Catcher Essay Assignment

The essay options below all have the following in common:
  • All are meant to be ARGUMENTATIVE essays
  • All must use textual and cited evidence from the text(s) to support the argument you propose
  • All must be full-fledged essays with introductions, bodies, and conclusions
  • All require prior approval of a thesis and/or pre-writing

Your assignment is to pick ONE of the essay options below to write your Catcher essay about.

  • Early deadline: June 3 by 4 pm (or 7 pm on-line w/ the Collaboratory) (5% extra credit for essay)
  • Final deadline: June 7 by 4 pm (or 7 pm on-line with the Collaboratory)
Argumentative Essay Options on Catcher
  • Option 1: Reliability Argument: What is Holden trying to sell and is he reliable (according to our warrants/rules)? (pre-writing must be shown to Ms. Spachman prior to writing the essay; use pre-writing chart on reliability)
  • Option 2: Comparative Argument: Catcher’s Holden and the narrator of “How I Contemplated…”—Create-an-Argument (prior approval of thesis required)
  • Option 3: Comparative Argument: Catcher’s Holden and Chato de Shamrock in “The Somebody”—Create-an-Argument (prior approval of thesis required)
  • Option 4: Answer the following question in a thorough argument—At the end of the novel, has Holden Caulfield “sold out” by not running away? Use your understanding of Holden as he is portrayed in the novel to argue your answer (prior approval of thesis required)
  • Option 5: Answer the following question in a thorough argument—Is Holden Caulfield a hero or an anti-hero? Use your understanding of Holden as he is portrayed in the novel to argue your answer (prior approval of thesis required)
The Essay Requirements:
Do not begin on your essay until you have your required pre-writing approved by Ms. Spachman.
  • Your essay must be typed. [12 pt. Times or Arial font, double-spaced, 1” margins] You can do this at home or at school. The College & Career Center is available to you during your lunch hour (and you can bring a disk), or you can use the library (but no disks allowed in there). Another option is to schedule a time to use the computer in the classroom before or after school. Plan ahead. No excuses. You must turn in a hard copy by 6/7 at 4 pm OR publish your work on-line at by 6/7 at 7 pm.
  • Your essay must be an essay. This means using the essay structure of having an introduction, body, and conclusion.
  • Your essay must be free of the 3 deadly sins and as many other errors as possible.
  • List the essay option you selected in the heading of your paper.
How will I be graded?
This assignment is worth a total of 90 points. You can earn them by:
  • Getting your pre-writing approved prior to writing your essay. You must be approved no later than 4 pm, Thursday, June 3. (If you’re going for the early deadline, you should aim at being approved no later than Tuesday, June 1—yes, you can email me.) (20 points)
  • Writing an engaging introduction with a relevant attention getter, appropriate context (including text title(s) and names of relevant characters), and your thesis. (5 points)
  • Making sure you’ve included page citations and properly quoted your evidence every time. (5 points)
  • Writing each body paragraph clearly with all the necessary elements of a logical argument. This means you’ve used appropriate transitions, written a topic sentence, used quoted text as evidence, explained your quotes (with a reliability rule as necessary), and tied your point back to your thesis. Your body paragraphs should also include appropriate context where necessary (for example, you may need to let your reader know a little about what’s going on in that part of the story for your quote to make sense). (40 points)
  • Ordering your argument logically (which points you bring up first, second, third, etc.). For example, it doesn’t make much sense to open with a point that proves someone is a murderer and end with a point that only suggests that person is lying. (5 points)
  • Writing a convincing conclusion that doesn’t summarize your entire argument. (5 points)
  • Eliminating errors and confusing language. Write your essay clearly and take pride in the finished product. (10 points)
  • Typing your essay. If it’s not typed, it won’t get graded.
  • Extra credit: Publish your work on There is a Catcher folder in the “Unreliable Narrators” binder. (4 points)
The EARLY deadline for your essay is June 3.
The absolutely, totally, irrevocably final deadline for this essay is June 7.
No lates will be accepted after the June 7 deadline has passed.