Response to Literature Writing Prompt for

The Tell-Tale Heart


Writing Situation:

  All of us have experienced fear when reading or watching horror stories.  The best horror-story writers are experts at frightening readers.  The feeling or atmosphere the writer creates for the reader is called mood. In the story, The Tell-Tale Heart, Edgar Allan Poe begins to weave the mood from the very first sentence:

“True!-nervous-very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am! But why will you say that I am mad?”

Think about the mood created immediately with this choppy introduction.  What thoughts come to mind when a denial of madness is added to the strange speaking style?  As you read, decide which methods Poe uses to add to the mood of the story (think about word choice, sentence structure, plot twists, setting descriptions, etc…).


Directions for writing:

  You are to write a three paragraph essay that analyzes Edgar Allen Poe’s ability to create mood in The Tell-Tale Heart. 

After completing the organizer, be sure your essay follows this format: 

       *Cite the title and author with a 2-3 sentence summary
(mentioning either the author's name or the title of the story & transition into thesis)
Follow with a thesis statement that focuses on mood and name either the title or the author (opposite from before)

Body paragraphs’ pattern (include 3 CD's and strong CM's):
*Topic sentence  (related to mood)
*Concrete Detail: data, fact or quote (pg #)
*Commentary (2-3 sentences per data)
*Concrete Detail:
data, fact or quote (pg #)
*Commentary (2-3 sentences per data)
*Concrete Detail:
data, fact or quote (pg #)
*Commentary (2-3 sentences per data)

      *Restate the thesis
        *Summarize your main point
Answer “so what”


Use the chart you created in class:


Methods of Creating Mood


Word choice

Sentence Structure

Plot Twists

Setting    Descriptions





Kids quote

several examples of each

with page #