Monsters: Assignment

English 338
Michael Delahoyde
Washington State University


The grade for this second project is worth twice as much as the first, but the work will not be twice as demanding if you did a responsible job last time. However, in light of vile crimes of various types with the first project, certain demands this time will be fierce in an effort to maximize the quality of this most significant writing of the semester. This time, legitimate scholarly research is a requirement. (Yes, there really are responsible sources available that you should be including. Some reminders regarding research will be forthcoming in class.) Here, after some important business, are the options.

PROJECT DUE: MONDAY, NOVEMBER 30th, 2009; 1:10 pm.

Start here when searching for journal articles:
Your subject is probably English Literature, and your best index the MLA (at the top of the list).

I. Your Basic, Sound, Admirable, 6-Page Literary Analysis:

You may feel most at home writing a solid interpretive analysis focused on a particular work in monster literature or film. This ought to be at least six (6) pages with proper documentation and stylistic brilliance, plus an alphabetized and correctly formatted list of Works Cited. The more closely focused the topic the better. That means one topic focus within one of our works (literary or film). Be sure to demonstrate closeness to the primary source with specific illustrations through direct quotation. Track down some valuable secondary sources: research is a requirement this time. Triple check your system and the mechanics for proper MLA-style documentation.

II. The Fulfillment of Your Promise: A Minimum 8-page Manuscript, a Media Project, or a Significant Something:

If you opted in the first assignment for a work-in-progress, time to ante up, Chuckles. And it had better be impressive. Bet you’re sorry now for lolling about, back in early October.

You need to submit the graded earlier text with the final version so I can see all the ignored advice I originally gave you. Chances are I was too polite in my comments on your proposal and you should read between the lines to cultivate an effective dread over how pitiful I really thought the project sounded. Then fix it. Overcompensate too. Realize that a lot of people who went through the agony of cranking out a complete shorter paper last time suspect you’re probably a cheesy slacker. Overcompensate some more. If you’re working on some kind of media project, include in your submission of the project a document with the textual portion.

III.An Annotated Bibliography and Brief Analysis of a Monster:

A properly documented bibliography and selected summaries of literary and/or critical works, followed by a discussion of primarily your perspective on this topic, is a legitimate project. This does involve library research, although web sources may help out. I’ve got a Mummy Bibliography, a Dinosaur one, and a small one on Vampires; otherwise this kind of work is still scarce in the field of monsters in popular culture. Obviously in this kind of project, the extensiveness and subtlety of the research and the quality of the writing takes on added importance.

IV. An Analysis of a Monster (and Revised Annotated Filmography?):

Most filmographies are pretty impressive at our site, but still may not be entirely reliable, and are certainly not up to date, so feel free to revise any of these or fill in one of the few remaining gaps (for example, annotating one of the plain lists). Additionally, write up an impressive overview to provide perspective on this kind of monster film. This write-up ought to show some research and even quote critics and films where relevant. Feel free to supplement your monster with whatever other resources would be desirable towards the definitive site. In this kind of project too, the quality of the writing takes on added importance.

V. Summaries/Analyses of a Several More Films:

Several more examples are now available at our site, but not always are these consistent, sometimes lacking in commentary beyond the summary, others with clever rating systems. Filling in more of the gaps (rather than replicating ones already covered) would be valuable. I worry only that I will end up feeling compelled to view and write up the remaining three hundred and twelve vampire films after you finish your half dozen and leave for winter vacation. Images would be a pleasant addition if they are available from your films. This is yet one more kind of project in which the quality of the writing is of key importance.

For any projects intended for web-site inclusion, please both submit a hardcopy and send a copy electronically — e-mail an MS Word attachment (format earlier than “docx”). For images or more elaborate html documents, post them yourself and give me the URL so that I can do the translation directly from the Web when I finalize the site.

The Deal, Again:

You are obligated to hand in the assignment (or the textual portions of a web page with the URL) at the beginning of the class period on the designated due date. Truancy is, of course, no excuse (i.e., “I couldn’t get my paper in ‘cuz I cut class”). Fate, as we know, plays amusing tricks. I tell you right now that Aunt Millie could drop in a flash on “paper-due eve”: it is your obligation to anticipate anything like this in your life that could go wrong and to take preventive measures or to develop back-up plans. You also must accept responsibility for being so foolish as to stake your grade on a computer’s or printer’s reliability. And no bitter ironies about roommates and alarm-clocks. No work submitted means you did not meet the requirements of the course (big F); late work will not be read but at least you will have met requirements minimally (little F factored in). On a more positive note, I assure you that I am happy to provide advice and help at any stage of the pre-writing, researching, and drafting processes, short of giving you a topic and writing the text for you. Ultimately, though, it must be completed and turned in when due; the compressed nature of my schedule this semester does not allow for screwing around and cheesy excuses. Get to work early, consult with me as needed, and turn in the best possible masterpiece. Sample papers, good to excellent, are available at least elsewhere, for other classes, on my web site, as are instructions and examples for the required MLA-style documentation.
Other recommendations about various writing issues can be found here,
including my snotty comments regarding rancid phrases
and about generally turning in the project.

PROJECT DUE: MONDAY, NOVEMBER 30th, 2009; 1:10 pm.