Essay Guidelines

The Outsiders
Essay Topics
Due Tuesday,
March 1st!
Directions: After reading The Outsiders, compose a thoughtful five paragraph essay responding
to one of the prompts below. Your essay must demonstrate your ability to correctly employ all
of the writing skills we have practiced throughout the year.
MLA Format (Typed, Size 12 font, Double Spacing & 1 Inch Margins)
Engaging Introduction (Hook, Overview & Thesis)
Smooth, Thoughtful Transitions
Extended ACE Method (ACECE…) and Conclusion Sentences
Comprehensive Conclusion (Restate Thesis, Summarize & Something to Think About)
Sentence Fluency (Adverbial and Prepositional Phrases)
Proper Parenthetical Citations
Powerful Word Choice
Strong Verbs
1. Write an essay explaining why you believe each of the Greasers - Ponyboy, Johnny, and
Dally - could be considered a hero. Include your own definition of hero in the essay, and
be sure to explain how each character, in his own way, meets your definition. Remember
to support your ideas with evidence from the text.
2. Write an essay explaining which of the two gangs were more of a disgrace and menace to
society. Look at how society viewed and treated the two groups. Examine the
characteristics of each group, its actions, and the choices they made. Be sure to support
your ideas with examples from the novel.
3. Life is about change and learning. Throughout the novel Ponyboy learns many things
about his friends, family, and life in general. Explain and describe THREE lessons
Ponyboy learned throughout the course of the novel and tell how they changed him.
Make sure to use evidence from the book to show what lessons he learned.
4. Theme is the underlying message of a story. Identify THREE themes and explain how the
author tried to make the readers understand the theme. (What did the characters say, do,
and think to help the readers understand the themes of the novel?) Use text evidence to
support your thinking.
5. "Sixteen years on the streets and you can learn a lot. But all the wrong things, not the
things you want to learn" (Hinton 122). Examine this quote from the novel and explain
how it applies to each of the boys’ lives. What things did they learn? What things might
they have liked to learn? Support your ideas with examples from the novel.
The Outsiders
Essay Topics