Sample Outline for a Critical Lens Essay Task: Write a meaningful essay that agrees or disagrees with the theme

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Sample Outline for a Critical Lens Essay

Task: Write a meaningful essay that agrees or disagrees with the theme behind the lens using two literary works including a discussion of the authors’ use of elements and techniques.

  • Avoid repetitiveness; use different key words, phrases, sentences to convey similar ideas

  • Underline titles of works and literary terms

  • Check for punctuation & spelling


  • Introductory or Background Sentence –the “Hook”

    • introduces topic in context / framework

      • Address & cite quote(s)

      • Draws the reader’s interest to your essay

      • (The quote by [quoter] means…)

  • Thesis Statement / Topic Sentence

    • specifies which topic you are addressing

    • asserts your purpose/ position on an issue

      • define or interpret quote in your own words

      • assert your position: agreement OR disagreement

  • Proof of Evidence Sentence

    • introduces the evidence(s) you will use in each Body Paragraph

    • introduces the 2 sources; one for each Body Paragraph

      • ([quoter]’s statement is valid as supported by [characters] in [title] by [author] and [characters] in [title] by [author].)

  • Literary Analysis Sentence

    • ends introduction & introduces 1st example

      • (Both authors use [literary term] and [literary term] to convey this [theme or moral].)


  • Topic Sentence (i.e. [Author] characterizes [character] as one with traits, beliefs, and point of view of [viewpoint] in conflict with setting/ another character, to convey this theme.)

    • introduces your 1st example/ argument/ text/ case/ document

    • addresses your Thesis Statement fully

  • 2-3 varied pieces of evidence/ reasoning/ support for 1st example –develop it with many details

    • Make sure each statement is fully supported complete explanations using facts from text

    • Each evidence should be fully developed –at least 3-5 sentences long each totaling 1 page

      • Include WHO ([character] is characterizes as…]

        • WHAT (in [what] conflict)

        • WHEN (during [what setting])

        • WHERE ([where]and [where] in the story plotline)

        • WHY ([why] because of point of view differs from opposing side’s POV)

        • HOW ([how] did [character] face & overcome [conflict])

      • Give at least 2 complete examples

  • Closing Sentence

    • final statement logically affirming how your evidences prove your Thesis Statement

      • or how supports your evidences prove your interpretation of the quote

      • ([character] learns….[theme/moral]

  • Transition Sentence

    • connects previous & subsequent paragraphs

    • ends or closes the 1st example & introduces 2nd example

      • i.e. (On the other hand; in addition; this is also true to; not only… but…also; the same can be said of; the theme is also present or supported by; this point of view is also shared by; another who shares a common conflict is; the next example also supports; in contrast; similarly, etc..) (

      • (The theme/moral here is [theme/moral] and another character teaches us the same moral behind the quote.)

3RD BODY PARAGRAPH ¶often optional if not expected to have 3 examples

  • used for comparison & contrast of 1st & 2nd Examples

  • analyzes commonalities bet. both examples/ arguments/ texts/ cases/ documents

  • used to incorporate deeper analysis, a connected moral, lesson, theme.


  • Common or Overall Sentence

    • connects topic to context / framework

      • addresses quote in context/ framework of your essay

      • (Both works fully validates {quoter’s quote that [meaning].)

  • Proof of Evidence Sentence

    • concludes how the evidence(s) you used in each Body Paragraph supports Thesis Statement

      • or how each work supports your interpretation of the quote

      • ([examples] prove that…]

  • Final Sentence –the “Clincher”

    • mentions any Overarching Ideas

    • states any Assertions or Declarations

    • avows Lessons Learned

    • affirms final Association with World or Society at large

    • asserts Final Pleas for your purpose/ position

    • Most Significant Conclusions

    • (Society can be a better place [how] if we all follow their example.)


  • spell out titles, authors and characters’ names correctly –esp. in Introduction Paragraph

  • When introducing characters, use full names, then by first name thereafter

  • When addressing authors after introduction, refer by last name (you don’t know them!)

  • Refer to works by differentiating genres: novel, drama, dramatic play, film, movie, etc.

  • Refer to story position by story/plotline: exposition, rising action, turning point, climax, resolution

  • Topic Sentences: address ALL parts of thesis/ your interpretation of quote

  • Closing Sentences: sum up moral of example/ lesson learned transition to next example

  • Use literary terms AS you support your thesis throughout your body paragraphs

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