Below you will find five outstanding thesis statements / paper topics on “To Kill a Mockingbird” that can be used as essay starters. All five incorporate at least one of the themes found in “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee 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 “To Kill a Mockingbird” 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 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, you should have no trouble connecting with the text and writing an excellent essay.>*Note: Additional Quotes from this and other books can be found easily in books online *
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #1: Notions of Justice and Fairness in “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee
Despite the unwavering dedication of Atticus Finch in “To Kill a Mockingbird”, the absence of evidence, and a moving courtroom speech, Tom Robinson is convicted of a crime that he did not commit. This jury ruling causes both those who advocated Robinson’s conviction and those who were convinced of his innocence to question their notions of justice and fairness. As if a false conviction was not enough, Tom is eventually killed, and the sense of justice and fairness seem to be completely violated. Write an argumentative essay on “To Kill a Mockingbird” in which you establish what Lee is trying to convey regarding these two concepts that are so important to civil society. Questions that you might want to consider include: If justice and fairness are so elusive, how can Atticus and Scout continue to believe in them?, and Are justice and fairness conflicting concepts in “To Kill a Mockingbird”?Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #2: The Various Forms of Discrimination in To Kill a Mockingbird
The most obvious form of discrimination in To Kill a Mockingbird is racism; however, there are other types of prejudice and discrimination that typify relationships among the novel’s characters. Scout, for example, is ridiculed in “To Kill a Mockingbird” because she is a tomboy. Boo Radley is ostracized despite the fact that hardly anyone knows him. Reverse racism is also present in the novel, as evidenced by the threats against Atticus Finch and his family as he defends Tom Robinson. Take one or more of the forms of discrimination in To Kill a Mockingbird and write an analytic essay in which you explain the forms and, if applicable, compare and contrast the types of discrimination. You should argue whether the lessons about discrimination that Scout learns are applicable to all types of prejudice, or whether they apply to racism alone.
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #3: The Moral Development of Scout and Jem in “To Kill a Mockingbird”
Scout and her brother Jem are both children of the morally passionate lawyer, Atticus Finch, and both are exposed to the same experiences that shape their sense of right and wrong. Yet Scout and Jem come to dramatically different conclusions about good and evil and the essential nature of humankind. Write an expository essay on “To Kill a Mockingbird” in which you develop an understanding of how Scout and Jem arrive at such disparate concepts of the world. Be sure to consider not only the final worldview at which each arrives, but to look at the novel as a whole and identify how their belief systems develop. Include relevant quotations that demonstrate how, despite their shared experiences, Scout and Jem begin to part ways, philosophically speaking, early in the novel.
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #4 The Role of Place in To Kill a Mockingbird
The town of Maycomb is described in great detail in “To Kill a Mockingbird”, so much so that the reader gets the sense that Maycomb is more than a setting; it takes on the weight and importance of a character. Write an expository or persuasive essay on “To Kill a Mockingbird” in which you describe Maycomb and explain its significance with respect to the events and meaning of the novel. Be sure to dig beneath the surface: it’s easy to say that Maycomb is a Southern town and that certain social dynamics—such as racism—shape the characters and their circumstances, but there are also more subtle characteristics about the town that exert influence over the novel’s outcome. Finally, consider whether Maycomb is changed by the conclusion. It shapes people and events, but it is also shaped by its inhabitants and their actions.
Thesis Statement/Essay Topic #5: Character Analysis of Atticus Finch
One of the most inspiring characters in 20th century American literature is Atticus Finch. A morally upright lawyer, a committed and loving father, and an overall good citizen, Finch is regarded highly by most citizens with a sense of justice. Write an essay in which you analyze Atticus Finch’s character. You may wish to focus the content of your essay by selecting a single quote or passage (consider a portion of the courtroom speech, for instance) and explaining how it reflects Finch’s character strengths. Address whether Finch has any flaws, and explain how he conveys his beliefs to his children and his community.
* For an outstanding essay/article analyzing the character of Atticus Finch,click here *
For Scouts, earning the Eagle Scout Award feels like the satisfying end to a long journey.
What they soon discover, though, is that the journey has just begun. Just ask Ryan Eberle, an Eagle Scout from Oaklade, Pa., who earned the honor two years ago this month.
Earning Scouting’s highest honor, he writes, made him a “marked man” — in a good way. Because the title has brought with it contacts and connections he wouldn’t have gotten without Scouting — specifically, an impressive paid summer internship at the headquarters of a major energy company near Pittsburgh.
I hear these kinds of stories all the time. Some big-wig finds out the young man he’s talking to is an Eagle Scout, and instantly all barriers between the young man and a great opportunity are eliminated.
Ryan’s story follows that pattern, but it starts long before his sweet gig. To get the full effect, best you read Ryan’s essay, called “What Scouting Can Do For You.”
If you or someone you know questions Scouting’s value, you won’t after reading Ryan’s essay after the jump:
What Scouting Can Do For You
By: Ryan Eberle
On Jan. 10, 2011, I passed my Eagle Scout Board of Review. It certainly felt as though a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders after passing my board, but during my Eagle Court of Honor I still questioned whether or not an Eagle was truly a “marked man.” Never would I have expected what was to come the following year at the Eagle Scout Recognition dinner for Laurel Highlands Council.
Before I continue my story I would like to tell you a little background information about myself. My educational experience was a great foundation for learning and networking. And the classes I learned the most in were not always the core English or math classes. Certain elective classes or single-semester classes, such as writing, public speaking, business management, engineering design, computer courses and career planning were all extremely helpful. Although I was not involved in any school sports, I knew I wanted to keep myself busy and involved in school.
High school was my big chance to do get my name out there and prove to people that I have a great work ethic. While in high school I was involved in marching band, Future Business Leaders of America and the Technology Student Association. These extracurricular activities are just as important as classroom material because they better prepare students for the future by giving them real-world projects.
