Sample Essay Outlines

The following paper topics are based on the entire book. Following each topic is a thesis and sample outline. Use these as a starting point for your paper.

  • Topic #1

    Write an analytical essay that examines how A Tale of Two Cities views different forms of government. Compare the English system with the pre- and post-Revolutionary systems in France. How are these systems alike? How are they different? What do these similarities and differences reveal about Dickens’ opinions regarding governments?

    I. Thesis Statement: Throughout the novel, Dickens draws comparisons between the governments of England and France which reveal his opinions regarding governments.

    II. England
    A. Charles Darnay’s trial for treason
    1. The prosecution’s argument
    2. The defense’s argument
    B. The verdict
    1. Darnay is acquitted
    2. The crowd is unhappy
    C. Roger Cly’s “funeral”
    1. His conviction as a spy
    2. The mob’s idea of justice

    III. Pre-Revolutionary France
    A. Monsieur the Marquis
    1. His mistreatment of the peasants
    2. His argument with Charles Darnay about class
    a. Darnay’s opinion
    b. The Marquis’ opinion
    B. Dr. Manette’s imprisonment
    1. Reason he was imprisoned
    2. Length of his incarceration


(The entire section is 623 words.)