Due: Th 10/13 in hard copy & via email (as Word attachment) at the beginning of class
Revised due date: W 12/14 by 12pm via email (as Word attachment)

Based on your reading of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) and your independent research into relevant primary/contextual materials and secondary sources, write an essay that you plan to revise into a conference paper by the end of the semester (approximately 2,000-2,500 words, excluding your works cited). Although you are already planning to revise your essay, the essay you submit should not be a first draft. Rather, it should be a thoroughly researched, organized, and well-written essay, and your argument should be original, specific, in conversation with recent scholarship on your topic, and bear signs of having been refined throughout your writing process. You should make use of the various texts assigned in this course to help you refine your reading, research, argument, evidence, and writing – including, especially, the works by Booth, Birkenstein & Graff, and Strunk & White.

I will offer you comments on the essay your turn in on Th 10/13. You will use these comments as well as assigned readings and class discussions that follow to revise your essay in preparation for presentation at a specific professional, academic conference. You will also craft a 250 abstract that you can use to submit your presentation for consideration at that conference, should you chose to pursue that opportunity. Your final version of your essay will be graded.

Below are some general guidelines for writing graduate-level essays:

Graduate-level essays include*

  • a clear, original, and tenable thesis that is in dialogue with the broader field of study of which it is a part;
  • discussion and analysis of appropriate examples based on careful readings of assigned texts as well as independently-located sources in direct support of the thesis;
  • a selection of secondary sources that are recent, and when necessary for your argument, foundational. Your use of secondary sources should also reflect your work on specific topics and theoretical concepts. A good rule of thumb: you should engage with at least as many secondary sources as there are pages in your essay;
  • critical engagement of these secondary sources–i.e., not simply a summary of sources but a response to sources that locates the essay in an ongoing scholarly conversation about the topic, the author(s), and/or or the text under study;
  • precise and proper use of facts, conventions, mechanics, proofreading, and discipline-appropriate citation style.

*co-written with Barry Milligan

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