Frankenstein Critical Analysis Evaluation Essay
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.
For this assignment you will write your evaluation essay.
You are required to submit only your final draft for this assignment (though we
encourage all students to take advantage of the additional feedback a draft can
provide). Use the grader’s feedback and the rubric to make revisions to your
draft before submitting the final. Your second draft will be graded.
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.
Choose from among these sources:
Literary Criticism collection: If you use this site, you must choose from the
first seven critiques listed as the final two are not scholarly:
Sherry Ginn's critique:1 http://www.clas.ufl.edu/ipsa/2003/ginn.html
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:
1. Evaluate the
Who wrote the criticism you read? What credentials does the
author have (education, professional career, other publications, etc.)? (If you
are using a credible author, you should be able to find her/his credentials
2. Find the thesis of
What is the thesis of the critical article you’ve chosen?
What point does the author want to make about Frankenstein?
3. Evaluate the
You should avoid reading Ginn’s article too simplistically. A common
misperception is that Ginn is arguing in favor of this novel being an
autobiography, but if you read her article in full, you will find that this
isn’t really the case. If you misinterpret your chosen source, it will affect
your own arguments, so please read carefully.
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
4. Evaluate the
Whether 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 thesis.
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 you 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 both the introduction and the
conclusion. Ensure that each of your claims are supported with valid evidence
from the literary criticism you have chosen, the novel, Frankenstein, and/or
the study guides.
Using proper MLA2 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
(Critic, 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).
(Critic)’s (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:
John Smith uses "Frankenstein Critique Essay" to
adequately argue that Victor's mother created the first monster by coddling
Victor as a boy.
John 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 as follows:
Length: This assignment should be 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)
MLA-style source documentation and Works Cited3
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
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
resource may be helpful as you are making MLA formatting decisions:
Review the course topics for MLA resources. Failure to use MLA style will
result in a reduced grade.