Write an interpretive essay focusing on representations of the alien in the novel Dracula. The paper must consider the novel in its historical context and apply one of the theories of monsters studied in this course to produce an interpretation, taking one of the discussion topics as a starting point. It should support that interpretation through close reading, including detailed analysis of specific scenes and incorporation of quotation.
The essay should demonstrate an ability to formulate a strong, potentially controversial argument that makes a significant, interesting claim about the assigned work and supports that claim by supplying textual evidence appropriately cited. To achieve an original argument, the paper should have a tight thematic focus, drawing attention through close reading to interesting aspects of the text. Furthermore, the essay should be well organized and edited to ensure clarity of communication and to eliminate distracting errors.
The opening paragraph of the essay should introduce the author and text, making sure to spell the author’s name correctly and to italicize the name of the novel, Dracula (but not the character, Count Dracula). It should also include the original publication date for the novel, 1897, and provide some historical context relevant to the topic of the paper. In addition, it should explicitly ground its argument in Cohen’s monster theory. Finally, it should conclude with a thesis statement that sets forth the argument of the paper clearly and concisely in the form of a main claim and subclaims. This introductory paragraph can be submitted in advance for feedback and extra credit.
The completed essay should be approximately 6 pages long, double-spaced with a standard 12 point font and margin.
The essay should be submitted both in the regular Blackboard dropbox and in the TurnItIn Dropbox, either as a docx or pdf attachment by midnight on the due date. Thereafter, penalties for lateness apply (see the syllabus).
Essays will be evaluated for argumentation (thesis construction, logic, persuasiveness, originality, and theoretical sophistication), support (evidence and citation), and communication (organization, clarity, style, mechanics, and grammar). See the sample papers provided on Blackboard for models of how to analyze literary works.
Students must produce individual interpretations of the texts under consideration and should not research the topic or make use of outside sources such as the internet without pre-approval from the instructor; use of words or ideas from unacknowledged sources constitutes plagiarism and will result in failure of the course. Citations should follow MLA format. See “How to Write about Literature,” “Guide to Citation,” “Guide to Quotation,” and “Guide to Paraphrase” on Blackboard for help with citation of books, electronic books, films, etc. For additional help, email me or ask a UHD librarian or a tutor at UHD’s Writing and Reading Center, or go to the website The OWL (Online Writing Lab at Purdue).
When citing course materials from Blackboard written by the professor use the following model:
Lund, Giuliana. “Dracula Discussion, Topic One.” Alien Invasions in Fiction and Film. Blackboard. UHD. Aug. 2018. (Date course began and materials were uploaded).
Students wishing individual help with papers should take advantage of the professor’s office hours and online tutoring through UHD’s Writing and Reading Center. Address questions to Prof. Lund at email@example.com or the Course Help page.