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Analyzing Holden Caulfield: Home

The Assignment

Note Sheet

Click and download this notes sheet . Go to File and Make a copy.  Take notes from this reputable source.

The Assignment

Analyzing Holden Caulfield

It is clear that Holden Caulfield is experiencing a crisis or breakdown in the novel Catcher in the Rye. For this assignment, research possible disorders based on his behavior. You will then construct an argument using evidence from your research and the novel to convince your audience that your point of view is accurate.

Step 1: Take notes on Google Doc (see box on right) on possible disorders from which Holden could be suffering. Only use databases provided.

  • Depression (sometimes referred to as major depression)
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
  • Schizophrenia

Step 2: Based on your research, determine the disorder from which he is most likely suffering. Cite quotes from the novel (see sheet).
Step 3:
Take additional notes on the disorder if needed. Use the Library databases (SEE LINK TO THE LEFT).
Step 4: Construct a thesis statement based on the disorder from which Holden is suffering with your reasons why (based on quotes).
Step 5: Create an outline to develop your argument:


Outline (to be filled in with your notes and ideas):

      Introduction Paragraph: hook, background info, thesis statement.
      First Body Paragraph: Define the disorder and discuss its symptoms.
      Next Body Paragraphs:

  • Analyze Holden’s behaviors (use details and quotations) and connect them to the research.
  • Potential causes and symptoms for Holden’s issues.

      ‚ÄčConclusion Paragraph: Circle back to hook, restate thesis, provide final insights and thoughts.


Step 6: Write your first paper draft (with evidence and citations).

Step 7: Make your Work Cited page using MyBib.com  (2+ sources: The novel and at least one database source).  To enter your citations use the BOOK tab for the novel and the MORE tab, then WRITE/PASTE for the database.  The database has a CITE button in the upper right corner of the page.
            Your book citation should look like this:  

Salinger, J.D. The Catcher in the Rye. Little, Brown, 1991.

Your database citation should look like this: 

Johnson, Paul A., et al. "Depression." The Gale Encyclopedia of Mental Health, edited by Kristin Key, 3rd ed., vol. 1, Gale, 2012, pp. 448-454. Psychology eBook Collection, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/CX4013200136/GVRL.psychologyebooks?u=mlin_c_montytech&sid=GVRL.psychologyebooks&xid=c59e37ae. Accessed 16 May 2020.

Step 8: Peer edit your draft and make revisions.

Step 9: Polish your work and put it together in a well-organized and presentable manner.

Other Particulars

  • Use MLA style: Times New Roman 12 point font, typed and double spaced with a separate Works Cited.  Papers that do not include in-text citations and a Works Cited page will not be scored (see the school policy on plagiarism).
  • I will be checking your work and progress throughout the writing process. The completion of each part will count towards your term 4 grade (as several classwork and homework assignments)
  • Be sure to use YOUR voice and formal academic tone.