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Finding Home: The House on Mango Street

Lesson 20 - Literary Analysis Writing


Revise own essay to establish and maintain a formal academic tone.

Readings and Materials

  • Book: The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros 

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Target Task


Writing Prompt

The House on Mango Street is part of our year-long study of what it means to be American. How would Esperanza define the American Dream? Write an essay in which you answer this question by providing multiple examples and pieces of textual evidence to support your thesis.

Your essay must be at least four paragraphs and should:

  • Include a clear, logical, original thesis statement
  • Include a strong introductory and conclusion paragraph
  • Include multiple pieces of textual evidence
  • Include strong analysis
  • Establish and maintain a formal style

Lesson Guidance

  • Read students two examples of a paragraph: one written in an informal tone and one written in a formal tone. Ask students how the paragraphs are different. What impact does the style of writing have on the reader? Which one seems more appropriate for an academic setting? (Remind students that one style of writing isn’t better than any other, it’s all about context—skilled writers are able to consider audience and purpose and change their tone appropriately.)
  • Have students look through their essays for examples of informal language. Pay attention to use of the first or second person (by 7th grade students should no longer be writing thesis statements in the first person!), use of colloquial language, inappropriate insertion of the writer’s opinion, overuse of contractions, and excessive use of exclamation points.
  • This is a great opportunity to use a show-call and have students find examples of informal language in peer writing.

Enhanced lesson plan

Enhanced Lesson Plan

Get recommendations on pacing and lesson structure, as well as suggestions for meeting the needs of a range of learners. Download Sample

Coming Soon:
January 2021


Common Core Standards

  • W.7.1 — Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.

  • W.7.1.d — Establish and maintain a formal style.