Essay One: Do Happy Endings Exist?

Essay One: Do Happy Endings Exist?

Dr. Stephanie Horton


Paper Length:  At least 3 pages (typed, double-spaced, 12pt. font, Times New Roman)

The Assignment: Think about Margaret Atwood’s assertion in her story “Happy Endings” that true connoisseurs of literature are not only concerned about the plot but instead they pay close attention to the how’s and why’s. How do we define “happy endings”?  Do happy endings really exist?  Why, or why not?  Now, write an essay in which you address those questions. Take a clear stance (i.e. define what a “happy ending” is, then state clearly whether or not you think such a thing exists) and use specific examples/evidence from both Margaret Atwood’s “Happy Endings” and any of your personal experiences to support your claim.  Let’s get started!


Organization: You should pay close attention to the organization of your ideas. For this paper you should include both an introduction and conclusion.  The final sentence of your introduction should be a clear, strong and concise thesis statement.  Each of your paragraphs should be well-organized with a strong topic sentence and adequate supporting details.  Also, remember to provide smooth transitions between paragraphs.


The introductory paragraph functions as the “set-up” for the material you will discuss in your essay. It should lead smoothly into your thesis statement, which will be the final sentence of your introductory paragraph. Remember that the strength and clarity of your thesis statement will determine the strength of your entire essay.


Plot Summary:

Your essay should provide a general summary of Margaret Atwood’s “Happy Endings”.  You should review the events in the narrative from beginning to end.  Of course, this will take some work because you are only allotted one paragraph for this summary.


Body Paragraphs:

In the body of your essay, you should provide evidence from the text and personal experience to support your thesis. Draw examples directly from the text, via quotes and paraphrases. Cite examples, then explain how the examples you have chosen support your thesis.



The final paragraph of your essay should provide a conclusion to your discussion. The conclusion should contain a review of your main points, as well as an indication of why the topic you are covering is important (either to the narrative or in the scheme of life on the whole).


As always, if you should have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Happy Writing!



Please follow and like us: