Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Banner Image

UE: ENG 215: The Monster and the Monstrous in Literature: Master Syllabus

Master Syllabus

ENG 215 Monsters and the Monstrous in Literature




Course Number:          ENG 215

Prerequisites:               ENG 122

Classroom Location:   IOR list building and room # (IOR delete row for online classes)

Class Hours:                IOR list days and times (IOR delete row for online classes)  

Office Location:        

Office Hours:              IOR list days and times and by appointment 

Office Telephone:        



I. REQUIRED TEXT (IOR must choose one textbook listed below, but may add additional textbook, although DL and COL classes have one standardized textbook; delete textbook(s) below not used):

The class has three possible themes and reading lists from which each instructor may choose if they are teaching on University Campus. Books used in the COL/DL versions of the class are in bold and must be used by instructors at centers. The instructor must use a minimum of five texts (for COL/DL, exactly five).

Theme One: The Human Monster

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein,Dover Thrift Edition, 1994, 978-0486282114

Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dover Thrift Edition, 1991, 978-0486266886

Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Dover Thrift Edition, 2000, 978-0486411095

Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis and Other Stories Dover Thrift Edition, 0486290301

John Ajvide Lindqvist’s Handling the Undead, St. Martin’s Griffin, 2011, 0312604521

Gaston Leroux’s Phantom of the Opera, Dover Thrift Edition, 2004, 978-0486434582

Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Dover Thrift Edition, 2006, 978-0486452425

Choice of one movie: Rosemary’s Baby OR Max

Theme Two: Monstrous Beasts

J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Hobbit, Mariner Books, 2012, 978-0547844978

Beowulf trans. Seamus Heaney, Norton, 2001, 978-0393320978

John Gardner’s Grendel, Vintage, 1989, 978-0679723110 (Students would benefit from pairing with Beowulf .)

William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Yale UP, 2006, 978-0300108163

J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Scholastic, 2002, 978-0439420105

Neil Gaiman, Coraline, Harper Collins, 2012, 978-0380807345

Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market,” CreateSpace, 2012, 978-1470089962

Choice of one movie: District 9 OR King Kong (the original)

Theme Three: Science’s Monsters

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Dover Thrift Edition, 1994, 978-0486282114

Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dover Thrift Edition, 1991, 978-0486266886

Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go, Vintage, 2010, 978-0307740991

Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake, Anchor, 2004, 978-0385721677

H.G. Wells’a The Island of Dr. Moreau, Phoenix Pick, 2008, 978-1604502459

H.G. Wells’a The Invisible Man, 2012, 978-1478227410

Choice of one movie: Moon or Serenity

II. COURSE DESCRIPTION (IOR may not alter): 

Through reading about the monster and/or the monstrous in literature, students will question what it means to be human and understand how cultures create fictional monsters as ways to define what it means to be civilized.

 III. LEARNING OUTCOMES (IOR may add, but not delete learning outcomes below):

 As a result of taking this course students should be able to:

 1.         Apply knowledge of literary devices and genres developed in ENG 122 to written analysis of literary works.

2.         Compare and contrast literary works.

3.         Identify and analyze the influence literature has on the construction of human identity.

4.         Interrogate the core values of community and integrity as society applies them to defining the monster  and monstrous.

5.         Apply critical thinking and core values to decision making regarding the theme of the monster.

IV. CORE VALUE (IOR may not alter):

 The core values of community and integrity will be emphasized as they apply to the creation and treatment of the monster as explored by the literature.

Community - Saint Leo University develops hospitable Catholic learning communities everywhere we serve – in Florida and around the world. We foster a spirit of belonging, unity and interdependence based on mutual trust and respect to create socially responsible environments that challenge all of us to listen, to learn, to change, and to serve.

 Integrity -The commitment of Saint Leo University to excellence demands that its members live its mission and deliver on its promise. The faculty, staff, and students pledge to be honest, just, and consistent in word and deed.

 V. METHOD OF ASSESSMENT (IOR may add, but not delete grading vehicle)

The instructor may use a point system.

Exams 30 percent

Short answer quizzes each on one to two works. Each question should ask only about one text. The quizzes should ask for a paragraph response to questions that allow for critical thinking and not simply reading quizzes to see if students have read the material. The purpose is for students to support their responses with specifics, thereby demonstrating analysis and paying attention to literary devices such as character, point of view, theme, etc. learned in ENG 122. Example: Who is the real monster in Frankenstein? (Learning Outcome 1)

Papers 40 percent

Two short essays (3-4 pages) on the primary material alone asking students to make connections between texts via questions centered on the theme of human identity. The essay questions should be based upon major themes and characters discussed in class in such a way that students are engaged in critical thinking and analysis via the skills learned in ENG 122. The topics should be open enough so that students can offer their thoughts, not provide one right answer, and need to be well-supported with textual evidence in the form of paraphrases and quotes conforming to MLA style. Example: Both Mary Shelley and Robert Louis Stevenson describe monsters created by science. Are they arguing that science is dangerous to who we are as humans? (Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3)

 Participation 10 percent

Homework, reading quizzes, active learning exercises centered on the question of human identity: Students can be asked to create discussion questions for the next class period; they can work in groups to analyze a specific passage using the literary devices learned in ENG 122 and share their conclusions with the class; students can engage in a fishbowl discussion; online, students will be required to share reading responses and respond to each other.  Activities and questions should center on the central question of the class: human identity. (Learning Outcomes 1, 3)

 QEP Assignment 10 percent

See attached, which is a sample that instructors may adapt. (Learning Outcomes 4, 5)

 Reading Journal or Presentation 10 percent

Responses to reading assignments or formal group presentations: Students can create their own reading journal topics to be completed before class and use them to contribute to class discussion or respond to topics created by the instructor. These are meant to be informal and allow the student to explore ideas. Groups can present on specific characters or themes. All of the above will ask students to incorporate the concepts learned in ENG 122 and center on the question of human identity. (Learning Outcomes 1, 3)

 A final course grade will be based upon the following grading scale (IOR may not alter)

            Grade                                                  Percentage

            A         Exceptional                            94% to 100%

            A-        Superior                                   90% to 93%

            B+       Excellent                                87% to 89%

            B         Very Good                              84% to 86%

            B-        Good                                       80% to 83%

            C+       Above Average                       77% to 79%

            C         Average                                   74% to 76%

            C-        Below Average                       70% to 73%

            D+       Marginal                                  67% to 69%

            D         Poor                                         60% to 66%

            F          Failure                                     Below 60%

VI.   SCHEDULE (IOR may add, but not delete topics, although third column should be deleted)

The following is meant as a sample for The Human Monster focus. Instructors may choose other texts under that focus and are encouraged to develop the course using the other themes if they prefer.



Learning Outcomes (see Section III)


Introduction to the course



Fathering the Monstrous Creature

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

1, 3, 4


The Monster Within (Quiz One on Shelley and Stevenson)

Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

1, 2, 3, 4


The Almost Human Monster (Essay One)

Bram Stoker’s Dracula

1, 3, 4,


The Almost Monstrous Human

Bram Stoker’s Dracula

1, 3, 4


The Previously Human Monster (Quiz Two on Stoker; QEP assignment)

Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis

1, 3, 4, 5


The Human Monster

John Ajvide Lindqvist’s Handling the Undead

1, 3, 4


What Is A Monster?  (Quiz Three on Kafka and Lindqvist; Essay Two)

John Ajvide Lindqvist’s Handling the Undead

1, 2, 3, 4, 5


VII. STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES (IOR may add an additional contact person at a Center, but not delete statement):

Students with disabilities who may require accommodations should contact the Office of Disability Services. 

University College location (Florida): SAB room 207

Telephone: 352-588-8464


 VIII. ACADEMIC HONESTY POLICY (IOR may add to, but not delete statement):

The Academic Honor Code is published in it entirely in the Saint Leo University Catalog.  The first paragraph is:

            Saint Leo University holds all students to the highest standards of honesty and personal integrity in every phase of their academic life.  All students have a responsibility to uphold the Academic Honor Code by refraining from any form of academic misconduct, presenting only work that is genuinely their own, and reporting any observed instance of academic dishonesty to a faculty member.

 IX.   IN-CLASS BEHAVIOR (IOR may add to, but not delete statement):

Disruption of academic process is the act or words of a student in a classroom or teaching environment which in the reasonable estimation of a faculty member: (a) directs attention from the academic matters at hand, such as noisy distractions; persistent, disrespectful or abusive interruptions of lecture, exam or academic discussions, or (b) presents a danger to the health, safety or well being of the faculty member or students. Education is a cooperative endeavor—one that takes place within a context of basic interpersonal respect. We must therefore make the classroom environment conducive to the purpose for which we are here. Disruption, intentional and unintentional, is an obstacle to that aim. We can all aid in sculpting the proper environment — in small ways (like turning off beepers and cell phones, and neither chatting nor sleeping in class), and in more fundamental ways. So, when we speak in class, we can disagree without attacking each other verbally, we wait to be recognized before speaking, and no one speaks in a manner or of off-topic content that disrupts the class.

            Carrying a conversation with a classmate, texting, listening to a i-Pod, making disrespectful comments, are all disruptive and disrespectful behaviors that contradict the Saint Leo core value of respect and diminish the quality of instruction available to all students. Students who repeatedly engage in such or other disruptive behaviors despite having been asked to stop may be asked to leave the classroom, and will lose their participation points for the course.

 X. ATTENDANCE POLICY (IOR must add to, but not delete statement):

 Excusal of student absence(s) for medical, legal, family emergency, etc., reasons is based on presentation of official documentation (physician release, court papers, obituaries, etc.) only. Official documentation must be presented to the Director of Academic Advising in 320/325 Saint Edward Hall for verification. Once verified, the instructor is notified and excusal is granted—upon the instructor’s discretion. Extended student absences for any reason may additionally require official clearance to return, as determined by the offices of Student Services and Academic Affairs.

 XI. LATE WORK / MAKE UP POLICY (required but determined by IOR):

 XII. LIBRARY RESOURCES (IOR may add, but not delete listed library resources):

Cannon Memorial Library Resources

 Library Instruction

To arrange library/research instruction for your classes, please contact:

Elana Karshmer              University Campus

Viki Stoupenos               FL, GA, SC Centers

Steve Weaver                  MS, TX, VA Centers

Sandy Hawes                     COL and DL

 Cannon Memorial Library

Librarians are available during reference hours to answer questions concerning research strategies, database searching, locating specific materials, and interlibrary loan (ILL).

            Reference Hours

            Monday – Thursday    9 a.m. – 10 p.m.

            Friday                          9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

            Saturday                      9 a.m. – 7 p.m.

            Sunday                        10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

 The library provides an 800 number and an email address for general reference services: 1-800-359-5945 or . The library’s mailing address and local telephone numbers are:

            MC2128, 33701 State Road 52, Saint Leo, FL 33574


            352-588-8477 (Reference Desk)

            352-588-8476 (Circulation Desk)

            352-588-8258 (Main)

            352-588-8259 (Fax)

 Online Catalog “OCLC Worldcat” (All Books and Media)

Click on Library Catalog (OCLC Worldcat) on the Cannon Memorial Library website ( Simple Search choices are: title, author, keyword, subject, or journal title. Use Advanced Search to set limits or expand your search terms. To borrow books from Cannon Memorial Library, present your SLU ID at the Circulation Desk. To have books mailed to you, use the Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery link on the library’s website, complete the online request form, and submit it.

 Online Library Resources (Articles and E-books)

Saint Leo provides its own array of online article databases and e-book resources supporting campus, online, center, and distance learning classes. Use the Online Library Resources link on the Cannon Memorial Library homepage to see the latest subscription databases, e-book collections, etc.