Consider the variety of horror and monster literature weave studied this semester. Some of our stories have had a supernatural element to them; others have dealt with horrific ideas of human behavior or choices that evoke fear because they are actually possible. Consider, too, the fascination many of us have with true crime and longer horror fiction.

For your research project, you will choose a book-length work of horror writing and read it. Your options are:

a? A true crime novel

a? A biography or autobiography of a serial killer

a? Danteas Inferno (I recommend the Hollander translation)

a? A horror or Gothic novel

Note: I donat mind if you choose a book youave read before. Just make sure you are familiar enough with the details of it that you can complete a research project on it.

Once youave studied the primary source (listed above), you will imagine you are going to write a scholarly research paper on it. The main theme of this research paper will be a?Monsters.a? As part of your research paper, you will need to identify a research question. This research question will guide the remainder of your research. For example, if you chose to read Frankenstein, here are some examples of research questions that might guide this research project on the a?monstera? in the Frankenstein story:

a? What does the creation of the a?monstera? in Frankenstein illustrate about the human psyche? *This question might prompt you to examine some psychological resources to determine why humans need to create something in order to feel worthy OR why humans are attracted to their opposite OR why humans have a driving need for companionship. Your paper would make the connections between psychology and the novel.

a? What parallels can be made between the monster in Frankenstein and the a?monstera? in all humans? *This question might prompt you to examine concepts of psychology, sociology, religion or anthropology that deal with the inherent good and evil in us all. You could also research the nature versus nurture debate as it relates to Frankenstein. Your paper would make the connections between what the experts say about the monster within us and how this is illustrated in Frankenstein.

a? What makes a monster a sympathetic character? *This question would prompt you to research literary criticism and/or psychology to help understand what drives readers and observers to empathize with or sympathize with a a?monstera? in life or literature. You might research the Stockholm Syndrome (where a hostage/victim develops affection and inexplicable loyalty to his/her captor), for example. Your paper would make the connections between what experts say and what occurs in the story a as well as your reaction to it (your feelings as a reader toward the monster would be entirely relevant here, but you would discuss these feelings as a?the readeras feelings,a? not a?my feelings.a?)

a? How does Frankensteinas monster reflect the scientific controversies of then and now? *This question would prompt you to examine scientific developments and practices of the period in which Frankenstein was written and how these controversies influenced the writing of the novel, as well as the reception it received in the literary world. It might prompt you to investigate the political and scientific debates today related to cloning or stem-cell research. Your paper would then link the research to the treatment of science and technology in the novel.

a? How does gender influence our understanding of the term a?monstera?? *This question might prompt you to research what experts in the field of gender studies have to say about perceptions of good and bad as they relate to gender (the terms a?bad guy,a? for example, or a?evil bitcha? might come into your discussion). You might also research the etymology of the word a?monstera? to identify the gender-related historical origins of it. Your paper might draw some conclusions about how readers and writers typically interpret the term monster through its maleness.

Next, conduct research on your topic and compile an annotated bibliography. You should have 6-8 sources and annotations in this assignment. If you choose to use any quoted material in your annotations, you must have a properly formatted parenthetical citation, or the source will be discounted. There will be a lesson during the MLA/research unit on writing an annotated bibliography, and there is also a good bit of helpful information in your Lester handbook. In addition, you can check the Purdue OWL for more information to get you started.

Finally, you will write a 2-page summary of your research project, in which you essentially show me what your 7+ research page paper would be about if you were to write it. You will summarize the general ideas that you would discuss in your paper, as well as include a few ideas from your sources that would help support your ideas. You will NOT summarize the primary source (book youave read as foundation for the project) in your paper. Any quotes will need properly formatted parenthetical citations, as well.

You will submit your annotated bibliography to TII by the due date listed above. Please make sure you pay close attention to details of formatting on your assignment, so that your hard work and time spent researching will count. If your annotated bibliography is messy, you could end up with a good project that earns a low grade.