Expository Literary Essay: In Search of Self

DIRECTIONS: Write a well-organized composition on the topic below.

The most profound discovery that we can make is our discovery of self. Our identity rests in the kind of people we are. To understand who we are and to develop fully as human beings, we must explore the nature of our humanness and the purpose of our lives.

  • Who and what are we? What are the common human qualities and ideals we hold?
  • What roles do other people (e.g., friends, family) play in our lives?
  • What brings us joy, inspiration, and fulfillment?
  • What doubts and fears do we have?

By examining our lives and searching for answers to these and other questions, we can find meaning and fulfillment as human beings.

In literature, authors write about a character examining these same questions about the human condition.

In To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, the protagonist explores the nature of our humanness and the purpose of our lives. Using detailed references from the work, explain how the protagonist’s discovers his/her identity. How do actions of specific characters contribute to this discovery? Explain the author’s general message about our search for identity.

As you write your composition, remember to:

  • Give the title and the author of the work.
  • Identify the protagonist and his or her unique qualities and behaviors.
  • Give specific examples, reasons, and details to explain the protagonist’s discovery of self
  • Give specific examples, reasons, and details to explain the contribution of other characters to this discovery
  • Give specific examples, reasons, and details to explain general message about our search for identity.
  • Give any necessary plot information but avoid giving a plot summary.
  • Write in complete sentences.
  • Write coherent and well-developed paragraphs.
  • Use correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization.
Expository Literary Essay Plan

Expository Literary Essay Plan

Holistic Expository Essay Rubric

Holistic Expository Essay Rubric

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