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English 101 Hoffman

The Standard Argumentative Essay: A Recipe

Introduction (One paragraph)

Hook the reader

· Direct quotation

· Short anecdote

· Interesting fact or statistic

· Definition of a key term

· Rhetorical question

· Example

· Hypothetical situation

Introduce the subject and focus of the essay

Present the thesis

Concession (One paragraph)

These are the arguments that the other side presents

· Must be done fairly

· Use research; do not rely just on common knowledge

· Be careful with transitions at the beginning and end

Rebuttal arguments are your response to the concession arguments (either a separate paragraph or integrated into the main body)

· Yes, but…

· No, not true

· The point is irrelevant

Main body paragraphs (3 to whatever paragraphs)

· Topic sentence

· Evidence & analysis

· Wrap-up sentence


· Restate the thesis

· Look at the Big Picture (Answer the question, “So what?”)

· Clincher

Marco Bottigelli/Getty Images

Why Do We
Create Monsters?

With our current culture’s emphasis on reason and science, the notion of a monster seems quaint, possibly romantic-harking back to a time when people believed more readily
in fantastic phenomena. Yet the allure of monsters today is still strong.

Whether it is the vampire, the zombie, the werewolf, Frankenstein’s

creature, or some other being of a mystical but threatening character, the

twenty-first century does not seem to lack for monsters. Perhaps, as many

psychologists, historians, social critics, and others have suggested, we

need monsters to symbolize our fears. If so, we need to investigate how

monsters encapsulate those fears and what those fears suggest about

us and the values of our time. Vampires are as popular today as ever,

yet the vampire stories told by Stephenie Meyer are a far cry from the

one written by Bram Stoker in the nineteenth century. The zombie enjoys

wide popularity these days, but its close cousin, the mummy, no longer

resonates within the popular imagination. Why is the brain-eating zombie an

appropriate monster for today’s fears but a suffocating mummy is not?

Monsters reflect the anxieties of the cultures that create them. In

analyzing these monsters, we can learn something about the people of

those periods. Stephen King, perhaps the most famous and prolific horror

writer today, explains the attraction we have to being frightened. We cannot

always be calm and rational because inside all of us is the inner lunatic who

needs to be let out once in a while to race about and howl at the moon.

Mary Shelley anticipated the great upheavals that science and industry

would bring to the nineteenth century. She tells the story of Dr. Victor

Frankenstein, who builds a monster from the various parts of dead people.

animated by the power of electricity, the creature’s awakening horrifies

even its own creator. As Shelley would later explain, her creative inspiration

came not out of a void, but out of chaos: the chaos of her time. Susan

Tyler Hitchcock describes the political, social, scientific, personal, and

even environmental anxieties of the particular time in which Shelley wrote

photo: Marco Bottigelli/Getty Images



Frankenstein. A pair of contemporary filmmakers, Guillermo del Toro and

Chuck Hogan, examine the enduring popularity of the vampire myth,

which goes back to ancient times and is arguably as strong in modern

imaginations as ever. They point out that the vampire connects us to the

concept of eternity. Chuck Klosterman examines the zombie phenomenon

and argues that the zombie is a suitable metaphor for the obstacles we

must conquer just to get through our daily lives. Peter H. Brothers examines

the influences behind the making of the movie Godzilla in post-World War II

Japan. Director Ishiro Honda created a monster that seemed to encapsulate

the fears of a nation that experienced the trauma of atomic warfare and the

humiliation of defeat. The monster, with its destructive potential, serves as

a symbol of science — and human ambition — run amok. Clarisse Loughrey

discusses how the internet and other new digital technologies have given

rise to a new monster — Slender Man — a character whose roots are in

older tales but who comes with disturbing new twists. Examining threats at

a national level, Stephen T. Asma argues that events such as the terrorist

attacks of September 11, 2001, and the Great Recession drive our need for

monsters. The promise is that if we can control the monster, we can control

our lives.

The monster is a response to the world around us, and since the

world never stops bringing crises, threats, and uncertainties, our need

for monsters doesn’t end either. Sometimes we modify a long-standing

monster such as the vampire to fit the psychological needs of our times;

other times we construct a new monster, as Mary Shelley did in the

nineteenth century or internet users have done today. Whatever the case,

these monsters are sure to both frighten and, ironically, reassure us that

there may be a good reason for our fears after all.


