels. Be sure to introduce authors and title of the texts (3-4 sentences)
    • Link this subject idea to the texts; how is this idea evident in the texts you are discussing in your essay?Provide title of both texts (1-2 sentences)
    • Thesis: State to what extent do heroic ambitions plant the seeds for tragedy, as in Othello and The Great Gatsby (your opinion), and argue how love, acceptance, and/or self-empowerment can lead to hatred, alienation, and/or helplessness. (reasoning) (1-2 sentences)


  • Topic Sentences need to introduce the idea you will be discussing in each of your paragraphs—a sub point within your thesis. They should be clearly stated, focused, and to the point.
  • TLQs (Transition, lead-in, quotes): Quotes should be sufficient in proving your thesis. They should show (NOT tell) why your thesis is convincing. In total, you need 6-9 quotes taken from both Othello and The Great Gatsby.
  • Analysis should look closely at the imagery and dialogue in the lines you have chosen from the texts.Analysis should, also, look closely at these literary elements that make it an effective passage in the text and analyze how it demonstrates what you are trying to argue. Your analysis should stay on point (focused), and not deter from the quote and topic at hand. Commentary writing requires careful critical thinking and interpretation of your concrete details.Focus on the idea and trying simply to express it clearly, even if that means expressing it simply.Your analysis needs to be thoughtful and NOT a summary of quotes or plot points.


Signals that the essay has come to an end.Inverted funnel – imagine your conclusion as the opposite of your introduction – the most specific ideas come first and you should end with a more general, universal idea—leaving me with a memorable thought.

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