Frankenstein Essay

As a team, select ONE prompt:
  1. The meaning of some literary works is often enhanced by sustained allusion to myths, the Bible, or other works of literature. Write an essay in which you explain the allusion that predominates in Frankensteinand analyze how it enhances Frankenstein’s meaning. Avoid mere plot summary.
  2. The measure of true maturity is the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s actions. In an essay, defend, challenge, or qualify the validity of this assertion. Use evidence from Frankenstein and at least one other source. Avoid mere plot summary.
  3. How is science portrayed in Frankenstein? Consider that this book was written in the midst of vast scientific advances and the advent of the Industrial Revolution. Are we living in a similar period today? What contemporary issues seem based on Frankenstein's-monster-type fears? Write an essay in which you explain the message about science in Frankenstein and at least one other work. Avoid mere plot summary.
  4. It has been said that intelligence and/or knowledge can be both a blessing and a curse. In an essay, defend, challenge, or qualify the validity of this assertion. Use evidence from Frankenstein and at least one other source. Avoid mere plot summary.
  5. The eighteenth-century British novelist Laurence Sterne wrote, “No body, but he who has felt it, can conceive what a plaguing thing it is to have a man’s mind torn asunder by two projects of equal strength, both obstinately pulling in a contrary direction at the same time.” Sometimes the minds of characters are pulled in conflicting directions by two compelling desires, ambitions, obligations, or influences. In a well-organized essay, identify each of the two conflicting forces and explain how this conflict with one character illuminates the meaning of the work as a whole. Avoid mere plot summary.
  6. Morally ambiguous characters whose behavior discourages readers from identifying them as purely evil or purely good are at the heart of many works of literature. Write an essay in which you explain how a specific character can be viewed as morally ambiguous and why his or her moral ambiguity is significant to Frankenstein (and at least one other work) as a whole. Avoid mere plot summary.

Writing a Group Essay:

• Identify individual strengths/weaknesses
Since every group member has different skills and talents, recognizing each member’s unique strengths is essential to maximizing the group’s collective productivity.

• Balance power within the group
In order to ensure success, all group members must be given equal power and authority to both write and modify the paper. Each individual in the group should assume the same level of responsibility for the entire paper.

• Write collaboratively, NOT cooperatively

Several minds are better than one. Resist the temptation to immediately divide the essay into sections and have each person be responsible for one portion. Although it initially may seem more difficult, continuously working together on all parts of the essay increases overall productivity. This approach allows writers to build on the ideas of others and use each other’s perspectives to create a more well-rounded and fluid paper.


  • Immediately dividing the writing into pieces.
  • Procrastination
  • Being a solo group member.
  • Waiting for other group members to do all of the work.
  • Leaving all the end work to one person.
  • Entirely negative critiques.



  • Ideas are divided into multiple paragraphs
  • Opening paragraph hooks the reader and introduces the main idea(s), the sources of proof and ends with a highlighted thesis.
  • A clear thesis, or controlling idea, is maintained throughout the piece.
  • Each body paragraph’s topic sentence has a focus--a clear (highlighted) claim which paragraph will prove. Every paragraph and every sentence directly or indirectly helps to support the thesis.
  • Progression of ideas is both logical and dramatic.
  • Related ideas are kept close together
  • Helpful transitions between sentences, ideas, and paragraphs. A good transition clearly shows the connection between the previous idea and the upcoming idea. A new paragraph usually has a transition in its first sentence.
  • A satisfying conclusion. A conclusion may restate or reinforce the thesis with fresh language or a metaphor or a personal example. It may echo a key image or phrase from earlier in the piece. It may even introduce a new idea for the reader to reflect on. Considers the “so what?” of the topic.


  • Effectively demonstrates strong critical thinking & does not merely summarize the plot
  • Specific examples (2+ CDs per paragraphs) prove or illustrate each idea. Examples go hand and hand with explanation. Good writing intertwines explanations and examples.
  • At least one CD per Frankenstein paragraph = quoted text
  • Examples are embedded in larger sentences and include enough context to make quote meaningful

(Lead-ins set the scene and prevent the “quote from nowhere.”)

  • A full, clear, well-reasoned EXPLANATION (CMs) of each important idea. Links CDs to topic sentence claims.
  • Ratio of example to explanation/analysis is mostly 1:2 = CD:CM


  • Distinctive, appropriate, and consistent tone and point of view.
  • A style that is both correct and compelling
    --concrete language (present tense, strong verbs, precise nouns, specific adjectives, ie avoids “very”)

--absence of cliché, redundancy, judgment, wordiness, speculation, advice, announcements,

inaccurate plot details, personal pronouns (in text paragraphs)

--variety of sentence lengths & structures
--correct grammar and usage, spelling, punctuation, capitalization

  • CDs are properly cited with appropriate source information (Shelley & pg #s fromFrankenstein).
  • Individual writer’s initials are listed at the end of each paragraph that writer crafted.
  • MLA format: in ink, original title, skip lines, last name & pg # upper right corner,

heading in upper left: name/instructor/course/date

  • Ends with an alphabetized works cited list of all sources, formatted correctly

Overall RUBRIC score: _____ / 6Names:Individual Scores: ___ / 50


Group essay points: ______/ 50______



Student editor: ______