Publication Date

Summer 2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

English

First Advisor

Matthew M. Thiele, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Cheryl Hague, M.A.

Third Advisor

Duane Davis, Ed.D.

Abstract

This thesis covers the attempt to successfully motivate and connect with high school students by giving them the option of reading a graphic form of Hamlet instead of the original text. This research was conducted to not only dispel the myth that comics and graphic novels are juvenile and adolescent but to also explain the benefits of such texts to educators and administrators.

For this research, 10th graders were assigned Hamlet and were allowed to select the graphic text over the traditional text, allowing for student buy-in from the selection. Students also took part in a project that allowed them to explore the themes of Hamlet in a very creative and unique way. The results of the research concluded that not only were the students highly motivated by the project, and made important connections to the text, but the graphic novel readers spent less time reading while scoring higher on assessments.

The research presented shows the benefits of the graphic medium while also connecting the skills used to the Common Core State Standards and even parts of the Danielson Framework.