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Write a five paragraph essay that compares Holden’s issues from the Catcher in the Rye to teenagers’ issues today.  

Use quotes and cite correctly.

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Bellum, Sara. “It’s All About Hormones.” NIDA for Teens, Sara Bellum, 19 Jan. 2012, teens.drugabuse.gov/blog/post/its-all-about-hormones.

The Catcher in the Rye

Writing Assignment – 100 points



1) Read the following sources carefully. Highlight and annotate for good bits you can use in an essay about depression in teens.

2) Then develop a thesis and write a well-developed essay that argues the role childhood trauma plays in the development of depression.

3) Choose the sources that best support your idea for your paper. You are required to use Catcher in the Rye plus one other of the following sources to write your four-five paragraph essay.

Source ASalinger, J. D. The Catcher in the Rye. Little, Brown, 1951.Holden uses the word “depressed” over 30 times in the book. Go back through your annotations and find relevant quotes that would help you prove your thesis.Which passages from Catcher in the Rye can I use to support my thesis?
Source BWhat can I use from this source?According to the chart, “Childhood Trauma,” …
Source CChildhood Trauma and Its Relation to Chronic Depression in AdulthoodAmong the leading causes of the global burden of disease depression currently ranks third place worldwide and first place in middle- and high-income countries [ 1 , p. 43]. Wittchen et al. [ 2 ] even reported depression to be “by far the most burdensome disorder of all diseases in the EU” (p. 669). It is predicted that by 2020 depression will have jumped to second place [ 3 ]. Depression has a high risk of recidivism: 50% after the first, 70% after the second, and 90% after the third episode [ 4 ]; 50% of patients relapse after any form of short-term psychotherapy [ 5 ]. 20 to 30% of patients with major depression do not respond to antidepressant medication and one-third of those who initially responded relapse within a year [ 6 ]. Depressed patients form a heterogeneous group showing quite different pathogeneses. Traumatic experiences in childhood can be found in most multifactor models on etiopathogenesis as a psychosocial aspect of depression (e.g., [ 7  10 ]). Epigenetic studies further substantiate the finding that a genetic vulnerability will only lead to depression if the individual experienced simultaneous early traumatization. Caspi et al. [ 11 ] showed that early separation trauma triggers the 5-HTTLPR allele in turn regulating relevant neurotransmitters hence evoking depression. Childhood trauma may be one decisive source of heterogeneity that may also depend on trauma type [ 10 ].What can I use from this source?According to “Childhood Trauma and Its Relation to Chronic Depression in Adulthood,”…
Source DT een Depression – Symptoms and Causes .It’s not known exactly what causes depression, but a variety of issues may be involved. These include:· Brain chemistry. Neurotransmitters are naturally occurring brain chemicals that carry signals to other parts of your brain and body. When these chemicals are abnormal or impaired, the function of nerve receptors and nerve systems changes, leading to depression.· Hormones. Changes in the body’s balance of hormones may be involved in causing or triggering depression.· Inherited traits. Depression is more common in people whose blood relatives — such as a parent or grandparent — also have the condition.· Early childhood trauma. Traumatic events during childhood, such as physical or emotional abuse, or loss of a parent, may cause changes in the brain that make a person more susceptible to depression.· Learned patterns of negative thinking. Teen depression may be linked to learning to feel helpless — rather than learning to feel capable of finding solutions for life’s challenges.What can I use from this source?According to “Teen Depression — Symptoms and Causes,”…
Source EHow Childhood Trauma Changes Our Mental Health into AdulthoodStudies on rodents have taught us how the development of the oxytocin system is altered by early trauma. Early life stress changes oxytocin levels within the hypothalamus and the amygdala, which are important brain regions in the production of oxytocin and emotional regulation respectively. Even the functioning of the oxytocin receptor is altered following early life trauma.Similar changes are also clear in humans exposed to childhood trauma. Women who were exposed to child abuse showed reduced oxytocin levels later in life, as did men who had experienced childhood stress. Oxytocin levels were also lower in children who had been raised in neglectful conditions in a Romanian orphanage.These long-lasting changes affect behavioural outcomes. Exposure to early life adversity increases anxiety and depressive behaviours in rodents, which endures well into adulthood.Research has shown how early life stress can impact on the developing oxytocin system resulting in a greater susceptibility to develop drug dependence and being less capable to cope with stress.In turn, a well-regulated oxytocin system can support greater resilience against excessive drug use and addiction. Animal studies show oxytocin can boost the reward of social connection, lower the effect of drugsreduce anxiety, and improve management of stressors. But we still need more research in humans.Early life stressors do not only impact the oxytocin system. A number of other systems that work with oxytocin also change, such as important neurotransmitters and the stress system. This results in changes to how these systems interact and contributes to changes in the oxytocin system and ultimately behaviour.As oxytocin is critically involved in emotional regulation, understanding how the developing oxytocin system can be affected early in life can help us understand how early adversities can have a long-lasting impact on mental health.What can I use from this source?According to “ How Childhood Trauma Changes Our Mental Health into Adulthood ,”…

Additionally, we read these sources in class and for homework. You may use these sources as well.

What can I use from these sources?

Drug and Alcohol Abuse Source F

Parentals Source G

“The Case for Delayed Adulthood” Source H

“The Kids are not All Right” Source I

Plan your essay here:


Support from Catcher in the Rye:

Support from Source _____:

Support from Source _____:

ALC: Hettinger

Tips for an Argument Essay with Sources

Intro: Sometimes, the best place to start your essay is smack dab in the middle, or even at the end. For this essay, try it. Use Holden as your start. Begin by explaining a scene in Catcher in the Rye that is relevant to your topic and your sources. You may use Holden to make your point or as a counter to your point. Either way, you are working your way up to your thesis, to letting the reader know why you’re telling the story in the first place.Then connect it to today and set up your thesis. Body: Here is where you use the sources to make your point. You’ll want to use CER and make your sources converse speak to each other. That means that you don’t necessarily want to use one source/paragraph. Make a claim , use source s to prove it, showing how well you know your own ideas in comparison and contrast to the articles provided. Throughout your body for this essay, you’ll want to thread in moments from Catcher that relate. Students may write their own opinions in conversation and in response to the sources. You may present your own ideas with a voice that demonstrates a mind at work, drawing on what you already know of the topicSuccessful writers control the sources rather than being controlled by them.” (emphasis mine). When you’re using a passage to make your argument, take the time to unpack the quote. Explain it and what you mean. Quote bombs are a frequent problem, so make sure to in. Choose your quotes wisely, and then make it clear why this one is the one that helps you make your point before leading into your next point. 

Introduce your evidence with phrases like, According to Source C, …or In Source B, the main point is…which is similar to how Holden… or As seen in Source E, researchers argue… Add your quote making sure to copy it exactly and then cite it at the end (Source E). Thoroughly analyze the evidence meaning explain the quotation/unpack it –especially if there are words that need defining in regular words — then explain why it’s important, and finally, how it relates to your thesis and/or the book or your anecdote.

A word about the counter: It’s always good to have a counter because it shows that you realize there are other points of view on your topic. Your counter can emerge anywhere in your essay. Typically, folks will put it at the end, but you don’t have to! You can put it in the beginning, middle or end. Wherever it fits with your argument. You must counter, however simply: “Of course, some may say…” “Others suggest…; however,…”) Conclusion: Intros and conclusions can be the hardest parts to write. For this essay, once again transition back to Holden, creating a nice frame to your essay. Such a conclusion will help explain how past and present come together. Your conclusion allows you to have the final say on the issues you have raised and analyzed in your paper, to summarize your thoughts, to demonstrate the importance of your ideas, and to propel your reader to a new understanding of the subject. It is also your opportunity to make a good final impression. Your conclusion should make your readers glad they read your paper. (Lofty, I know, but aim for the stars, kiddos!)

