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Banned Books and Censorship: Banned Books

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Google Doc of the assignment.

Note Taking Sheet.  Click on File and Make a Copy to use.


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Jennifer Jourdain
Montachusett Regional Voc Tech School
1050 Westminster Street
Fitchburg, MA 01420
(978) 345-9200 x5125

Banned Books Research Sources

Research Paper: Banned Books, Censorship, and Literary Merit:

Pro Con Article on Banning Books:

Examine book reviews, scholarly journals, newspaper articles, college websites

  (montytech1 is the password outside of school)

You may also find excellent websites. Newspapers will have details on the stories behind banning the book in certain cities/towns.

Also, there are online magazines and blogs written by college professors that may be useful.

To get only college sites, type after the book title.

Book Ideas

  • The Color Purple
  • Lolita
  • 1984
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God
  • Catch 22
  • A Farewell to Arms
  • Satanic Verses
  • The Jungle
  • Water for Elephants
  • Howl
  • The Red Tent
  • Naked Lunch
  • The Grapes of Wrath


  • The Road
  • The Namesake by Lahiri Jhumpa
  • An American Tragedy
  • All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Something Wicked This Way Comes
  • The Call of the Wild
  • I know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Your Own Thoughts and Writing

Your OWN thoughts while and after reading:

  • Evaluate the work’s merits and examine the work in terms of appropriateness for readers.
  • What is the value of reading this controversial piece of literature?
  • What is the reading level? (Search the book title and the word Lexile).
  • What objections (if any) do you have to the book?
  • Is there anything that others would find objectionable? Explain.

Other guiding questions for thought:

  • Is banning a book ever the right choice?
  • How does one determine that a book’s value outweighs the potentially negative influences?
  • What makes good literature?
  • What are the implications of censorship for society and the individual?

‚ÄčFormulate an informed opinion as to whether the work should be banned or whether it has value for young readers—and WHY. This should comprise your thesis and be the driving force of your essay. You will write four to six pages, plus a Works Cited page and will adhere to the correct MLA format and be error-free. Use at least four critical sources. Be sure to include the novel itself as an additional source.