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Name: _____________________________________

Theme Essay: The Great Gatsby


What theme does Fitzgerald present readers through The Great
Gatsby?
Minnesota State Standards
W.11-12.1 Write arguments that support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid
reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
a. Introduce precise, knowledgeable claim(s), establish the significance of the claim(s), and
create an organization that logically sequences claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and, evidence.
b. Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly and thoroughly, supplying the most relevant
evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that
anticipates the audiences knowledge level, concerns, values, and possible biases.
c. Use words, phrases, and clauses as well as varied syntax to link the major sections of the text,
create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and counterclaims.
d. Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and
conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.
e. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument
presented.

Directions: Write an extended 4-Sentece Essay that analyzes The Great Gatsby
for a chosen literary theme/argument using 3 cited quotes as evidence from the
text. (Cited means being copied word-for-word, include quotation marks, in MLA
format.)
Requirements:
-

Context: Introduction to topic


Thesis: Written argument with 3 supporting topics
Citation + Clarification (x3):
o Clear Transitions & Sentence Starters

o 3 cited quotations word-for-word from the text, MLA format


o Explain HOW the citations help support your argument
Concluding Statement: Restate main idea and summarize key points
MLA Format: Typed, 12 pt. font, Times-Roman, double spaced

Potential Themes: The American Dream, Society, Class, Love, Marriage, Wealth,
Women, Materialism, Hope, Lies, Deceit, Memory, the Past, Isolation, Mortality, etc.

DUE WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 25

100 pts.
Context
______/10
Argument &
Thesis
______/20

Evidence
______/20

Clarification
______/20

Concluding
Statement
______/10
Transitions
______/10

Grammar &
Mechanics
______/10

Exceeds Expectations
(10 pts.)

Meets Expectations
(8 pts.)

Needs Improveme
(6 pts.)

The writer introduces the topic The writer introduces the topic his/her The writer introduces the t
his/her 4-sentence essay with
4-sentence essay with general
his/her 4-sentence essay
general information that is
information that is somewhat
general information that
closely related to his/her
related to his/her argument.
closely related to his/her
argument.
argument.

The writer identifies a theme

present throughout The Great


Gatsbys entirety and uses the
theme to develop a strong
argument.
The writer includes a clear thesis
with 3 clear & supporting
reasons.
The writers identifies quotes

from The Great Gatsby to


strongly support his/her
argument and theme as

identified in the thesis.


The writer identified 3 quotes
that are accurately quoted
with proper punctuation and
follows MLA format.
The writer clearly connects how
the citation supports the thesis
statement.
The writer uses context from the
story to clearly explain the
citation.

The writer identifies a theme that is


The writer does not identif
present in only part of The Great
theme that is present
Gatsby and uses the theme to
throughout The Great G
develop a somewhat strong
entirety and does not d
argument.
strong argument.
The writer includes a thesis with 3
The writer includes a thesi
supporting reasons, but it is unclear.
argument but does not
supporting reasons
The writer identifies quotes to
The writer identifies quote
somewhat strongly support his/her
not support his/her argu
argument and theme as identified
as identified in the thes
The writer identified 1 quo
in the thesis.
The writer identified 2 quotes that are
accurately quoted with
accurately quoted with proper
punctuation and MLA fo
punctuation and MLA format.

The writer somewhat clearly connects The writer does not clearly
how the citation supports the thesis
how the citation support
statement.
thesis statement.
The writer uses minimal context from The writer does not use co
the story to clearly explain the
from the story to clearly
citation.
the citation.

The writer restates the same


The writer attempts to restate the
The writer restates the arg
argument while not directly
argument, but changes the
but simply repeats the th
The writer does not accura
repeating the thesis.
arguments meaning.
The writer summarizes the key The writer somewhat accurately
summarize the key poin
points in the 4-sentence essay.
summarizes the key points in the 44-sentence essay.
sentence essay.
The context transitions smoothly
into the thesis.
Each citation is introduced with a
clear transition and/or
sentence starter.
Each citation transitions

smoothly into the clarification.


Each supporting idea & the

concluding statement begin


with an introductory transition.
The writer uses complete
sentences with no
capitalization and ending
punctuation mark errors.

The context transitions somewhat


smoothly into the thesis.
Each citation is introduced with a
somewhat clear transition and/or
sentence starter.
Each citation transitions somewhat
smoothly into the clarification.
2 supporting ideas & the concluding
statement begin with an
introductory transition.

The context does not trans


well into the thesis.
Each citation is not introdu
a clear transition and/or
sentence starter.
Each citation does not tran
smoothly into the clarific
1 supporting idea & the co
statement begin with an
introductory transition.

The writer uses complete sentences


with 1-5 capitalization and ending
punctuation mark errors.

The writer uses complete


sentences with 6-10 capita
and ending punctuation m
errors.

______/100
Comments: