Edgar Allan Poe Writing Style Analysis

Keywords: edgar allan poe gothic writing, edgar allan poe analysis

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) was an American creator blessed in Boston. His use of terror and the supernatural made him famous among the popular gothic authors. Poe had written numerous catalogs and poems with some 18+ mentioned catalogs to his credit. His secret writing was recognized by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to be exceptional and the ability to bring life into the characters portrayed. The life span and works of Poe are especially well explored in the e book 'The political market of books in antebellum America by Terence Whalen. Furthermore the publication 'Edgar Allan Poe: a biography' by Milton Meltzer represents the literary works and criticism of Poe's books and poems.


Edgar Allan Poe was noted for his gothic horror design of writing. Nevertheless he also used his writing expressing political sentiments, specifically that regarding racism, slavery and public distinctions in the Southern USA. This is set alongside the situation in Europe with Poe assisting the concept of slavery. The writer Toni Morrison in her publication entitled "Playing in the Dark" discovered Poe along with Mark Twain as an creator whose work was haunted by blackness. "Toni Morrison remarks that no early on American copy writer was more important than Poe in shaping a thought of "American Africanism"

The works of Poe were largely obscured for some 50 years after his loss of life due to copyright restrictions performed by his Executor Dr. Rufus B Griswold. "It really is nearly fifty years since the death of Edgar Allan Poe, and his writings are now for the first time gathered as well as an attempt at accuracy and reliability and completeness". Despite the production of several poems Poe was best known for his genre of horror and science fiction novels and Walt Whitman defined his works as "Poe's verses illustrate an powerful faculty for technological and abstract beauty, with the rhyming art work to excess, an incorrigible propensity toward nocturnal themes, and a demoniac undertone behind every webpage. There can be an indescribable magnetism about the poet's life and reminiscences, as well as the poems".

Poe's life was surrounded by tragedy along with his parents loss of life when he was just three years old. He became obsessive with drink and gambling and this resulted in his own rather obscure death as a drunk in Baltimore. Despite this his poems and novels that explored the conditions of the human psyche gained him international popularity both during his life and after his fatality. He was viewed as a tortured soul who was obsessed with death, violence and a sense of the macabre yet still gained an gratitude for those mysteries that life got to offer.

Poe was recognized by such notary poets as Longfellow, Wordsworth, Tennyson and Whitman. Despite his critics he left a legacy of gothic works that would later inspire film makers and other novelists in the horror and supernatural genre.

Poe was recognized by the international community as an acclaimed author of tales and poems in the gothic horror style. He was also critical of the politics scene in light of the turbulent changes in the Southern USA. He brought a method of gothic writing in order to make statements and used the concept of terror, unknown and the supernatural to bring dread and terror to culture. This paper explores different examples of Poe's writing and provides today's interpretation of his different styles and uses. A cross-section of Poems, Short Experiences in the genre of horror, puzzle and terror.



The Tell-Tale Heart is a brief story composed by Edgar Allen Poe. It is rather a ghoulish report concerning the murder of an old man who is dismembered and his body buried under floor-boards. The murder consequently loses his sanity thinking the heart and soul of the old man continues to be beating under the floorboards. It discussions of the old man having a "Vulture Eye", the obvious reason for the pre-meditated murder. The conflict is on the murders insistence of his own sanity but in so doing it becomes "self-destructive" as the defence build-up the truth to his ultimate admission of guilt. It is a saga of guilt, remorse and the dreadful idea of haunting of the individual head for an act so reprehensible. Evidently the murderer is the protagonist at the central theme of the story and the old man the antagonist by the concept of the "vulture eyes"

As the sound of the old man's heartbeat gets louder. The murder becomes more paranoid and believes that others can hear it, like the cops who can be found at the world of the crime. The illusion and paranoia eventually lead to the murder believing the authorities know that he is guilty and the murders tortured heart and soul eventually leads him confessing his guilt of the offense. This leads the murder to the evidence and telling the authorities the whereabouts of your body and instructions to tear up the ground boards.

The plot demonstrates the struggle between thoughts and science. The old man the rationale scientific mind and the narrator the imaginative


"The Cask of Amontillado" was compiled by Edgar Allen Poe in 1846. It was developed as a short account in "Godey's Lady's Book". The setting up was in an unnamed city in Italy, the period was not indicated but assume somewhere in the 18th Century. The theme of the story is about REVENGE. Through the 19th Century individuals appeared to have a great fascination with this subject material and as such this was a popular story. Poe was somewhat a dark or grim writer and this story was launched from the point of view of the murderer. Poe experienced the unique ability of being able to penetrate the interior mind and psychology of the murder and serves of insanity. From this he could create a graphical depiction of both horror and terror that leaves the sane reader aghast. The subject of revenge is specially potent materials and allows the writer to demonstrate the meaning of hatred and the steps someone would ingest order to exact an awful revenge.

Characters in the story

The story centers around two main personas that of "Montresor" (Murderer) and his victim "Fortunato", both men of noble birth. Montresor was extremely furious over some unspecified insult from Fortunato and consequently packages his murder. His goal or plan being to distract him during carnival time, when the festivities find the man in a drunken stupor, using the disguise of your jester's attire.

The Plot

Montresor captures the interest of Fortunato by talking about a procurement of an extremely valuable cask of sherry "the Cask of Amontillado" and requires Fortunato's expert thoughts and opinions on the quality of the wine. Out of this point he lures Fortunato through some subterranean passages beneath his Palazzo. When both men reach the cellar including your wine, Montresor grabs Fortunato and chains him to the wall and then proceeds to create a new wall and seal him in leaving him to expire.

In re-telling his story some 50 years later Montresor says he has never been captured and in so far as he knows your body of Fortunato still hangs suspended in the market where it was bricked in all those years ago. The unrepentant murder proclaiming " In rate requiscat" (may he rest in calmness). The story undoubtedly had an influence on later freelance writers. . . "This story and Poe's other short fiction got an undisputed effect on later fiction writers. Within the nineteenth century, Poe inspired Ambrose Bierce and Robert Louis Stevenson amongst others. Twentieth-century writers who have appeared to Poe include science fiction writer H. P. Lovecraft and horror creator Stephen Ruler. "

Analysis and Symbolism

The theme and storyline of the story is based after murder and revenge. It isn't a secret or detection tale, the unknown resides in the genuine motives that Montresor devoted murder. Montresor suggested that he received a "thousand injury", although no substantive reasons were provided. The reader is still left to determine the cause of the motives, including the probability that Montresor is at fact insane. There are a few contradictions in the story, for example: Fortunato is presented to the readership as a wine beverage expert. . . " he becomes so drunk he'd struggle to identify the Amontillado and snacks De Grave, a pricey French wines, with little respect by having it in one gulp"

The tale also indicates that Montresor was of noble birth and yet he proven brick laying skills, more normally from the working class. It really is known that the writer had knowledge of the subject subject in his personal life and therefore appreciated the visual horrors of such an abstraction to his audience. "Poe performed in the brickyard late in nov 1834". Vincent Buranelli made lots of observations about the storyplot and in more standard terms about Poe's morbid fascination with death. He expanded by stating how this experienced influenced musicians of the time including Debussy. . . "According to Vincent Buranelli, Poe's brief stories also influenced the music of Claude Debussy, who was simply "haunted" by the atmosphere of Poe's tales, and the artwork of Aubrey Beardsley, as well as the task of other composers and painters in the United States, Great Britain, and in European countries. " The gothic design of Poe's writing has a definite sense of morbidity about any of it. . . "The thousand traumas of Fortunato I had formed borne when i best could; but when he ventured after insult, I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the type of my spirit, will not suppose, however, which i provided utterance to a threat. At length I would be avenged". The examination of the term is interesting. It advises a building of in sufferance from the relationship with Fortunato culminating in a final insult that threw Montresor into a fit of rage and eventually to a storyline of murder. Because of this to build into such circumstances illustrates the evident insufficient dialogue and trust between the two meant friends. This also leads the reader to question the mind-set of Montresor and indeed question his very sanity.

Richard P Benton (a mentioned copy writer on Poe) asserted that the character for Montessori was in fact based upon "Claude de Bourdeille, Count number of Montresor" a politics conspirator in the court of King Louis X111.


The Raven was initially publicized in 1845. It really is seen as a classic North american poem. The poet identifies that of a speaking Raven which trips a distressed enthusiast and in the end traces the man's thoughts as he steps in to the depths of insanity. The man is considered to be a student who's lamenting over the loss of his fan called 'Lenore'. The Raven is a strange bird symbolic of fatality and repeats the words 'never more'. The man asks the Raven questions but it only right answers 'Never more' and therefore he will never be reunited with his Lenore and his soul shall not be lifted 'Never more'. At the time the poem came up in for a good amount of criticism, as well as the acclaim from other poets. It was regarded as inspired by the work of Charles Dickens from his book Barnaby Rudge. The Raven is considered to be always a devil like creature that is symbolic of both dark magic and the devil. The outcome of the poem would be that the student won't get over the grief for his lost Lenore. Lenore also translates to Helen [Helen of Troy representing beauty] and the bust of Pallas is representative of the Greek goddess Athena [the goddess of knowledge]. This is symbolic of the fact that grief and sorrow displace knowledge and common sense in the man's life. That is a intricate poem numerous meanings. Poe was especially artful at understanding ancient greek mythology and having the ability to both intertwin this with comparisons to people in his own narrations. He exhibited similar characteristics with figures out of European background and related these to American books. It's important to understand that many of Poes viewers were international and particularly from European countries where he had a huge following. This translation therefore became an important part of reaching that audience.

THE Dark colored CAT

Is a short report narrated by Poe. It was put together in 1843 and falls under the horror genre. The storyline focuses upon the deteriorating life of your alcoholic but also it involves animal abuse and murder. It is useful to note that Poe himself experienced a serious drinking problem and in Baltimore he dropped into bad company. This may well have inspired this work established after his own shortcomings and fear of dropping into madness therefore of alcoholism.

The report is a secret book and about the unlocking of signs to a murder, as unveiled by the secret black cat. It's the location of concealed objects that allow you to resolve puzzles that allude to the murder. The cat is named Pluto [ Roman name for the God of the underworld] and symbolic of the devil and hell. The dark feline is also associated with bad luck and misfortune. The feline is utilized to depict the insanity of the narrator as he spins uncontrollable due to the worsening ramifications of alcoholism. This Gothic tale becomes even more shocking as you're about to get inside your brain of an insane person and eventually it leaves someone to ponder the surprising history and the works committed by the man i. e. The walling up of his partner and the dark-colored cat in the cellar. Poe was highly inspired by drink and opium which may well take into account his potential to graphically define horror, based upon the horrors that he experienced from drink and drugs. Opium was known because of its hallucogenic characteristics and Poe acquired a love of pet cats; hence it becomes simpler to know how his mind sees it much easier to start and unravel the workings of insanity and the unfortunate affects of advanced alcoholism.


The pit and the pendulum is another short story published by Poe in 1842. It explains to the storyline of a young prisoner that is tortured within the Spanish inquisition. The storyplot depicts what it is like to be tortured and tries to location to reader in circumstances of fear, thereby attractive to the senses and noises that hinge after realism. The tall candles that are melting depict the prisoner and his life ebbing away with little anticipation of remission or recovery. The prisoner is locked in a dark prison which he believes is his tomb. The prisoner becomes aware that he has been destined in a pit with a scythe like pendulum gradually swinging down towards him. This will be the device of his execution but the prisoner can get rats to gnaw his bone fragments and release him. He is finally rescued before the inner walls move inwards and force him to his loss of life in the bottom of the pit. Although Poe takes historical license with the storyplot it is generally performed that the pit and pendulum were found in torture devices by the Spanish inquisition. The storyplot was later made into a film starring the acting professional Vincent Price. Some have contrasted this work to the situation of slavery in the Southern Areas i. e. the concept of bondage and being truly a prisoner, the sense of life ebbing away without remission from slavery, the torture being the lashing and brutality inflicted after slaves by their experts and the final recovery being the freedom from slavery by the Northern Union Army at the end of the civil warfare. The evaluation being the Spanish Inquisition to the plight of the slaves.