Wh V We C rave Stephen King is one of the most
J # popular and prolific horror

H o r r o r M o v i e s writers of our time. His works
S t e p h e n K i n g i n c l u d e ( 1 9 7 4 ) ,

r & (1977), The Dead Zone (1979),
and Misery (1987), all of which

have been made into popular movies. A native of Maine, King began writing
for his college newspaper at the University of Maine. Later, he wrote short
stories for men’s magazines and received his first big break when he
published Carrie in 1974. The following essay, which initially appeared in
Playboy magazine in January 1981, is an excerpt from King’s book Danse
Macabre (1981). King argues that the horror movie performs a helpful task,
taking on feelings, urges, and impulses that don’t fit neatly into the rational,
reasonable, and sane parts of our lives. Indeed, King proposes that the
horror movie gives “psychic relief” because in most parts of our lives,
“simplicity, irrationality and even outright madness” are so rarely allowed. As
such, the horror film functions like a pressure-release valve for the inner
monster we must typically repress.

I think that we’re all mentally ill; those of us outside the asylums only
I hide it a little better—and maybe not all that much better, after all.
We’ve all known people who talk to themselves, people who sometimes
squinch their faces into horrible grimaces when they believe no one is
watching, people who have some hysterical fear—of snakes, the dark,
the tight place, the long drop . . . and, of course, those final worms and
grubs that are waiting so patiently underground.

When we pay our four or five bucks and seat ourselves at tenth-row
center in a theater showing a horror movie, we are daring the nightmare.

y? Some of the reasons are simple and obvious. To show that we
can, that we are not afraid, that we can ride this roller coaster. Which
is not to say that a really good horror movie may not surprise a scream
out o us at some point, the way we may scream when the roller coaster
Wists t rough a complete 360 or plows through a lake at the bottom of

rop. And horror movies, like roller coasters, have always been the
specia province of the young; by the time one turns 40 or 50, one’s appe-
1 °U C twists or 360-degree loops may be considerably depleted.

e a so go to re-establish our feelings of essential normality; the hor-
thP h °V1ki1S in”atelY conservative, even reactionary. Freda Jackson as

f 8 W°man in Die> Monster> Die! confirms for us that no
matter how far we may be removed from the beauty of a Robert Redford
or a Diana Ross, we are still light-years from true ugliness.

KING Why We Crave Horror Movies 17

And we go to have fun.
Ah, but this is where the ground starts to slope away, isn’t it? Because

this is a very peculiar sort of fun, indeed. The fun comes from seeing
others menaced—sometimes killed. One critic has suggested that if pro
football has become the voyeur’s version of combat, then the horror film
has become the modern version of the public lynching.

It is true that the mythic “fairy-tale” horror film intends to take away
the shades of gray. … It urges us to put away our more civilized and
adult penchant for analysis and to become children again, seeing things
in pure blacks and whites. It may be that horror movies provide psychic
relief on this level because this invitation to lapse into simplicity, irratio­
nality and even outright madness is extended so rarely. We are told we
may allow our emotions a free rein … or no rein at all.

If we are all insane, then sanity becomes a matter of degree. If your
insanity leads you to carve up women like Jack the Ripper or the Cleve­
land Torso Murderer, we clap you away in the funny farm (but neither
of those two amateur-night surgeons was ever caught, heh-heh-heh); if,
on the other hand, your insanity leads you only to talk to yourself when
you’re under stress or to pick your nose on your morning bus, then you
are left alone to go about your business . . . though it is doubtful that you
will ever be invited to the best parties.

The potential lyncher is in almost all of us (excluding saints, past and
present; but then, most saints have been crazy in their own ways), and
every now and then, he has to be let loose to scream and roll around in
the grass. Our emotions and our fears form their own body, and we rec­
ognize that it demands its own exercise to maintain proper muscle tone.
Certain of these emotional muscles are accepted—even exalted in civi­
lized society; they are, of course, the emotions that tend to maintain the
status quo of civilization itself. Love, friendship, loyalty, kindness these
are all the emotions that we applaud, emotions that have been immortal­
ized in the couplets of Hallmark cards and in the verses (I don’t dare call
it poetry) of Leonard Nimoy.°

When we exhibit these emotions, society showers us with positive
reinforcement; we learn this even before we get out of diapers. When, as
children, we hug our rotten little puke of a sister and give her a kiss, all
the aunts and uncles smile and twit and cry, “Isn’t he the sweetest little
thing?” Such coveted treats as chocolate-covered graham crackers often
follow. But if we deliberately slam the rotten little puke of a sister’s fingers

Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015): American actor best known for playing Spock in the
original Star Trek television series. He later turned to poetry, music, and other artistic

18 Why Do We Create Monsters?

in the door, sanctions follow—angry remonstrance from parents, aunts
and uncles; instead of a chocolate-covered graham cracker, a spanking.

But anticivilization emotions don’t go away, and they demand peri­
odic exercise. We have such “sick” jokes as, “What’s the difference
between a truckload of bowling balls and a truckload of dead babies?”
(You can’t unload a truckload of bowling balls with a pitchfork … a

n joke, by the way, that I heard originally
The mythic horror movie . . . from a ten-year-old.) Such a joke may

deliberately appeals to all surprise a laugh or a grin out of us even
that is worst in us.” recoil, a possibility that confirms

the thesis: If we share a brotherhood of
man, then we also share an insanity of man. None of which is intended
as a defense of either the sick joke or insanity but merely as an explana­
tion of why the best horror films, like the best fairy tales, manage to be
reactionary, anarchistic, and revolutionary all at the same time.

The mythic horror movie, like the sick joke, has a dirty job to do. It
deliberately appeals to all that is worst in us. It is morbidity unchained,
our most base instincts let free, our nastiest fantasies realized … and it
all happens, fittingly enough, in the dark. For those reasons, good liber­
als often shy away from horror films. For myself, I like to see the most
aggressive of them — Dawn of the Dead, for instance — as lifting a trap
door in the civilized forebrain and throwing a basket of raw meat to the
hungry alligators swimming around in that subterranean river beneath.

Why bother? Because it keeps them from getting out, man. It keeps
them down there and me up here. It was Lennon and McCartney who
said that all you need is love, and I would agree with that.

As long as you keep the gators fed.

Understanding the Text
1. King states that when we see a horror film, we are “daring the nightmare”

(par. 2). What does he mean by that?

2. King uses the metaphor of “emotional muscles” that need exercise (par. 9).
borne of these emotions are seen as positive in that they maintain civilization.

f®SOn?e em°ti°ns that don’t maintain the social status quo,
and why do they still need to be exercised?

3′ whilmS h6hVily °n metaPhors and allusions to create a humorous tone
What iS the advanta9e Of approaching the topic

KING Why We Crave Horror Movies 19

4. How would you describe the tone King uses in this article? What advantage
does this give him in addressing his subject matter? In what ways might the
tone limit what King does?

Reflection and Response
5. Consider your own experience with horror films. Are you a fan of horror or

not? If so, what about horror attracts you, and if not, what repels you? Now
consider your response in light of King’s statement “We also go [to horror
films] to re-establish our feelings of essential normality” (par. 4). Does your
response to horror connect to your feelings of normality? If so, how?

6. King argues that we have some emotions that are affirming of civilization
and its norms and others that are not — or, “anticivilization emotions,” as
he terms them (par. 11). Identify and analyze how these negative emotions
are “exercised” (to use King’s metaphor, par. 9) in your own life experiences
beyond watching horror films.

Making Connections
7. Compare King’s essay with Chuck Klosterman’s “My Zombie, Myself: Why

Modern Life Feels Rather Undead” (p. 39). How does Klosterman differ from
King in his analysis of the need for horror in people’s lives? In what ways are
the two in agreement? Explain your responses using specific textual support
from both essays.

8. King reports that one critic said, “the horror film has become the modern
version of the public lynching” (par. 6). King continues the metaphor when
he claims, “The potential lyncher is in almost all of us” (par. 9). Do some
research on the history of lynching in the United States. After your research,
argue whether the comparison between public lynching and horror films
is either fair and accurate or overdone and exaggerated. Defend your

From Frankenstein:
born in 1797 to celebrated radical

The Modern thinkers William Godwin and Mary
Prometheus WollstonecraMhe porting
r I w l l i c L i i c u o f e m i n i s t w r i t e r w h o d i e d j u s t d a y s

M a r y Sh e l l e y after Mary was bom. Godwin
recognized his daughter’s intellect

and gave her a rich education, raising her to follow his liberal political ideals and
become a writer. However, he withdrew his support when sixteen-year-old Mary
became attached to the twenty-one-year-old poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, who
was already famous and married to another woman. In 1816, Mary traveled with
Shelley to Geneva, where she answered a writing challenge with one of the most
enduring works and characters of Western literature. Her creation, Frankenstein,
was first published in 1818 and has lived on in the popular imagination ever
since. In this passage, after almost two years of hard work in his laboratory,
Victor Frankenstein beholds his own creation, only to react with horror at what he
has done.

11 was on a dreary night of November that I beheld the accomplishment
I of my toils. With an anxiety that almost amounted to agony, I collected
the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being
into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet. It was already one in the morn­
ing; the rain pattered dismally against the panes, and my candle was
nearly burnt out, when, by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light,
I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard, and
a convulsive motion agitated its limbs.

How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate
the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavored
to form? His limbs were in proportion, and 1 had selected his features
as beautiful. Beautiful! Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the
work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black,
and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances only
formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost
of the same color as the dun-white sockets in which they were set, his
shriveled complexion and straight black lips.

The different accidents of life are not so changeable as the feelings
o uman nature. 1 had worked hard for nearly two years, for the sole
purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body. For this I had deprived
myse of rest and health. I had desired it with an ardor that far exceeded
ict? fIa ?^’ kut now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream van-

e , and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart. Unable to endure


SHELLEY From Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus 21

the aspect of the being I had created, I rushed out of the room and con­
tinued a long time traversing my bed-chamber, unable to compose my
mind to sleep. At length lassitude succeeded to the tumult I had before
endured, and I threw myself on the bed in my clothes, endeavoring to
seek a few moments of forgetfulness. But it was in vain; I slept, indeed,
but I was disturbed by the wildest dreams. I thought I saw Elizabeth,
in the bloom of health, walking in the streets of Ingolstadt.0 Delighted
and surprised, I embraced her,
but as I imprinted the first kiss
on her lips, they became livid
with the hue of death; her fea­
tures appeared to change, and I
thought that I held the corpse of
my dead mother in my arms; a
shroud enveloped her form, and
1 saw the grave-worms crawling in the folds of the flannel. I started from
my sleep with horror; a cold dew covered my forehead, my teeth chat­
tered, and every limb became convulsed; when, by the dim and yellow
light of the moon, as it forced its way through the window shutters, I
beheld the wretch—the miserable monster whom I had created. He held
up the curtain of the bed; and his eyes, if eyes they may be called, were
fixed on me. His jaws opened, and he muttered some inarticulate sounds,
while a grin wrinkled his cheeks. He might have spoken, but I did not
hear; one hand was stretched out, seemingly to detain me, but I escaped
and rushed downstairs. I took refuge in the courtyard belonging to the
house which I inhabited, where I remained during the rest of the night,
walking up and down in the greatest agitation, listening attentively,
catching and fearing each sound as if it were to announce the approach
of the demoniacal corpse to which I had so miserably given life.

Oh! No mortal could support the horror of that countenance.
A mummy again endued with animation could not be so hideous as
that wretch. I had gazed on him while unfinished; he was ugly then,
but when those muscles and joints were rendered capable of motion, it
became a thing such as even Dante could not have conceived.

“By the dim and yellow light of the

moon, as it forced its way through

the window shutters, I beheld the

wretch — the miserable monster

whom I had created.”

Ingolstadt: a city in Germany along the Danube River.

22 Why Do We Create Monsters?

Understanding the Text
1. Immediately after he animates the creature, Frankenstein calls the act a

“catastrophe” (par. 2). Why? Examine the details of Frankenstein’s description
of the creature to support your answer.

