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Fahrenheit 451 Persuasive Essay Prompts

 Notes and other Media


  • Essay: Compare and Contrast
    • Prompt: Compare/Contrast one of the issues raised in Fahrenheit 451 to something happening in real life today.  (Draft of Thesis DUE 3/5 in class)
    • Strategies for Writing Comparison/Contrast Essays
      • Wed. 3/5:  Thesis check; work on planning. Venn Diagram or other plan (outline, free write, list, etc.) due tomorrow.
      • Thurs. 3/6:  Outline/Plan check; Work on drafts.  Drafts are due tomorrow in class, and must be PRINTED OUT.  If you cannot print, you may e-mail your essay to Ms. C and she will print for you.
        • Be sure to use MLA format!  See the Research Guidebook and/or Purdue OWL (see links above to the right).
          • Page numbers
          • Header
          • Margins
          • Title
          • Font
          • Citations (as needed)
        • Organize body paragraphs using TIQA or MEAL, but with the variations suggested in the Strategies handout above (You may use more than one piece of evidence and analysis for each main idea, for example).
  • “The Pedestrian” Question Handout
  • “Dover Beach”–Annotate the poem
  • Close Reading Assignment





Past Materials– from 2011-13:

  • “A Sound of Thunder” full text of the short story
  • Fahrenheit 451 Persuasive Essay Assignment
      • Prezi on Persuasion (Notes)
      • Tuesday 2/26 in the Black Lab:  Review the topics from page 2 of the assignment sheet, select a topic, and write a rough draft of your THESIS statement.
      • Then use the notes on persuasion (Toulmin’s Model and the three Modes of Argumentation) to create an OUTLINE using this template (typed or handwritten).  This should be based on the template presented in the assignment handout, in which you have four body paragraphs (3 claims and one counterclaim) that support your thesis. Please note that each paragraph should have a claim, evidence, and warrant, and the outline should show how you will use ethos, pathos, and logos.  All six elements are required, but only Toulmin’s model must be present in ALL body paragraphs.
        • Use your text book (F-451) and the internet to find your pieces of evidence.  Remember to cite your sources!  Record all page numbers, URLs, author names, etc.
      • THESIS and OUTLINE are due tomorrow for review.

Below you will find four outstanding thesis statements / paper topics for “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury that can be used as essay starters. All five incorporate at least one of the themes found in “Fahrenheit 451” and are broad enough so that it will be easy to find textual support, yet narrow enough to provide a focused clear thesis statement. These thesis statements for “Fahrenheit 451” offer a short summary of different elements that could be important in an essay but you are free to add your own analysis and understanding of the plot or themes to them. Using the essay topics below in conjunction with the list of important quotes from Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, you should have no trouble connecting with the text and writing an excellent essay.

Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #1: Guy Montag as a Heroic Figure in “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury

Guy Montag is, in the opening lines of “Fahrenheit 451”, clearly aligned with the “bad guys.” He is a firefighter who burns books simply because that is what is expected him, not necessarily because he holds the deep conviction that books are dangerous. Yet Guy undergoes a major transformation as a character, and ultimately attempts to revive lost pieces of civilization. As such, he might be considered a heroic figure. Write a persuasive essay in which you attempt to convince your reader that Guy Montag should or should not be considered a heroic figure, and substantiate your claim with evidence-based reasons. If this topic does not strike your fancy, you might go for a more challenging argumentative essay on “Fahrenheit 451” that explores ways in which he is a tragic character as well.

Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #2: The Symbol of the Phoenix in “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury

At the end of “Fahrenheit 451”, Granger introduces and explains the metaphor of the phoenix. (See Selected Quotes for this explanation). Far from being a verbal aside, Granger’s musing about the phoenix has great symbolic weight for the theme of the novel. Digging a bit deeper than Granger himself, consider what Bradbury wanted to convey with the symbol of the phoenix, and suggest what aspects of humanity and society it might be referencing. Looking beyond the more simple conclusions one could make by paralleling the story of the legendary phoenix, dig deeper and discover themes both stories have in common.

Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #3: The Role of Clarisse McClellan in “Fahrenheit 451”

Clarisse McClellan is a young woman who strikes up an unlikely friendship with Guy Montag, a friendship which causes Guy to question some of the assumptions and beliefs that he has followed blindly for much of his life. Analyze the role that Clarisse’s life and death play in Guy’s development of consciousness, as well as in the trajectory of the novel “Fahrenheit 451″as a whole. You may also choose to consider whether Clarisse’s character was necessary in order for Guy to undergo his transformation. If you choose to do a character analysis of any characters present in “Fahrenheit 451” looking beyond Guy to Clarisse might be one of the best options.

Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #4: The Current Relevance of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451 was published in 1953, yet more than 50 years later, it remains a relevant social commentary about certain conditions in the United States. Write an essay in which you compare and contrast social conditions in 1953 and contemporary conditions and consider how the novel can both reflect those conditions and be applied as a way of understanding them.

Reference: Bradbury, Ray, Fahrenheit 451. New York: Ballantine, 1953.