Note: Please review the source guidelines below very carefully. If
you do not choose from the provided sources below, this will cause a
grading delay and you will need to resubmit the assignment.
Now that you have completed Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, you are in a good position to consider what critics have written about the novel. You will need a total of two critiques (also known as critical analysis essays) for this assignment.
First, use the selection of links below
to locate a critical analysis essay written about the 1818 version of
Mary Shelley’s novel. You may focus most of your attention on this first
critique. If the author of your critique is not specified, focus on the publication of the critique.
Choose from among these sources:
- Romantic Circle’s Critiques:
- Professor Naomi Hetherington’s critique
The questions in the study guides should have helped you evaluate this criticism in your head. Now it’s time to write it down!
Your evaluation may go more smoothly if you approach the guiding questions in this order:
Evaluate the critic/author:
Who wrote the criticism you read? What credentials does the author
have? (If you are using a valid source, you should be able to find
Find the thesis of the article:
What is the thesis of the critical article you’ve chosen? What point does the author want to make about Frankenstein?
Evaluate the thesis:
Do you agree with this thesis? Why or why not? We’ve covered many
ideas in the study guides. Can you find points within the guides that
support your agreement or disagreement with the critical writer(s)? Look
for new supporting information rather than revisiting the same ones the
critics have chosen.
Evaluate the support:
you agree or disagree with the thesis, does the critic provide
sufficient research from the text and outside references to make a
strong case? What does the article have for support from the text or
outside sources? In your opinion, what makes these references valid? Do
you feel the author uses this support properly?
Next, locate a
second critique about the novel that includes ideas somewhat similar
(genre classification, for instance) to any of the discussions you have
in your essay. The second critique can either support or refute any of
the claims in your paper. The objective of this portion of the essay is
to further support your opinion of the primary critic’s thesis or
support. Therefore, for example, if you choose a secondary article that
refutes any of your claims, you will need to counteract those ideas to
bring the focus of your essay back in alignment with your essay’s thesis
(your personal opinion of how the primary critic is either correct or
incorrect in his or her thesis claim and/or how the first critic is
either effective or ineffective in his or her support). Every discussion
in this essay should ultimately support the claim you make in your
For instance, if the first critic argues that
Shelley’s writing is juvenile, and if you agree, does the second critic
also support this thesis? How so? If the second critic does not support
your assessment of the first critic’s thesis, what evidence can you use
from the text to argue that the second critic is incorrect? Consider
another example: if the first critic believes the novel is
autobiographical, and if you disagree, does the second critic help you
argue your own view of the first critic’s thesis? If so, how? Perhaps
the second critic disagrees with your view and feels the novel is
autobiographical– if that’s the case, be prepared to use evidence from
the text to refute the second critic’s thesis and support your own
argument. Using two critiques in this way will allow you to create a
polished, comprehensive Evaluation Essay that allows you to connect your
own ideas to those of seasoned critics.
In addition to
addressing each of the evaluative components above, develop your essay
so it has a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. You must include
an evaluative thesis statement in both the introduction and the
conclusion. Ensure that each of your claims is supported with valid
evidence from the literary criticism you have chosen; the novel, Frankenstein; and/or the study guides.
Using proper MLA style, insert parenthetical citations for all borrowed information in addition to a Works Cited page for Frankenstein and your chosen literary critiques; you are not required to cite the study guides if you use them.
Helpful Hints: For a thesis statement, try answering a question like: How and how well does this piece of criticism state and support its argument regarding Frankenstein?
You might use these as possible guidelines in crafting your thesis statement:
aka author of the critique) uses (add critic title) to (add an
adjective to describe the effectiveness of the argument such as
“adequately” or “inadequately”) argue that (add critic’s thesis) by
(explain why and/or include your support).
(add critique title) (add an adjective to describe the effectiveness of
the argument such as “adequately” or “inadequately”) argue that (add
critic’s thesis) because (explain why and/or include your support).
More specific thesis examples:
Smith uses “Frankenstein Critique Essay” to adequately argue that
Victor’s mother created the first monster by coddling Victor as a boy.
Smith’s “Frankenstein Critique Essay” does not effectively argue that
Victor’s mother created the first monster because the novel Frankenstein
too strongly supports inherent good or bad, which means nurturing roles
cannot be held responsible.
The guidelines for this assignment are:
Length: This assignment should be a minimum of 3 typed pages or at least 750 words.
Header: Include a header in the upper left-hand corner of your writing assignment with the following information:
- Your first and last name
- Course Title (Composition II)
- Assignment name (Evaluation Essay, Writing Assignment 4)
- Current Date
- MLA-style source documentation and Works Cited
- Your last name and page number in the upper-right corner of each page
- Double-spacing throughout
- Standard font (TimesNewRoman, Calibri)
- Title, centered after heading
- 1” margins on all sides
- Save the file using one of the following extensions: .docx, .doc, .rtf, or .txt
Underline your thesis statement in the introductory paragraph.
Reminder: You need at least two critiques
in addition to the novel in Works Cited in order to receive the highest
score. In other words, you need three sources total in cited in the
essay and on the Works Cited page in order to earn the maximum points in
the corresponding column on the grading rubric. Failure to meet the source minimum will result in a severe decrease in your grade.