Frankenstein Essay

Argumentative essay

Your task is to write a properly formatted, 1200-1500 word, MLA style, argumentative essay that has a developed thesis addressing one of the following topics related to Frankenstein. Use the Owl Purdue MLA website as a style guide when formatting your paper.

Essay Topics

Choose a critical lens and, through it, analyze a key part of the text:

  1. What meaning can we read into Frankenstein’s relationship with his monster (or any other character) through this lens?


  1. Use your lens to analyze a character other than Victor Frankenstein or the creature. What is his/her role in the story? Is he/she necessary to the novel? Why or why not?
  2. What does your lens tell us about the meaning or importance of love (romantic, friendly and familial) to the development of theme?


  1. Use your lens to evaluate Victor’s actions from an ethical point of view. How does Victor act or shy away from acting ethically?


  1. Compare the creature’s development and actions to those of a child. Does viewing the creature as a child alter one’s view of him? Why or why not?


  1. Using your lens, analyze one of the themes explored in this novel.


Secondary source requirements:

  • You must cite at least 5 different secondary sources in this essay, all of which must appear on a Works Cited Page at the end of your essay. Remember that content from another source, including ideas not your own, must be cited.

Writing Process/ teacher conference requirements:

  • Each student is required to meet with me once before submitting an essay. Before your student-teacher conference, you must have the following items ready: a thesis statement; outline including supporting arguments; direct textual evidence for your arguments.


  • You may, if you choose, submit 1 body paragraph to Schoology. I will read over this paragraph and give you feedback, which you can then apply to the rest of your essay. Note: this step is not required but is, of course, highly recommended.

Submission requirements:Turnitin. No hard copy required.

Due Date: check your unit plan. Any problems or deadlines extensions must be negotiated in advance of due date.

Argumentative Essays


The Modes of Discourse—Exposition, Description, Narration, Argumentation (EDNA)—are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes. Although these genres have been criticized by some composition scholars, the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these approaches and students’ need to understand and produce them.

Contributors:Jack Baker, Allen Brizee, Elizabeth Angeli
Last Edited: 2013-03-10 11:46:44

What is an argumentative essay?

The argumentative essay is a genre of writing that requires the student to investigate a topic; collect, generate, and evaluate evidence; and establish a position on the topic in a concise manner.

Please note: Some confusion may occur between the argumentative essay and the expository essay. These two genres are similar, but the argumentative essay differs from the expository essay in the amount of pre-writing (invention) and research involved. The argumentative essay is commonly assigned as a capstone or final project in first year writing or advanced composition courses and involves lengthy, detailed research. Expository essays involve less research and are shorter in length. Expository essays are often used for in-class writing exercises or tests, such as the GED or GRE.

Argumentative essay assignments generally call for extensive research of literature or previously published material. Argumentative assignments may also require empirical research where the student collects data through interviews, surveys, observations, or experiments. Detailed research allows the student to learn about the topic and to understand different points of view regarding the topic so that she/he may choose a position and support it with the evidence collected during research. Regardless of the amount or type of research involved, argumentative essays must establish a clear thesis and follow sound reasoning.

The structure of the argumentative essay is held together by the following.

  • A clear, concise, and defined thesis statement that occurs in the first paragraph of the essay.

In the first paragraph of an argument essay, students should set the context by reviewing the topic in a general way. Next the author should explain why the topic is important (exigence) or why readers should care about the issue. Lastly, students should present the thesis statement. It is essential that this thesis statement be appropriately narrowed to follow the guidelines set forth in the assignment. If the student does not master this portion of the essay, it will be quite difficult to compose an effective or persuasive essay.

  • Clear and logical transitions between the introduction, body, and conclusion.

Transitions are the mortar that holds the foundation of the essay together. Without logical progression of thought, the reader is unable to follow the essay’s argument, and the structure will collapse. Transitions should wrap up the idea from the previous section and introduce the idea that is to follow in the next section.

  • Body paragraphs that include evidential support.

Each paragraph should be limited to the discussion of one general idea. This will allow for clarity and direction throughout the essay. In addition, such conciseness creates an ease of readability for one’s audience. It is important to note that each paragraph in the body of the essay must have some logical connection to the thesis statement in the opening paragraph. Some paragraphs will directly support the thesis statement with evidence collected during research. It is also important to explain how and why the evidence supports the thesis (warrant).

However, argumentative essays should also consider and explain differing points of view regarding the topic. Depending on the length of the assignment, students should dedicate one or two paragraphs of an argumentative essay to discussing conflicting opinions on the topic. Rather than explaining how these differing opinions are wrong outright, students should note how opinions that do not align with their thesis might not be well informed or how they might be out of date.

  • Evidential support (whether factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal).

The argumentative essay requires well-researched, accurate, detailed, and current information to support the thesis statement and consider other points of view. Some factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal evidence should support the thesis. However, students must consider multiple points of view when collecting evidence. As noted in the paragraph above, a successful and well-rounded argumentative essay will also discuss opinions not aligning with the thesis. It is unethical to exclude evidence that may not support the thesis. It is not the student’s job to point out how other positions are wrong outright, but rather to explain how other positions may not be well informed or up to date on the topic.

