Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Links to Electronic Editions of Frankenstein: Keyword Searching and Critical Approaches

 On-line text of Frankenstein/searching using keywords/additional critical approaches and definitions/contexts

Hi, class,

I am putting this information on our course blog in advance of you all writing your first research papers, which are scheduled to be handed in on Thursday, March 3--since we had a snow day, I may have to push that date to Tuesday, 3/8, as we are a bit behind. Let's see how far we can get over the next two class meetings. I will be emailing you the paper guidelines over the weekend.

I will be assigning you to groups to examine the various critical approaches to Frankenstein (Marxist, feminist, psychoanalytic, etc.) so that you can gain an understanding of all of them more quickly.  Each group will focus on the key aspects of one of these critical perspectives and report to the rest of the class. I am doing this mainly for reasons of expediency--you need not stick to that approach for your research paper. 

Here is the URL for the online Gutenberg text of Frankenstein. Cut and paste it into your browser, and try doing a search, if you think it might help you move more quickly to the chapters/passages that you think will be most helpful to you when you begin to write. 

Try using the specific keywords that relate to the approach you are using. For example, try "dream" and "sleep" if you are using a psychoanalytic approach and writing about Victor's unconscious state--try using "glory" if you want to do a comparison/contrast of Walton and Victor, etc. 


Also, below is the University of Pennsylvania's Electronic Edition of Frankenstein. Of particular value to you are the "Table of Chapters" and the "Contents." If you click on one of the chapters in "Table of Chapters," you will see that the text has links to clearer explanations of terms, along with more contexts. If you click on "Contents," you will see a variety of materials that are available to you. Some (like the "Critical Approaches" page) are unavailable, but in terms of providing some overall background and over 200 critical essays on the text, this is a great site.
I would caution you, however, that you should use this site primarily for help in understanding some of the contexts of Frankenstein, and to assist you in finding good research articles. You are to do your own writing--do not depend on this site for YOUR critical analysis--I want to know what YOU are thinking in relation to your chosen theme.

A word about "plagiarism": Please note, especially in using on-line sources for critical support, that you must annotate your sources immediately if you are cutting and pasting them for use in your paper--it is easy to inadvertently paste a piece of documentation without attribution. You should cite your sources properly and make sure that you use quotes. Do not depend solely on your sources for analysis-write your own analysis and try to find a source that supports it. In addition, you may find an article that contradicts your own findings--argue with that source! Feel free to disagree, but find textual support in Frankenstein for your own ideas.

Finally, although this paper is a research project, you should be having fun! Frankenstein is a pleasure to read and analyze--I am enjoying the class's critical discourse, and I know that you will continue to provide rich and thoughtful commentary!

All best,

Prof. Williams

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