To Kill a Mockingbird Essay - Critical Essays

Sample Essay Outlines

The following paper topics are designed to test your understanding of the novel as a whole and to analyze important themes and literary devices. Following each question is a sample outline to help get you started.

Topic #1
The theme of the mockingbird is an important one in To Kill a Mockingbird. Write a paper on the mockingbird theme in Harper Lee’s only book. Be sure to tell what a mockingbird is and tell exactly why both Boo and Tom are mockingbirds. Are fears and superstitions associated with the mockingbird theme, with Boo, and/or with Tom? Explain your answer.

Outline
I. Thesis Statement: Harper Lee uses the mockingbird theme with both Boo and Tom as examples and with fears and superstitions attached to the mockingbird and both characters.

II. Definition of a mockingbird
A. Songbird
B. Gives its music
C. Expects nothing in return
D. Does no harm
E. Sin to kill mockingbird

III. Boo
A. Like the songbird
B. Gives gifts in tree and in end protects children
C. Expects no gifts or favors in return
D. Does no harm
E. Sin to harm or kill Boo

IV. Tom
A. Like the songbird
B. Gives gifts of labor
C. Expects no gifts or favors in return
D. Does no harm
E. Sin to harm or kill Tom

V. Superstitions attached to each
A. Mockingbird
1. Sin to kill
2. Spends life giving
B. Boo
1. Rumors spread about him
2. Fear attached to him and the Radley Place
C. Tom
1. Rumors spread about him
2. Fears associated with him and his race
a. “No lady...

(The entire section is 698 words.)