An Evaluation of the Autobiographical Qualities in Frankenstein
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
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:
ü ipl2 Literary Criticism collection: If you use this site, you must choose from the first seven critiques listed as the final two are not scholarly:
ü Professor Sherry Ginn’s critique:1 http://www.clas.ufl.edu/ipsa/2003/ginn.html
ü Professor Naomi Hetherington’s
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 (education, professional career, other publications, etc.)? (If you are using a credible author, you should be able to find her/his credentials fairly easily)
- 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:
1 Note: 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 have chosen.
- Evaluate the support:
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, and discuss how this second critique agrees and/or disagrees with the first one. For instance, if the first critic argues that Shelley’s writing is juvenile, does the second critic agree with this assessment? If the first critic believes the novel is autobiographical, does the second critic concur? These are just a few examples of how you can include this second critique in order to have a polished, comprehensive Evaluation Essay of your own.
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.
Hint: 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:
(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:
2 Tip: Review the course topics for MLA resources. Failure to use MLA style will mean a point deduction.
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)
- Current Date
- 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 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.
3 This resource may be helpful as you are making MLA formatting decisions: