Gothic Novel Final Project Information

For the final project for this course, you need to choose a gothic novel that is not on the syllabus. I have a list of pre-approved books, but I am very much open to you finding something else on your own. Before you get your heart set on a particular novel, drop me an e-mail or ask me in class about your proposed text. I will only allow one student for any given book, so be sure to let me know what book you’re planning to do (even if it’s on the “pre-approved” list). If you’re having trouble finding a book, or don’t know where to begin in choosing, please let me know. If you tell me about what authors/themes/time periods interest you, I can help you to find something that you will (hopefully) enjoy.

The final project will have two parts, a presentation and a paper, as described below:


Presentations will happen on Friday, December 7th. Please let me know immediately if you will NOT be able to attend this day’s class meeting, as it is the only time when we’re planning to have the presentations. We’ll need to figure out an alternate arrangement for you to do your presentation earlier.

At the time of the presentation, it would be advisable, though not required, to have finished reading the novel. The main point of the presentations is to share what you’ve learned on your own with the rest of the class. You do not have to stand up in front of the class (unless you wish to do so). The presentations can be relatively informal – basically, we sit in a circle and the presenter talks about the novel that he/she read. Here is what you should do in the presentation:


The final paper should be about 8 to 10 pages on one gothic novel not on the syllabus. You should read the novel and connect it to the history of the gothic as we have explored it in the course. This paper is not a plot summary; it should focus on an analysis of the novel, including how it fits into the larger genre of the gothic.

In your final paper, you must also include at least one scholarly source – an academic article that focuses on the novel you’re discussing, or that touches on an issue in your paper. As you begin your research, you should start at the LIBRARY website, not at google or other general search engines. You may of course use more than one secondary source, but you are not required to do so. Basically, I want you to be engaging with the larger critical debate surrounding your chosen text (or the Gothic more generally). If you’re not sure your source is appropriate, please ask. Scholarly sources are published in peer-reviewed journals, such as the PMLA, or the Journal of American Literature, or Gothic Studies. Such journals typically require subscriptions (often quite expensive!). Our library (and your tuition dollars) pays for access to many very expensive databases that will give you access to these journals. You need to get good scholarly, academic sources., wikipedia, and other web sites of that nature are not appropriate for this assignment. If you need help with the research part, visit the library’s web site, talk to a librarian, or ask me for help!

Here are some of the things you should do in the paper (in no particular order here; however, you SHOULD develop an order that works for your own paper!):

I strongly recommend that you have our Teaching Assistant (Lauren) take a look at your draft. Having a draft and revising is the best way to develop a strong paper; try to make a good start on the paper early (which is ALWAYS a good idea).

The final version of the paper is due during the final exam period. Please have your paper turned into my mailbox or office – I’ll leave an envelope on the door – by noon on Friday, December 14th E-mail me with questions: