Crafting an Effective Argumentative Essay on The Maltese Falcon

Argumentative Essay – The Maltese Falcon


The Maltese Falcon is a classic detective novel written by Dashiell Hammett. It has captivated readers for decades with its intriguing plot and memorable characters. Writing an argumentative essay on this literary masterpiece can be a challenging task, but with the right guidance, you can create a compelling and thought-provoking piece. In this article, we will explore the essential steps to craft an effective argumentative essay on The Maltese Falcon.

Step 1: Choose a Controversial Theme

The first step in writing an argumentative essay is selecting a controversial theme related to The Maltese Falcon. Some possible themes could include the morality of the characters, the role of women in the novel, or the significance of the falcon itself. Choose a theme that interests you and has enough evidence to support different viewpoints.

Step 2: Conduct In-Depth Research

Once you have chosen a theme, it’s crucial to conduct thorough research to gather evidence and supporting arguments. Dive into the novel, analyze character motivations, and explore critical analyses by renowned literary scholars. Make sure to take notes and organize your findings to make the writing process smoother.

Step 3: Develop a Strong Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is the backbone of your argumentative essay. It should clearly state your stance on the chosen theme and provide a roadmap for your readers. A strong thesis statement for an essay on The Maltese Falcon could be: “The morally ambiguous characters in The Maltese Falcon highlight the blurred lines between good and evil in society.”

Step 4: Structure Your Essay

An effective argumentative essay follows a logical structure. Start with an engaging introduction that hooks the reader and introduces the theme and thesis statement. Divide the body of your essay into paragraphs, each focusing on a specific argument or piece of evidence. Use topic sentences to introduce each paragraph and ensure a smooth flow of ideas. Finally, conclude your essay by summarizing your main points and restating your thesis statement.

Step 5: Use Persuasive Language and Evidence

To make your argumentative essay compelling, use persuasive language and back up your claims with solid evidence. Quote passages from the novel, cite scholarly articles, and provide examples that support your arguments. Be sure to explain the significance of the evidence in relation to your thesis statement.

Step 6: Revise and Edit

Once you have completed the initial draft of your essay, take the time to revise and edit it. Check for grammar and spelling errors, ensure coherence and clarity, and refine your arguments. Consider seeking feedback from a peer or a professor to gain valuable insights and make necessary improvements.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q1: What is the main plot of The Maltese Falcon?

A1: The Maltese Falcon revolves around private detective Sam Spade, who gets entangled in a web of mystery and deceit while searching for a valuable statuette, the Maltese Falcon.

Q2: Who is the author of The Maltese Falcon?

A2: The Maltese Falcon was written by Dashiell Hammett, an American author and pioneer of hard-boiled detective fiction.

Q3: What is the significance of the falcon in the novel?

A3: The Maltese Falcon serves as a symbol of greed and desire. It represents the characters’ relentless pursuit of wealth and their willingness to betray one another.

Q4: How does The Maltese Falcon explore morality?

A4: The novel delves into the moral ambiguity of its characters, blurring the lines between right and wrong. It questions traditional notions of morality and highlights the complex nature of human behavior.

Q5: Are there any film adaptations of The Maltese Falcon?

A5: Yes, The Maltese Falcon has been adapted into films multiple times. The most famous adaptation is the 1941 version directed by John Huston, starring Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade.

Q6: What makes The Maltese Falcon a classic detective novel?

A6: The Maltese Falcon is considered a classic detective novel due to its gripping plot, well-developed characters, and the influence it had on the genre. It set the standard for hard-boiled detective fiction and continues to be celebrated for its literary merit.

By following these steps and crafting a well-structured and persuasive argumentative essay, you can delve into the captivating world of The Maltese Falcon while impressing your readers with your analytical skills and insights. Happy writing!