The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby
Persuasive Final Essay
Assignment: Pick ONE of the following questions and respond in a five paragraph persuasive essay. Be sure to cite examples from the novel and to use at least three quotes.
1. Is Gatsby worthy of the title great? Write an essay in which you argue whether or not Gatsby is deserving of this honorific. You may want to consider: his character development, his actions throughout the novel, his ambitions, & his dreams. (Counterargument needed)
2. Is Nick a reliable narrator? Write an essay discussing whether Nicks narration is reliable or unreliable. (Counterargument needed)
As you probably noticed, each of these essay questions can be answered with a yes or no response. Your task, when writing a persuasive essay, is to pick one side and convince your reader (me!!!) that your argument (thesis) is correct.
For this assignment, the potential arguments are:
1. Gatsby is truly great because of x, y, and z.
1. Gatsby is not great because of x, y, and z.
2. Nick is a reliable narrator because of x, y, and z.
2. Nick is an unreliable narrator because of x, y, and z.
For example: if writing to address the 2nd prompt, your intro paragraph may look something like this:
F. Scott Fitzgeralds The Great Gatsby is a masterclass in American tragedy. In the novel, Gatsbys story is shared through the eyes of Nick Carraway, a man with mild Midwestern manners and an astute attention to detail. Throughout the novel, Nick takes care to bring readers into the fold, sharing a seemingly honest and reliable account of the events of his summer in New York; however, upon closer examination, cracks begin to form in the foundation of his account. His extreme favor towards Gatsby, as well as frequent skewed reflections on his own habits and judgments, signal to the reader that there is more to Gatsbys story than first meets the eye.
In this intro paragraph, youll see that my thesis statement (underlined) makes clear my argument, as well as provides a rough outline of the main points I would like to consider in the body of my essay.
For each of these two essay topics, you structure will look something like this:
Mention the title of the novel, The Great Gatsby, as well as the author: F. Scott
Make sure to include a thesis statement that outlines a specific argument that you
will make. See the underlined part of the sample intro ^^^
The Great Gatsby
Persuasive Final Essay
Body 1
This is where you give your first supporting point & evidence
If we stick with the example from above, the first paragraph may talk about the
moments in the novel wherein Nick reveres Gatsby, or else shows extreme favor for/against a character. Some places that come immediately to mind:
Nicks comments on Gatsbys extraordinary gift for hope (5).
Nicks reflection on first meeting Gatsby in chapter 3
Nicks comments on other characters, like Tom, Daisy, Jordan
Nicks actions at the end of the novel, re Gatsby and the Buchanans
Etc., etc.
Body 2
Here, you would introduce your second topic
Again, sticking with the example from above, the second paragraph may examine
Nicks deficiencies as a narrator. Some moments that I might examine are:
Nicks drinking habits, especially in chapter 2, and how our version of events
may be influenced by his sobriety
Nicks estimation of his own honesty. Especially the quote: I am one of the
few honest people that I have ever known (47).
Body 3
In a persuasive essay, this third body paragraph is a bit different. Instead of
introducing a third point supporting your thesis statement, you will write a counter
A counter argument shows your reader that you understand that other positions exist, that you have considered these points, and that you can respond to them. This acknowledgment and response gives your argument more credibility.
In my example above, the base argument is that Nick is an unreliable narrator for x, y, z reasons. The counter argument, then, would entertain the opposite argument: that Nick is a reliable narrator.
Therefore, this paragraph would seek to address the reasons why someone would view Nick as a reliable source of information — some of which include: his detailed account of the events; his inclination to reserve all judgments (4); etc.
Once you acknowledge the other sides argument, you are free to disprove it ~ point out what deficiencies exist in their argument & explain once again why your point of view is the correct one. Remember: this is a persuasive essay so you want your reader to come to the conclusion that your argument is the best one.


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