2. Frankenstein awakens from a bad dream only to confront the reality of his
creation. What effect does Shelley create by juxtaposing the dream with the
curious monster’s invasion of Frankenstein’s bedchamber?

3. Why does Frankenstein call his own creation a “demoniacal corpse” (par. 3)?
If his creation is a demon, what does that say about Frankenstein as a

4. Sometimes authors will use allusions — references to other creative works,
events, or people — to advance an idea. This passage concludes with
Dr. Frankenstein referencing “Dante” (par. 4). Who was Dante, and how does
this allusion further develop the horror of Dr. Frankenstein’s observations?

Reflection and Response
5. Analyze Frankenstein’s immediate repulsion toward his creation. What is the

basis of his repulsion? Note that Frankenstein claims he had “selected [the
creature’s] features as beautiful” (par. 2). What is the relationship between
beauty and horror? Cite specific passages from the text to support your

6. Frankenstein’s nightmare begins with a healthy Elizabeth (his love interest),
who then turns into the corpse of his dead mother in his arms. How does
this dream sequence relate to Frankenstein’s actions in giving life to the

7. How does the creature act? Does the lack of aggression surprise you, given
the typical popular culture depictions of Frankenstein’s monster? Describe
the action in this passage from the point of view of the monster.

Making Connections
8. In his essay “Monsters and the Moral Imagination” (p. 59), Stephen T. Asma

argues that there are cultural uses for monsters — that they somehow reflect
the anxieties of their time. Investigate the culture and time in which Mary
Shelley was writing (1816) and argue how time and place came to influence
the story of Frankenstein.

9. Compare the passage of the creature’s awakening with film depictions of
the same. Some choices include the classic movie Frankenstein (1931), an
updated version of Frankenstein (1994), and an even more recent take on the
story, I, Frankenstein (2014). What differences do you see from the original
story by Shelley, and what is the significance of those differences?

Conception Susan Tyler Hitchcock is a
book editor for the National
Geographic Society and an S u s a n T y l e r H i t c h c o c k
author of numerous books. In

this excerpt from Frankenstein: A Cultural History (2007), Hitchcock describes
two of the leading literary figures of their day — Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe
Shelley — and the challenge they took part in during the summer of 1816. The two
men — accompanied by Byron’s physician, John Polidori; Shelley’s young lover,
Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, and their newborn son; and Mary’s stepsister Claire
Clairmont — had settled in Geneva that summer. The weather was unusually cold
and rainy, probably the result of a volcanic eruption in far-off Indonesia. But the time,
place, climate, and personal relationships of the companions made possible the
creation of not one but two famous monster stories, neither by the famous poets:
Frankenstein by Mary Godwin (later Mary Shelley) and The Vampyre by John Polidori.

Archetypes make their way into the conscious part of the mind
seemingly from the outside and of their own accord. They are
autonomous, sometimes forcing themselves in overpoweringly.
They have a numinous quality; that is, they have an aura of divin­
ity which is mysterious or terrifying. They are from the unknown.

It would have been naive to think it was possible to have prevented

The weather was strange all summer long in 1816. Twice in April the year before, Indonesia’s Mount Tamboro had erupted—the largest vol­
canic eruption in history—spewing masses of dust into the atmosphere,
which lingered and dimmed the sun’s rays throughout the northern lat­
itudes. Temperatures stayed at record lows. In New England killing frosts
occurred all summer. In Europe crops — deprived of light and bogged
down with too much rain—did not ripen. Grain prices doubled. In India
food shortages triggered a famine, which very likely led to the cholera epi­
demic that spread west during the next two decades, infecting thousands
in Europe and North America. Fierce storms of hail, thunder, and light­
ning swept through many regions. It was a dreary season indeed.

