Author Study: Edgar Allan Poe

By Anna Warfield

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Leading up to Halloween, it is always enjoyable to get a taste of the dark, macabre work of Edgar Allan Poe. Beyond the creepy subject matter, his work is highly celebrated for its use of language, imagery, symbolism, and more.

Author studies aren't limited to elementary school. Bring on the Poe!

What is an Author Study?

An author study is more than just reading stories by the same author. An author study requires researching the author and reading various works. Research the author before, during, or after reading the works. The goal is for students to make critical evaluations of the author's style, prevalent themes and characters, and compare these aspects across different pieces of literature and connect things to the author's life.

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Edgar Allan Poe Portrait

Selecting an Author

While it may seem silly to say, the focus of the author study should be the author: life and works. However, comparing the life or work of the author to another contemporary could be very illuminating regarding motivations or personal style or reactions to the same events in history.

American contemporary authors of Edgar Allan Poe include Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Who were his friends, his rivals, his models, and how, if at all, did they influence his life and writing?

For biographical information on Edgar Allan Poe, check out

Read All or a Selection of Writing

You can't get to know an author well by reading only one poem or one book. See the range and the similarities between all of the poems, short stories, and essays. Much of Edgar Allan Poe's writing is in the style of Gothic Literature.

Below are the Storyboard That guides on poems and short stories by Edgar Allan Poe.

Reflection and response should happen concurrently with the reading of the works. Have students take notes, keep a response log, engage in frequent discussions, and/or short assignments.

Final Project

Create storyboards as part of a final project. Projects could consist of one presentation on multiple books/poems, or a focused presentation on a single book or poem. Allow students to showcase what they learned about Edgar Allan Poe!

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Applicable Common Core State Standards

Grade 8

Grades 9-10

Grades 11-12

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•   (English) Author Study: Edgar Allan Poe   •   (Español) Estudio del Autor: Edgar Allan Poe   •   (Français) Étude D'auteur: Edgar Allan Poe   •   (Deutsch) Autoren-Studie: Edgar Allan Poe   •   (Italiana) Autore di Studio: Edgar Allan Poe   •   (Nederlands) Auteur Studie: Edgar Allan Poe   •   (Português) Estudo do Autor: Edgar Allan Poe   •   (עברית) לימוד מחבר: אדגר אלן פו   •   (العَرَبِيَّة) مؤلف الدراسة: إدغار ألان بو   •   (हिन्दी) लेखक का अध्ययन: एडगर एलन पो   •   (ру́сский язы́к) Автор: Эдгар Аллан По   •   (Dansk) Forfatter Undersøgelse: Edgar Allan Poe   •   (Svenska) Författare Studie: Edgar Allan Poe   •   (Suomi) Kirjoittaja Tutkimus: Edgar Allan Poe   •   (Norsk) Forfatter Study: Edgar Allan Poe   •   (Türkçe) Yazar Çalışması: Edgar Allan Poe   •   (Polski) Badanie Autora: Edgar Allan Poe   •   (Româna) Studiu de Autor: Edgar Allan Poe   •   (Ceština) Autor Studie: Edgar Allan Poe   •   (Slovenský) Autorka Štúdia: Edgar Allan Poe   •   (Magyar) Szerző Tanulmány: Edgar Allan Poe   •   (Hrvatski) Autorica: Edgar Allan Poe   •   (български) Автор: Едгар Алън По   •   (Lietuvos) Autorius Tyrimas: Edgar Allan Poe   •   (Slovenščina) Avtor Študija: Edgar Allan Poe   •   (Latvijas) Autors Pētījums: Edgar Allan Poe   •   (eesti) Autor Uuring: Edgar Allan Poe