The Raven

Introduction

An argumentative essay is a type of writing that requires you to investigate a topic; collect, generate, and evaluate evidence; and establish a position on the topic. Argumentative essays are pieces of writing that aim to convince the reader of the writer’s own opinion.

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In this unit, we read “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe. This poem tells of a scholar who has recently lost his lover. In order to cope with these feelings of loss, he has taken to secluding himself in his study where he continues to read various books. While he is doing this he then hears a knocking on his door and window.

The scholar then discovers that it is a crow that lets itself in. Then begins a long conversation between the scholar and the bird to which the crow only answers, “Nevermore.” The narrator is then subsequently driven insane from the crow’s repeating of the word to every question he asks and over the grief caused by his loss.

Instructions

Respond to Edgar Allan Poe’s, “The Raven,” by answering the following writing prompt in an argumentative essay

Prompt: For this essay, you will craft a 3-paragraph response that answers the following question: Is the Raven in Edgar Allan Poe’s, “The Raven,” real or imaginary? Use evidence from the poem and your own thinking to support your answer. This essay should explore how the different elements of the poem (setting, mood, imagery, symbolism) and the speaker’s word choice all contribute to the existence or nonexistence of the bird.

Please use the outline below to help you write your essay.

Outline

Paragraph 1, Introduction (5-6 sentences)

Introduce the poem and the author.
Write a sentence that states your position. (i.e., The raven is real/imaginary in Edgar Allan Poe’s poem, “The Raven.”)
Present 3 reasons that support your position that the raven is real or imaginary.

Paragraph 2, Evidence (6-8 sentences)

In this paragraph, you will discuss each of your reasons Use textual evidence (quotes) to support each of the reason the raven is either real or imaginary.
Provide 1-2 sentences for each reason and include textual evidence supporting your position. Quotes from the poem do not count toward the number of required sentences.

Paragraph 3, Conclusion (4-5 sentences)

Restate your position and the reasons you believe the raven is real or imaginary.
Do not just repeat your thesis statement or state that you stand by your position. Instead, show your reader why your position is important and demonstrate a connection between your reasons.
Leave your reader with a memorable idea that shows your position is interesting and valid.
Be sure to proofread and check for grammatical and spelling errors.

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