An essay with five paragraphs usually consists of an introduction, three “body” paragraphs that include arguments and evidence, and a conclusion. The thesis is generally presented in the introduction, which also includes indications of the kind of evidence that the author will present and how they will use the evidence to support the distinct arguments that are connected to the thesis.
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story can be analyzed in terms of the protagonist’s intentions in entering the forest, in relationship to his experiences there. One can examine Goodman Brown’s character to see if he undergoes any significant changes as a result of these experiences. A relevant thesis might propose that the story is a coming-of-age story, in which Goodman changes from an innocent youth to an experienced man.
Another way to approach the story is by investigating the way that the author presents the concepts of good and evil through the secondary characters. This type of approach would contrast the “good man” in the central role with each of the people he meets of observes. A thesis based on this approach would look at the story as a morality tale, emphasizing that Hawthorne makes Goodman Brown the moral center of his story in order to convey his beliefs about positive and negative behavior.