12 Page Essay

Since your assignment is quite lengthy, you might consider forming your thesis statement around colonization and how it is integral to the theme in Heart of Darkness. This way, you will be able to bring in scholarly historical research regarding colonization by Great Britain in the Congo. Conrad wrote this novel based on his own experience in the Congo, observing colonization and, in his mind, the evils associated with British imperialism. So, your thesis could...

Since your assignment is quite lengthy, you might consider forming your thesis statement around colonization and how it is integral to the theme in Heart of Darkness. This way, you will be able to bring in scholarly historical research regarding colonization by Great Britain in the Congo. Conrad wrote this novel based on his own experience in the Congo, observing colonization and, in his mind, the evils associated with British imperialism. So, your thesis could be something like:

Britain’s goal to expand its overseas empire often had a negative impact on the colonized country. Joseph Conrad conveys the negative impact British imperialism had on groups and individuals in the Congo in his novel Heart of Darkness.

You would then explore the terrible way Africans are treated in the novel, the attitude towards them by the "company men", etc. The "dark" imagery used in this novel exposes the evils of colonization, so your paper would include a detailed discussion of this. Be sure that the paper contains the proper mix of historical fact as it relates to your thesis. Remember that this is a paper for a literature class. It's easy to get too bogged down on the historical and neglect the literary aspects.

The text of the novel is available at the link below. A good summary of colonization in the Congo is availalbe at the link below. An analysis of the novel is available at enotes (see link). There is a lot of information online regarding this novel if you do some additional digging.

The Introduction (2 paragraphs)

The first paragraph poses the research question. Often, it tells a brief story, then explains why that story needs interpretation. E.g., “In August 1814, a British force invaded Washington and burned the White House. Why was the city so poorly defended?”
Paragraph two explains how the paper will answer the question posed in the lead. The paragraph ends with the thesis statement: a one-sentence summary of the argument of the essay.

The Body (3 X 6 = 18 paragraphs)

It is often useful to break down the body of the essay into two, three, or four parts, each identified with a subhead. Three is an especially strong number. For example, Section I could state one side”s position in a debate, Section II could state the opposing case, and Section III could explain how the conflict was resolved.
Each body paragraph should begin with a topic sentence that supports both the main point of the section and the thesis of the paper. It may be helpful to write all eighteen topic sentences first, then flesh them out. (Of course, some may be dropped in the writing process, while others fragment into multiple paragraphs.)

The Conclusion (2 paragraphs)

Paragraph 1 of the conclusion reiterates your thesis, explaining why it is the best means of understanding the evidence you presented in the body.
Paragraph 2 explains why this argument matters, and how the story and its interpretation help us understand Faulkner’s universal truths—”love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice.”

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