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Choosing Good College-Level Essay Topics For A Raisin In The Sun 


By the time you finish college you will have written dozens of essays, and will have probably gotten pretty good at it. But choosing a good essay topic can still be a challenge. When your professor assigns you a paper about A Raisin in the Sun, you’ll need to narrow down what aspect of the story or writing you want to examine.

It can be helpful to start out forming your topic as a question. For example:

  1. What are the dreams of the main characters? Did the characters really believe they were possible?
  2. What is the role of symbols in A Raisin in the Sun? What do they tell the reader about the characters that the narrative doesn’t?
  3. How do sexism, racism, and classism interact in the story?

There are three basic kinds of questions you can ask to form a topic: what/who, why, and how. While any of them can make the beginnings of a good paper, you eventually want to focus on the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of them, as they will allow you to form a stronger analysis, drawing examples from the text to support your point of view.

From the question, you want to form a statement answering it. This will essentially be your thesis statement. Continuing with the examples from above, these statements might be:

  1. Dreams serve as the engines, propelling the characters forward, but as such they can never quite be obtainable.
  2. Mama’s plant serves as a symbol for her hearty resilience, demonstrating to the reader that her disposition is one that must also be tended and cultivated.
  3. It is classism, more than sexism or racism, that prevents the family from upward mobility in the story.

This strategy of starting with a question and moving to an answer will help you to narrow down the focus of your paper. If you only have a short time to write it, and a few pages in which to make your argument, you’ll need to narrow down your topic to fit the scope that you are allowed. In the case of A Raisin in the Sun, you could do this by focusing any of the above questions on one character.

As with any paper, when you are choosing a topic, it is important to choose one that you are interested in or care about.

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