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Rasselas Essay Outline

Types of Outlines and Samples

Alphanumeric Outlines

This is the most common type of outline and usually instantly recognizable to most people. The formatting follows these characters, in this order:

  • Roman Numerals
  • Capitalized Letters
  • Arabic Numerals
  • Lowercase Letters

If the outline needs to subdivide beyond these divisions, use Arabic numerals inside parentheses and then lowercase letters inside parentheses. Select the "Sample Outlines" PDF in the Media Box above to download the sample of this outline.

The sample PDF in the Media Box above is an example of an outline that a student might create before writing an essay. In order to organize her thoughts and make sure that she has not forgotten any key points that she wants to address, she creates the outline as a framework for her essay.

What is the assignment?

Your instructor asks the class to write an expository (explanatory) essay on the typical steps a high school student would follow in order to apply to college.

What is the purpose of this essay?

To explain the process for applying to college

Who is the intended audience for this essay?

High school students intending to apply to college and their parents

What is the essay's thesis statement?

When applying to college, a student follows a certain process which includes choosing the right schools and preparing the application materials.

Full Sentence Outlines

The full sentence outline format is essentially the same as the Alphanumeric outline. The main difference (as the title suggests) is that full sentences are required at each level of the outline. This outline is most often used when preparing a traditional essay. Select the "Sample Outlines" PDF in the Media Box above to download the sample of this outline.

Decimal Outlines

The decimal outline is similar in format to the alphanumeric outline. The added benefit is a system of decimal notation that clearly shows how every level of the outline relates to the larger whole. Select the "Sample Outlines" PDF in the Media Box above to download the sample of this outline.

The search for happiness is a never-ending theme in the lives of all human beings in the world. Happiness is what many people aim for and they have a tendency of working towards its achievement all their lives. Some people have however considered this to be a futile attempt and that the optimism which human beings always have for the achievement of happiness will lead them to bitter disappointment. Others disagree stating that human happiness is achievable if they were to take every event that happens in their lives positively and the optimism that comes from it will eventually lead them to what they have been aiming for, namely, happiness. One would be very tempted to agree with the latter because its view of happiness is very optimistic and therefore helps people view their lives in a more positive light. However, true and lasting happiness is unachievable for human beings because of our very nature, that is, we can never be satisfied with what we have and instead we always aim to achieve more. This nature truly defines why human beings are completely incapable of achieving lasting happiness. In relation to this, we shall look at and compare two novels with a similar theme, Candide by Voltaire, and Rasselas by Samuel Johnson.
Rasselas is the story of an Ethiopian prince who questions his life of privilege and along with his sister, her maid and an old wise man, Imlac, embarks on a journey of self-discovery. He considered the life of a prince to be like a prison where his every wish or desire was fulfilled without his having to do anything about it. His desire in escaping his privileged life was to view how common people lived their lives and to decide for himself the kind of life that best suited him and which he wanted to live. His journey takes him through several adventures and in these, he comes to learn the truth, that the perfect life is impossible to achieve and that a search for it must continue indefinitely. When he and his companions arrive in Cairo, the people of this city at first dazzle Rasselas, but this comes to an abrupt end when he realizes that not even one of them enjoys a life of happiness (Pierce). Despite their grand appearance on the outside, the people of Cairo are completely the opposite on the inside, because they are capable of violence, madness, and being lonely. The novel ends with the companions’ decision to abruptly end their journey and return to Abyssinia. Voltaire’s Candide is also a story about the pursuit of happiness by the main character, Candide. Candide is the bastard child of the sister of a Westphalian baron who is in love with Cunegonde, the baron’s daughter. A time comes when these two are caught kissing and Candide is thrown out of the baron’s castle (Marsh, 144 – 146). Candide, like Rasselas, is a very optimistic person and he undertakes a journey in pursuit of happiness along with some companions who include Pangloss and Jacques. His journeys take him all over the world, from Portugal to the Americas, to the Far East and finally back to Europe. This journey however does not reveal to Candide the elusive happiness for which he has been seeking. Instead, it reveals to him the true extent of human nature, the brutality, coercion, and pure evil that exists in many people. It is at this point that Candide realizes that lasting happiness among human beings is unachievable no matter for how long they try to seek it. One will find many similarities between Candide and Rasselas the most paramount of which is the fact that both of them are trying to find lasting happiness in their lives. Both of these characters are from very privileged backgrounds despite the fact that Candide is an illegitimate child. Furthermore, these characters choose to make journeys of self-discovery and in this attempt; they come across the worst part of human nature that contributes to the destruction of their very optimistic nature. Not only does this happen, but they both come to realize the futility of their quest, and instead they decide to settle down ...Show more