  • A conclusion that does not simply restate the thesis, but readdresses it in light of the evidence provided.

It is at this point of the essay that students may begin to struggle. This is the portion of the essay that will leave the most immediate impression on the mind of the reader. Therefore, it must be effective and logical. Do not introduce any new information into the conclusion; rather, synthesize the information presented in the body of the essay. Restate why the topic is important, review the main points, and review your thesis. You may also want to include a short discussion of more research that should be completed in light of your work.

A complete argument

Perhaps it is helpful to think of an essay in terms of a conversation or debate with a classmate. If I were to discuss the cause of World War II and its current effect on those who lived through the tumultuous time, there would be a beginning, middle, and end to the conversation. In fact, if I were to end the argument in the middle of my second point, questions would arise concerning the current effects on those who lived through the conflict. Therefore, the argumentative essay must be complete, and logically so, leaving no doubt as to its intent or argument.

The five-paragraph essay

A common method for writing an argumentative essay is the five-paragraph approach. This is, however, by no means the only formula for writing such essays. If it sounds straightforward, that is because it is; in fact, the method consists of (a) an introductory paragraph (b) three evidentiary body paragraphs that may include discussion of opposing views and (c) a conclusion.

Longer argumentative essays

Complex issues and detailed research call for complex and detailed essays. Argumentative essays discussing a number of research sources or empirical research will most certainly be longer than five paragraphs. Authors may have to discuss the context surrounding the topic, sources of information and their credibility, as well as a number of different opinions on the issue before concluding the essay. Many of these factors will be determined by the assignment.



Essay Rubric

Knowledge and Understanding




Level One


Level Two


Level 3


Level 4



Demonstrates knowledge of literary text with an understanding of ideas, themes, and concepts






-demonstrates insufficient knowledge of the text and ideas, themes, concepts




-shows limited knowledge of the text and ideas, themes, concepts


-shows adequate understanding of the text and ideas, themes, concepts


-shows considerable understanding of the text and ideas, themes, concepts


-shows thorough understanding of text and ideas, themes, concepts



Level One


Level Two


Level 3


Level 4


Formulates and refines a thesis that addresses the prompt


Integrates specific and compelling evidence from the text to support critical analysis


Explains ideas, themes, and concepts




Essay conference         /5



-thesis is inadequate and/or does not address the prompt


-provides inadequate inaccurate, and/or irrelevant supporting evidence


-insufficient explanation of ideas and/or mere plot summary



-formulates a limited thesis that refers to the prompt


-provides limited supporting evidence which is frequently vague or inappropriate


-provides limited explanation of ideas


-formulates a developing thesis that addresses the essay prompt


-provides some supporting evidence, bus is occasionally vague or inappropriate


-provides explanation and shows some analysis of ideas


-formulates a reasonable thesis that meaningfully addresses the prompt


-integrates considerable and convincing supporting evidence


-shows considerable analysis and synthesis of ideas


-refines a thesis that addresses the prompt with insight


-integrates substantial and compelling supporting evidence


shows thorough analysis and skillful synthesis of ideas


Level 4+ essay will demonstrate thorough creativity and risk-taking in thinking and analysis.



Level One


Level Two


Level 3


Level 4



Transfers and applies knowledge of literary essay and form (including MLA format) and text to the prompt






-insufficient application of essay form and/or text to the prompt, or misunderstanding of the prompt, results in an ineffective essay


-insufficient use of MLA format and essay structure


-limited application of the essay form and/or text to the prompt results in an essay that is frequently ineffective


-MLA format errors and essay structure have frequent errors



-occasional lapse(s) in essay form and/or application of the text to the prompt results in an essay that is at times ineffective


-MLA format occasionally lapse(s)


-consistent application of essay form and text to the prompt results in an effective essay


-MLA format has few errors


-a thorough command of the essay form, text, and prompt results in a masterful essay


-MLA format is near perfect or perfect



Level One


Level Two


Level 3


Level 4



Organizes information and ideas with clarity and focus


Uses language and style appropriate to purpose and audience (diction, voice, sentence structure, devices)


Uses correct language structures of Standard Canadian English and its conventions of grammar, usage, spelling and punctuation




-lacks clear sense of direction and/or has fewer than 500 words


-demonstrates a lack of competence in the use of language and style and/or has fewer than 500 words


-numerous major and minor errors interfere seriously with expression of ideas and/or has fewer than 500 words


-frequent loss of focus and logical sequencing of ideas


-language and style are frequently ineffective and demonstrate limited sense of audience and purpose


-errors frequently interfere with expression of idea and/or frequently weaken impact of the essay


-occasional lapse(s) in focus and/or logical sequencing of ideas


-language and style are occasionally ineffective, but demonstrate some sense of audience and purpose


-errors occasionally interfere with expression of ideas and/or weaken impact of the essay


-organization is clear, focused and logical


-language and style are effective and demonstrate a considerable sense of audience and purpose


-errors do not significantly interfere with expression of ideas or weaken impact of the essay


-organize information and ideas with a high degree of coherence and unity


-language and style are sophisticated, well-crafted, and engaging with a strong sense of audience and purpose


-few errors do not interfere with expression of ideas of weaken impact of the essay


Last Updated on February 10, 2019