Looking for Alaska Essay


Writing Prompts:

  1. Alaska’s Death: Was Alaska’s death an accident or a suicide? Analyze the text for textual evidence and clues that indicate the answer to this question.
  2. The Teenage Brain: According to scientists, the teenage brain seeks out new, risky experiences, but also is very vulnerable to drugs, alcohol, and change. How can brain science explain some of the behavior of the teenage characters in Looking for Alaska? Cite examples from the novel as well as the science articles we discussed in class.
  3. Themes/Symbolism: What is the central theme of Looking for Alaska? How does the author, John Green, use symbolism to convey this message? Possible themes might include: death and the meaning of life; self-discovery and independence; mischief and guilt; or trust and friendship. Symbols in the text include: cigarettes, the lake, alcohol, white flowers, last words.

Writing Criteria:

  • Well-organized multiple-paragraph essay.
  • A clear thesis statement (main argument).
  • Textual evidence with analysis (quotes must be cited with page numbers in MLA Format).
  • Creativity and sentence variety.
  • Checked for spelling/grammar/mechanics.

You may also choose to use the following texts below in your essay:

Handouts and Writing Resources:

Editing/Revision Resources:

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