Expository Writing – Azar Nafisi, “Selections from Reading Lolita in Tehran.”


Expository Writing

Essay 1


Azar Nafisi, “Selections from Reading Lolita in Tehran.”


The paper must be typed, double-spaced, with one-inch margins and 12-point font, Times New Roman. Include your name, page numbers on every page, and an original title centered on the first page. Please staple the paper in the upper left-hand corner.

When evaluating your papers, I will be looking specifically for these things:

  1. A thesis that responds directly to the essay question
  2.  Support for your thesis with minimal summary of Nafisi
  3.  An engaging introductory paragraph followed by a series of well-formed, coherent body paragraphs
  4.  At least one well-chosen quotation from Azar in each body paragraph
  5.  Good integration of quotations, as discussed in class
  6. Minimal sentence-level errors


In “Selections from Reading Lolita in Tehran” Azar Nafisi outlines a relationship between fiction and reality that might be described as equivocal, or at least challenging. While she seems to admire the writer Nabokov, in part, for his ability to capture “the texture of life in a totalitarian society”—her kind of society—she also cautions against reading fiction as “a carbon copy of real life.” What fiction gives us, she continues, is “not so much reality but the epiphany of truth.” Reading Nafisi deeply, respond to the following: What sort of truth (beyond mere “reality”) can we gain access to through fiction, and how is that truth related to “real life”?

Remember to build your own thesis. Support it through engagement with Nafisi’s text.

4 pages