1. After reading The Catcher in the Rye, we get a sense that Holden feels alienated from his peers most of the time. However, Holden chooses to accept an invitation to join a secret fraternity that he knows specifically excluded Ackley. This is an action that Holden usually would consider phony. What does this say about Holden’s ability to fit in? In your paper, determine whether or not Holden would fit in at Niles West. Your thesis statement should state whether or not Holden would indeed be successful/unsuccessful at Niles West. When supporting your thesis, describe what his high school life would be like at Niles West. When determining Holden’s experience, use examples from the novel to support why Holden would act in certain ways. Consider these aspects of high school life:

– dating

– academics

– cliques/friends

– sports

– clubs/activities

– philanthropic activities (fundraising, charity work, Dance Marathon,


In addition, when considering his success or lack of success, look at the support services that are available at Niles West (Lit. Center, Transition program, social work services, Drop-In Center, various clubs/activities, etc) and were unavailable to Holden in his school.

ALC: Hettinger

Catcher in the Rye Argument with Sources Essay Checklist

MLA Heading: LEFT hand side of paper

_____ Name _____ ALC: 2 or 3 _____ Hettinger

_____ Due date

MLA Format:

_____ Times New Roman font

_____ double spaced

_____ Insert → page number → (use one with number on the top RIGHT hand side) Write last name only on the left of page number.


_____Hook: Strong allusion to Holden with either an explicit quote or an implicit one.

_____Author, title, type: This is easy and you’ve been doing it all year.

_____Explanation of how Holden relates to issues with teen depression today.

_____Thesis that relates past and present and makes an argument.

Body Paragraph

_____Claim: that encompasses past and present.

_____ Evidence:

_____CONTEXTUALIZE: When and Where does this quote appear (When Holden is falling apart as he is waiting for Phoebe in the end of the novel…)

_____ SET UP: He says,

_____ QUOTE & CITE correctly “………….” ……….. (Salinger 110). (Notice that the citation goes at the end of the sentence — not necessarily at the end of the quote. Also notice that the period goes after the parenthesis

_____Explain quote and write a TRANSITION WORD OF PHRASE connecting your first piece of evidence to your second.

_____ Evidence:

_____CONTEXTUALIZE: In 2020…

_____ SET UP: According to Source D,

_____ QUOTE & CITE correctly “………….” ……….. (Source D). (Notice that the citation goes at the end of the sentence — not necessarily at the end of the quote. Also notice that the period goes after the parenthesis

_____Warrant/Reasoning why it’s important to the claim (& thesis)


_____ Relate back to your Holden hook

_____ Explain why this is an important topic worth discussing in the 21st century world.

Punctuation Etc:

_____Are you capitalizing proper nouns and the title of the story?

_____Are you italicizing Catcher in the Rye?

_____Does every sentence make sense?

_____ Have you considered what you know about commas, semicolons, colons, dashes, parenthesis…?

_____Did you proofread to make sure your words make sense?

Sentences we’ve studied that folks had trouble punctuating:





When you don’t punctuate properly, you have

Run ons



Extra Credit

_____ Can you use two vocabulary words:

Catcher in the Rye Vocabulary Name:__________________________

WordDefinition & POSAs Holden says…(and page number)As you say in your own words, or mnemonic device.
ostracized(verb) exclude (someone) from a society or group.The whole team ostracized me the whole way back on the train. It was pretty funny, in a way.The ostritch was ostracized by other birds.
innumerable(adj) countless“The Egyptians are extremely interesting to us today for various reasons. Modern science would still like to know what the secret ingredients were that the Egyptians used when they wrapped up dead people so that their faces would not rot for innumerable centuries.”Bill Gates has an innumberable amount of positive characteristics.
grippe(noun) influenza“He had the grippe, and I figured I probably wouldn’t see him again till Christmas vacation started.”Another word for flu.My cousin got influenza on vacation.
sadist(noun) torturer; one who achieves gratification by inflicting pain“Besides, I know it annoyed hell out of old Ackley. He always brought out the old sadist in me. I was pretty sadistic with him quite often.”Satin is a sadist.
qualms(noun) an uneasy feeling of doubt, worry, or fear, especially about one’s own conduct; a misgiving.“Do you have any particular qualms about leaving Pencey?””Oh, I have a few qualms, all right. Sure. . . but not too many. Not yet, anyway. I guess it hasn’t really hit me yet. It takes things a while to hit me.I have a few qulams in my life but will eventually overcome them.
unscrupulous(adj) having or showing no moral principles; not honest or fair.“If you knew Stradlater, you’d have been worried, too. I’d double-dated with that bastard a couple of times, and I know what I’m talking about. He was unscrupulous. He really was.”The boys playing the game were uncrupulous.
pacifist(noun) a person who believes that war and violence are unjustifiable.“I’d only been in about two fights in my life, and I lost both of them. I’m not too tough. I’m a pacifist, if you want to know the truth.”Martin Luther King Jr. was a pacifist.
lavish(adj) extravagant, fancy“I have this grandmother that’s quite lavish with her dough. She doesn’t have all her marbles any more–she’s old as hell–and she keeps sending me money for my birthday about four times a year.”I had a very lavish car.
conscientious(adj) upright; scrupulous; guided by right and wrong“Do you like Pencey?” she asked me.”Pencey? It’s not too bad. It’s not paradise or anything, but it’s as good as most schools. Some of the faculty are pretty conscientious.”A person with the right morals.
incognito(noun) concealed identity“He was always coming in and sitting down in the back of the room for about a half an hour. He was supposed to be incognito or something.”The detective went incognito when he was on a mission.
unanimous(adj) (two or more) people in full agreement.“Well, a bunch of us wanted old Ernie to be president of the class. I mean he was the unanimous choice. I mean he was the only boy that could really handle the job,”The class was unanimous about reading this novel.
suave(adj) smooth. (especially of a man) charming, confident, and elegant.“Would any of you girls care to dance?” I didn’t ask them crudely or anything. Very suave, in fact.At the Whooten school they had this very sophisticated suave guy.
putrid(adj) of organic matter) decaying or rotting; smell is awful“The band was putrid. Buddy Singer. Very brassy, but not good brassy–corny brassy.”The apple was putrid after being left out for days.
immensely(adv) to a great extent; extremely“I had a terrible time getting her to at least open her eyes when she took a swing at the ball. I improved her game immensely, though. I’m a very good golfer.”I hated drinking milk immensely as a child.
nonchalant(adj) feeling or appearing calm and relaxed; not displaying anxiety, interest, or enthusiasm.“I hardly didn’t even show it. I just got very cool and nonchalant. I puked before I went to bed, but I didn’t really have to–I forced myself.”I was nonchalant about the recent news report.
blasé(adj) unconcerned; apathetic to pleasure or excitement“He was with some gorgeous blonde, and the two of them were trying to be very blasé and all, like as if he didn’t even know people were looking at him.”He has a very blase when his bosses in trouble.
inane(adj) pointless; insubstantial; shallow“Not necessarily in China, for God’s sake. The East I said. Must we go on with this inane conversation?”Some of the classes we take in school are inane.
provocative(adj) stimulating; something that provokes or excitesDon’t you think if someone starts out to tell you about his father’s farm, he should stick to his guns, then get around to telling you about his uncle’s brace? Or, if his uncle’s brace is such a provocative subject, shouldn’t he have selected it in the first place as his subject–not the farm?”His gestures were very provoative.
digression(noun) a temporary departure from the main subject in speech or writing.“It’s this course where each boy in class has to get up in class and make a speech. You know. Spontaneous and all. And if the boy digresses at all, you’re supposed to yell ‘Digression!’ at him as fast as you can.”Tangent

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