Address ONE of the approaches below—or, ideally, develop your own—in a thesis-driven
research paper of at least five full pages (double-spaced, in 12-point Times New Roman). Be
sure to support your argument with specific evidence culled from the texts. In addition to your
primary source (Bram Stoker’s Dracula), YOU SHOULD DRAW UPON A MINIMUM OF TWO
SECONDARY SOURCES FROM THE BOOK. AVOID SIMPLY REHEARSING REMARKS ALREADY
COVERED ELSEWHERE AND STRIVE INSTEAD FOR AN ORIGINAL READING THAT SHOWCASES
YOUR OWN INTERPRETATION. REMEMBER THAT WHAT FOLLOW ARE PROMPTS rather than simple
questions, and you need not account for every suggestion raised. Narrow your
response to a single, well-defined thesis that can be defended with appropriate citations. Also,
bear in mind that an argumentative paper (especially one this short) generally avoids summary
and long quotation. Assume that your reader is already an expert (or is at least posing as one).
Don’t retell the story; argue for your particular reading.
1. Dracula is a notable example of an epistolary novel. Write a paper addressing this narrative
form. What relation might the structure of the book bear toward its subject matter, its concerns,
or the ways in which it can be read?
2. Much of our discussion thus far has focused on the gothic. Write a paper examining Dracula
with respect to any element of this tradition.
3. How are the dynamics of gender and/or sexuality important in Dracula?
4. What role does technology play in Stoker’s novel? You might wish to explore the tension
between science and the supernatural, or between modernity and the past, more broadly.
5. How might Dracula be understood as a story about invasion anxieties?
6. Choose your own adventure. Keeping to the guidelines above, develop an argument that
addresses one or more elements of the text..
As with your first three papers, you might find it helpful to employ the topic and thesis “test
phrases” or the paper outline model we’ve discussed. Be sure that any claims you make in
response to your readings are supported by clear evidence.
Papers will be graded on strength of argument (tenability of thesis, effective use of evidence, and
overall persuasiveness); clarity of expression (organization, style, and writing mechanics);
adherence to correct structure and formatting; and originality. Like all written work in this
course, essays should follow MLA format (see the syllabus and the handouts provided for
details, or use the library to find a guide to current MLA style).