“An almost perpetual rain confines us principally to the house,” wrote
eighteen-year-old Mary Godwin to her half sister Fanny. “The thunder
storms that visit us are grander and more terrific than I have ever seen

— WILSON M. HUDSON, Folklorist

— IAN WILMUT, Embryologist Responsible

for Dolly, the Cloned Sheep


24 Why Do We Create Monsters?

before.” She wrote from a house on the eastern bank of Lake Geneva,
into which she had just moved with three fellow travelers: Percy Bysshe
Shelley, her twenty-three-year-old lover; Claire Clairmont, her stepsister,
also eighteen; and little William, the infant son born to her and Shelley
in January. Nearly five months old, the baby—”Willmouse,” as they
called him—would have been smiling and reaching out to grasp a fin­
ger offered to him. One calm evening when they had first arrived, just
the three of them — father, mother, child — had gone out on the lake in
a little skiff at twilight. They skimmed noiselessly across the lake’s glassy
surface, watching the sun sink behind the dark frown of the Jura Moun­
tains. Since then, though, storms had moved in. They did at least provide
entertainment. “We watch them as they approach,” Mary wrote Fanny,

observing the lightning play among the clouds in various parts of the heav­
ens One night we enjoyed a finer storm than I had ever before beheld. The
lake was lit up—the pines on Jura made visible, and all the scene illuminated
for an instant, when a pitchy blackness succeeded, and the thunder came in
frightful bursts over our heads amid the darkness.

Beyond the weather there was an excitement simply in being in
Geneva, the intellectual birthplace of the French and American Revolu­
tions. Mary described in her letter to Fanny the obelisk just outside the
city, built in honor of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, once banished from his
city but now recognized as an intellectual hero. Rousseau had declared
that the imperfections and suffering in human life arose not from nature
but from society. Human beings had only to free themselves from social
oppression and prejudice in order to regain their native joy and liberty.
A shared commitment to that idea had bonded her mother and father
in an all-too-brief partnership; had drawn the young poet Percy Bysshe
Shelley to her father, William Godwin, the radical philosopher he most
revered; and had flamed the passion between herself and Shelley from
the moment they met.

That first meeting had taken place in 1814, when she was sixteen and
he was twenty-one. Now, two years later, they were making a house­
hold together. She could find pleasure simply in that: In those two
years they had been such wanderers. First this odd threesome, she and
Shelley and Claire, had sneaked out of London on a dark night in July
1814 and trekked through France and Germany on barely any money.
Three months later they returned to London and found themselves
roundly shunned. Shelley was, after all, married to another and father
to a child. That November, Harriet Shelley had given birth to a second
c ild. Now, in the summer of 1816, the legal Mrs. Shelley was raising

HITCHCOCK Conception 25

Ianthe and Charles—a girl aged three, a boy eighteen months—on her
own. Shelley rationalized his behavior with a philosophy of free love.
“Love,” he would write, “differs from gold and clay: / That to divide is
not to take away.” His passions—Mary, liberty, poetry, atheism—meant
more to him than his responsibility for an estranged and earthly family.

Life with Mary, however, soon developed its own earthly obliga- 5
tions. She had become pregnant during the 1814 escapade and stayed
wretchedly sick through it all. In those times, and especially in Mary’s
own experience, birth and death mingled inextricably. Her own mother,
Mary Wollstonecraft, had never risen from bed after giving birth to her.
An infection developed, the fever never ceased, and Wollstonecraft died
ten days after childbirth. Fear certainly exacerbated young Mary God­
win’s condition. On February 22, 1815, a daughter was born prematurely,
“unexpectedly alive, but still not expected to live,” as Shelley wrote in
a journal. One week later parents, baby, and Claire moved from one end
of London to the other, from Pimlico to Hans Place. “A bustle of mov­
ing,” Mary wrote in her journal on March 2. Four days later she wrote:
“find my baby dead … a miserable day.” She managed to write
a letter to a friend: “It was perfectly well when I went to bed—I awoke
in the night to give it suck[. I]t appeared to be sleeping so quietly that I
would not awake it — it was dead then but we did not find that out till
morning—from its appearance it evedently [sic] died of convulsions.”
The child was never given a name.

Meanwhile Harriet Shelley pleaded for help for her two children from
the fathers of both her husband and his runaway lover. Timothy Shelley,
a baronet of ample means, felt fury over family shame more than any­
thing else and clamped down viciously on his son’s access to any inher­
itance. William Godwin, now remarried, no longer enjoyed popularity
as a radical author. He and his wife barely made ends meet by running
a bookshop and publishing books for children. They shared …

English Andrew Hoffman



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7. You are responsible for binding your paper in some manner, either with a paper clip or a staple. I will not accept loose sheets, or sheets whose corners are crimped or folded.


8. Know how to spell all names, terms, and words in your paper. Do not rely blindly on spellcheck programs to catch your errors. Be wary of grammar check programs.

9. Think twice about using first or second person (e.g., “I” or “you”) in your essays, and any other case forms of the pronouns. Use only third person pronouns.

10. Do not use colloquialisms or slang, such as “get it together” or “couldn’t handle it” and such. Avoid clichés – such as “cold as ice” – as well.

11. Avoid the use of contractions.

12. Avoid using parentheses except when required for documentation. Usually a pair of commas will do the same job better.

13. Avoid using gross abstractions such as “the reality of life” or “view of the world.”

14. Avoid sounding certain that your opinion is unquestionably correct: “The only proper interpretation is….” Also, avoid sounding too uncertain as well: “It may be possible under some circumstances that might occur….” Be positive, but not extreme.

15. Avoid using the passive voice. Use the active voice.

16. Avoid using “it,” especially when the antecedent is unclear.

17. Do not tell the reader what you’re going to do. Just do it.

18. Do not ask questions – answer them! You cannot assume the reader will answer the question in the same way that you would.

19. When using outside sources, document the material properly using MLA documentation format. Consult the latest edition of the MLA Handbook to be certain you are correct.

20. Do not write papers consisting of single-sentence paragraphs. On the other hand, do not write overly long paragraphs either.

21. Be sure that you have met all the minimum requirements for the assignment. A paper that fails to meet minimum requirements can be failed for that alone!

22. Include a word count at the end of your essay. Do not include any extra materials such as the Works Cited page in that count. If you fall short of the word requirement, make certain that you have said all that you can say about your topic.

23. Proofread! PROOFREAD!! PROOFREAD!!!!!


24. Mention the titles and authors of the works you’re writing about in the Introduction (first paragraph) of your essay.

25. Do not tell whether you liked the story unless that is part of the assignment. Do not compliment the author.

26. Do not retell the plot of the story. You can assume your reader has familiarity with the story, but you must analyze the story for the reader (along the assigned question).

English 101 Andrew Hoffman

Chapter Two Essay: How Do Monsters Reflect Their Time?

Write an essay in which you respond to one of the following questions, taken

from Monsters, Chapter 2:

 Genoways, Reflection and Response # 5, Making Connections #7

 Cohen, Reflection and Response #7, Making Connections #10

 Beowulf, Making Connections #9

 Vizenor, Making Connections #7 & 8

 Kaplan, Making Connections #11

 Poole, Reflection and Response #6, Making Connections #7 & 8

 Bostrom, Making Connections #8 & 9

 Asimov, Making Connections #8

The final draft of the essay is due by Monday, February 28, 11:59 pm. Be sure to follow

the Out-of-Class Essay Guidelines for matters of form and style. Be sure to include a

word count at the end of your essay. Remember, you must meet minimum requirements,

including word count, sources, and subject matter. No late essays will be accepted.

Submit a thesis statement and topic outline to Canvas by Friday, February 18, 11:59 pm.

Please have MLA citation entries for two sources, neither from the textbook. A

participation grade will be assigned for this.

The class will be divided into peer editing groups. These will be new groups, but use the

instructions as you did for Chapter One on how to get to your group Canvas page. Submit

your rough draft to your Canvas work group AND to me by Wednesday, February 23,

11:59 pm.

Submit completed peer editing sheets to your Canvas work group AND to me by Friday,

February 25, 11:59 pm.

Minimum Requirements:

 1000 to ~1400 words

 A strong essay structure, including Introduction, Concession, rebuttal arguments,
Main Body, and Conclusion

 Citations from at least four different sources that originate in print or have print
analogues. Two sources at least must be from scholarly works, such as a

dissertation, a peer-reviewed journal, or a university press book. These are in

addition to any sources taken from our textbook. Of course, you can always have

more than the minimum.

 MLA format in presentation and documentation, including correct Works Cited

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