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ENG 202: Writing and Research in English

Exploration of research materials for literary text analysis and completion of Dr. Kumbier's Literary Quest Assignment

Description of the development of the text

See what types of information you can unearth about the process of producing the text.  For example, you might be able to learn about the circumstances under which the text was composed (Frankenstein, for example, originated from a contest of sorts by several writers to create a ghost story).  You might be able to find various versions of the work that were done as the writer revised the text, and those revised versions may have been done before or even after publication (Frankenstein appeared in quite different editions in 1819 and 1831, for instance).  See if you can discover if original manuscripts still exist and, if so, where they can be found.

Resources Analysis Assignment
Dr. Pat Murphy/Spring 2011

Searching Google

Using a web search engine such as Google, Yahoo or Bing is recommended as your results may include webpages of libraries and/or museums that may own collections of primary documents (manuscripts, letters, etc) of the work you are researching.  The results may include additional information (photos, reprints, extensive summaries) not found in the Dictionary of Literary Biography.

Search phrase examples:

Frankenstein and (manuscript or notebooks)

"Mary Shelley" and (letters or correspondence)

Evidence of how the Work was written


Are manuscripts of the work available?  Where are they?  What do they or might they show us about the work?  Did the work go through several drafts before publication?  Are there alternative versions of the work?

Literary Quest Assignment Sheet,
Dr. Kumbier, Spring 2012

Dictionary of Literary Biography (Print Series)

A page from the manuscript of "Frankenstein"

Harris-Fain, Darren. "Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (30 August 1797-1 February 1851)". British Fantasy and Science-Fiction Writers Before World War I. Ed. Darren Harris-Fain. Dictionary of Literary Biography Vol. 178. Detroit: Gale Research, 1997. 222-228. Dictionary of Literary Biography Complete Online. Gale. MOREnet Missouri Southern State University. 5 February 2012 <>.

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