Critical Response Essay

Critical Response Essay (Outline)

Use the outline below, or another one you found, to create an outline for your Critical Response Essay.


Attention Grabber:The two words Belissa cursed Colonel making him lose his “manhood”.

Introduce author and text(s) used: Two Words “Isabel Allende”

Thesis: In the short story “Two words” Isabel Allende portrays the power of words through a character named Belissa. The power of words is often underestimated. An individual may face crisis and obstacles however, the will and motivation to get out of it, can lead to great discoveries of hidden strength and ultimately change your own life and lives around. Belissa determination saved her for great crises and her willingness and curiosity led her to master the art of words and find a honorable occupation for herself.

Introduce Subtopics: (indicate a minimum of 3 points to be developed—one for each body paragraph, either as individual sentences or one sentence):


Body Paragraph 1

Main Idea: Belissa is independent determined and the crisis she faced only motivated her.

Topic Sentence: Belissa was born into an unprivileged, poor family, but she was dedicated to fight the poverty and find a better life for herself. She wants to trick death unlike her siblings and find a way to build a better future.

Point 1 – Supporting evidence and details, including at least 1 or 2 quotations from each text

•   Belissa was born in a such poverty that’s her family couldn’t afford to name her.

•    Her siblings passed away due to starvation and she was next in line. But she knew she wanted to be more than a “quitter” and fight for her life.

•    She finally “decided to set out across the plains in the direction of the sea, in hopes that she might trick death along the way.”

Transition Sentence: Even though she faced lots of crisis growing, she didn’t lose hope; through her independence and willingness she gathered courage to move on in hopes of finding a better life.  

Body Paragraph 2

Main Idea: Belissa find newspaper which is the first step towards her journey for becoming a writer.

Topic Sentence: After many obstacles and hardship Bellisa finally saved herself and accidently discovered writing.

Point 2 – Supporting evidence and details, including at least 1 or 2 quotations from each text

•   When she is at the village she sees a newspaper but she doesn’t know what it was because she is not educated yet she was curious and eager to learn.

• That day she discovered words and “with a little cleverness can appropriate them and do business with them” and make great living out of it.

•    If she had stayed back home she would have been working as either servant or a prostitute however selling words was an” honorable alternative”. She made saving to pay the priest to teach her to read and write.

Transition Sentence: Belissa determination saved her life but also led to discover words which became an honorable alterative against the jobs she would somewhat qualify for.

Body Paragraph 3

Main Idea: Belissa is kidnapped by El Mulato and the Colonel men.

Topic Sentence: Belissa is ow known for her work all around so as the Colonel, so he sends his trusted men to bring her to him to help him write a speech for presidential chair.

Point 3 – Supporting evidence and details, including at least 1 or 2 quotations from each text

•    EL Muloto is a giant known for his speed of knife. He is there to take Belissa with him to help Colonel write a speech to become a president. They have been in the civil war, are tough and cold, and they recklessly “bound her hand and foot, and throw her like a sea bag across the rump of El Mulato's mount” and head towards the hill.

•Colonel wants Belissa to sell her words for the speech. “Fearing that El Mulato will shoot her between the eyes, or worse still, that the Colonel would burst into tears” she agrees to write the speech. After the speech instead of charging the Colonel she gives him a gift of two words. Colonel believes it’s a cursed word. It greatly affected him and his health.El Mulato sets out to find Belissa to take her words back.

•El Mulato describes to Belissa that Colonel isn’t in great shape. Her secret words have left him weaker than any battle he’s fought. He bring back Beliisa to take her words back and give back the Colonel “manhood”. But El Mulato realized he wouldn’t give back those word either” because the whole world could see the voracious-puma eyes soften as the woman walked to him and took his hand in hers”


Transition Sentence: colonel was known as a tough cold- hearted person who had fought many battles yet, Belissa simple attempt and the two secret words greatly affected the Colonel, turning him into a soft, genuine person.


Re-wording of Thesis: Belissa was an independent and courageous girl. She faced many difficulties and obstacles growing up yet, she was courageous enough to walk away from it and save pesos to pay the priest to learn to read and write. She mastered the use of words and became popular fir her work. At the end she ultimately changed Colonel whom no one could change before. Her perseverance and drive to make a better future for herself took or from nothing to becoming a recognized writer.

Re-introduction of author and text: Two Words “Isabel Allende”

Summary of Main Ideas: After tremendous effort she finally set out across the pans into a small village, where she discovers words through a sport’s newspaper. She saved pesos to pay the priest to teach her and buy a dictionary for herself. She is kidnapped by El Mulato to help write a speech for the Colonel to run for the Presidential chair, but she gives him the gift of two words which affects the Colonel to the point where he slowly melts away and change as a person as well.

Generalization: The power of words is underestimated. Words are like bullets, once fired can’t take it back however it can leave a great impact. The correct and clever use of words can change anyone’s life and also master the art of it.