Outside of school I have a loving family, a small farm to take care of, my part-time landscaping business as well as Scouting. In my opinion, family is where it all begins. I was extremely fortunate to have such wonderful parents that have supported and guided me through everything (they still do).
Since second grade I have been involved in Scouting. The first project I remember doing as a Cub Scout was building a birdhouse, which is fitting because for my Eagle Project I built 30 bluebird houses for McDonald Sportsman’s Club.
As a Cub Scout I got my feel for the outdoors and took part in multiple field trips and campouts. In fifth grade I became a Boy Scout in Troop 248. Throughout my Scouting career I learned not only about camping and how to survive in the outdoors, but I also learned plenty of necessary life skills.
While in Boy Scouts I took on multiple leadership roles and gradually became more involved in my troop. With those roles comes a great responsibility. Once you become involved and have responsibility, it is up to you how you want people to recognize you. You can be the leader who just points fingers and gives orders, or you can be the leader who teaches others how to do their job, is involved, is supportive and gives rewards when it is appropriate to do so. It may be difficult to do, but a true leader puts others before himself.
Now back to my story… After becoming an Eagle Scout, I was invited to our council’s Eagle Scout Recognition Dinner. Prior to the dinner I had to fill out a form describing my involvement in Scouts as well as a career I was interested in pursuing. For the past six years I have been interested in natural-resource exploration with a focus on the Marcellus Shale gas formation. I submitted my letter mentioning that I was interested in pursuing petroleum and natural gas engineering as well as getting my MBA.
About two weeks later I received a letter in the mail stating that my sponsor for the evening was going to be Mr. J. Brett Harvey, CEO of Consol Energy. I could not believe it! I had a great opportunity in front of me and I decided to take advantage of it. When I first met Mr. Harvey, one of the first things he said was “if you are looking for a summer job please email me your resume and tell us what you are interested in.” He handed me his business card.
During the recognition dinner, I did not sit directly next to Mr. Harvey, but I did sit next to two Scout executives and the president at Allegheny Ludlum [a specialty metals company]. Also, during that evening, Mr. Harvey was recognized for Consol’s support and generous donations to help build a bridge at the Summit. This bridge was a necessity to transport people and equipment during the National Scout Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel Reserve.
Later that evening I approached Mr. Harvey to say thank you and goodbye, but before I was able to get a word out, he said: “I realize we have not had a lot of time to talk this evening. How about stopping by my office at the CNX Center in Southpointe [pictured above] and we can chat?”Again, I could not believe what I just heard, and I immediately accepted his offer.
About one month later I was sitting in Mr. Harvey’s office at the Consol Energy headquarters in Southpointe, Pa. I never thought I would be sitting next to the CEO of a major corporation at the age of 17 and carrying on a normal conversation. However, that is what Scouting can do for you.
All of the hard work, long hours and leadership training paid off and granted me a seat next to Mr. Harvey. Just like my Scoutmaster, Mr. Thomas Taylor said, an Eagle Scout is a marked man. Even the engineers and business executives who were never part of Scouting recognize Eagle Scouts. They know there is a story or something special about that individual which sets them apart from the other 96 percent of men in the U.S.
All Scouts are hard workers, innovators and leaders, and those who achieve the rank of Eagle Scout best represent what it means to be in Scouting.
If I could give advice to any Scout, it would be for him to finish through and achieve the rank of Eagle. Becoming an Eagle Scout means more than getting a fancy medal. Becoming an Eagle is about meeting new people and effectively using all the resources available to you in order to complete a task. You will be looked highly upon by many: your Scout troop, college professors and employers. They are all wondering why you are a cut above the rest and what you can do for them.
So after about one hour of talking to Mr. Harvey in his office, I asked him if it would be possible for me to do an internship with Consol. I remembered what he said the night of our dinner and I knew it would be a great opportunity to get some work experience in before going to college.
Before I could even finish my question, Mr. Harvey said: “Yes, there is a good chance we could get you a summer internship here at Consol once you turn 18. Just make sure you send your résumé to us, and we will get back to you.”
Right then, I went to my folder and pulled out the résumé. A Scout is always prepared. I handed it to Mr. Harvey, and he said he will personally put my résumé in the folder to be reviewed by human resources.
At that moment I felt I had a pretty good chance of getting a summer position. I at least knew my résumé would be looked over. All of my contact information was on there as well as education and prior work experience. Mr. Harvey liked the idea that I ran my own landscaping business on the side and took care of the family farm. He told me that right there he knew I had a strong work ethic and that I was used to manual labor. My education and Scouting history proved to him that I was responsible and would make a good leader.
I thanked Mr. Harvey for his time and left his office with a firm handshake.
A few weeks after my visit with Mr. Harvey I got a call from human resources, and they asked me a few questions regarding what I was interested in for an internship. They said I should hear back from them in few weeks. Sure enough, a couple weeks later I received an email with my job offer. I accepted and started my paid summer internship with Consol Energy on June 24.
Since I started with Consol, I have visited two gas well rigs, one hydraulic fracturing job and two coal mines — with office work scattered in between. It has been an awesome learning experience and I cannot wait to see what I get to do next summer. Additionally, Mr. Harvey sponsored four individuals from my troop to go to the 2013 National Jamboree down at the Summit Bechtel Reserve. Mr. Harvey was a Life Scout, and he enjoys giving back to the Scouting organization as much as possible. I realize I have been blessed with a great opportunity and I look forward to helping other Scouts like me build their careers. I have the Boy Scouts of America and Consol Energy to thank for this wonderful opportunity and good fortune.
This is what Scouting can do for you.
Consol headquarters photo copyright Ed Massery