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English 1000: Monsters & Culture: Getting Started

Discover monster info!

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BEAM method of research

  • Background: using a source to provide general information to explain the topic.
  • Exhibit: using a source as evidence or examples to analyze.
  • Argument: using a source to engage its argument.
  • Method: using a source’s way of analyzing an issue to apply to your own issue.

For more information about how to use BEAM, check out HCL's resource.


Formal Assignment #2: How do monsters reflect the cultures that produce them?

I. Description

Your first assignment asked you to consider the definition of monsters, but this one will require you to analyze the concept of monstrosity more broadly through a case study of a particular artifact. Whereas your first assignment did not rely on outside research, this assignment will require a combination of your own strong analytic response and research into the culture that produced your artifact. To complete this assignment, you will need to do the following:

1. Choose an artifact.

Such an artifact could be a book, movie, short story, television show, play, etc. The only thing I ask is that this be a work of fiction. The work that you choose to explore must have some type of monster or monstrous presence. (I am willing to consider a broad definition of the term monster for the purposes of this assignment—the work you select does not necessarily have to be from the horror genre.)

2. Engage with and analyze your selected work.

What is the overall plot of the piece? What sorts of themes does it explore? What is the purpose of the piece? Is it entertainment? Social commentary? In your paper, you will need to provide the reader with at least a little bit of exposition so that they understand the piece you are working with. This component of your paper will likely be similar to a rhetorical analysis of the work.

3. Research the sociohistorical context of the piece.

Identify the time and place of the artifact’s production. While your discussion might relate to the time and place that are the setting of your piece, keep in mind that you are looking specifically at the culture that produced the work. After identifying the culture that produced the work, you will need to find at least 3 academic, peer-reviewed sources that enrich your understanding of that culture, particularly the social issues that might be reflected in your chosen work. 

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Grace Atkins created the original Monsters Guide

I adapted Grace Atkins' original Monsters guide for English 1000, with very few modifications, for use in Sebastian Pope's English 1000 in Spring 2017. Thanks, Grace!