This story pertains to the decline of a family and house [the House of Usher]. Right from the start the writer paints a bleak view of rot and decay in a frigid autumnal setting up The novel compares the crumbling decay of the house compared to that of the family that dwells within. The character types Roderick and Madeleine are twins and symbolize the mental and physical drop of the family. Roderick thinks that the rocks of the home have a awareness and as such they embody the destiny of the Usher family. Within the novel Poe reaches grips with the interior workings of the individuals creativity and the damaging concepts that reside within. The results of this business lead to mental condition and fatality from the torturous terror of the imagination. The house itself "crumbles into the profound and dark tarn", (Womak 2010) and depicts the narrator fleeing from madness to be able to safeguard his own sanity.

Some critics related this piece to the destruction of the plantations, properties and individuals in the Southern Areas by the persecution of the Northern Union armies. The crumbling decay of the house being that of the confederate areas and how old ideas and family members were being crushed under the idea of change by the slavery abolitionist motion of the North.

The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar

This short report was first posted in 1845. This instructs the story of your dying man. A mesmerist places a guy into a state of hypnosis soon before his time of loss of life. He examines the idea of hypnotizing a guy dying of tuberculosis in order to see what goes on to him. The man is kept in the hypnotic status for seven a few months. The dying man (Valdemar) beckons to be woken or permitted to pass away by wagging his tongue. Through the hypnotic point out he was pale, cool and without pulse. As the hypnotist eventually wakes him Valdemar's tone of voice shouts Dead! Dead! As he comes from the trance his body instantly decays into a putrefied liquid mass of decayed material. Poe was known to have deeply researched medical tests and post mortem examinations and as such was able to assemble an image of words to be able to depict the horror and gore. Additional effect to this report might have been the fighting and fatality of his partner Virginia who passed on from Tuberculosis; having suffered to the idea of her departure.

The Masque of the Red Death

This popular short story follows the main identity of Prince Prospero who tries to escape a plague called 'The Red Death', by concealing in his abbey along with his noble friends. During this time period they have a masked ball which includes many different colored rooms. During the ball a weird masked figure gets into the room dressed up in a shroud like halloween costume. This enrages Prospero who wants to learn who this person is and wishes him hanged. He ignores the Prince which enrages Prospero who chases after him with a drawn dagger. Prospero confronts the stranger in the Dark room and shortly after is found useless. The guests find both Prospero and the stranger on to the floor. They take away the mask from the stranger only to find a faceless creature that is Red Death itself. Following this all the nobility succumb to the condition and are located dead. Although the condition is fictitious it might be symbolic of the Dark Loss of life that swept through the middle ages in European countries. The idea made is the fact nobody in the end escapes death no matter riches or position. Fatality comes to all of us in the end. Other ideas are that Poe was inspired by the fatality of his partner Virginia and her suffering due compared to that of tuberculosis.

The Murders in the Rue Morgue

Poe first publicized this murder mystery in 1841 in Grahams Publication. It tells the storyline of the brutal telling of two ladies in the Rue Morgue of Paris. One experienced her throat trim and the other strangled. This was one of the earliest detective books that inspired fictional characters of Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot. The central detective amount in this tale being one Auguste Dupin. The detective found his first idea by exploring some hair that was not of human source. In addition witnesses recounted having read noises and tones in a terminology that they had never heard before. Dupin suspected that this might be an Ourang-Outang and go about placing an advertisement for someone who may have lost such an animal. It was discovered that a sailor had brought one from Borneo which the animal possessed escaped with a shaving razor. The pet emulating shaving on the victims.

Poe composed this story at a time when offense and detection happened in great fascination in both London and New York. It aimed at proving the idea of brains over brawn i. e. the brains of the skilled detective versus the brute durability of the ape. Poe was thought to have motivated Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes) and Agatha Christie (great secret and detective copy writer).

Comparisons were designed to the captivation and treatment of the Ape. As the Ape was brought from its' native Borneo to a bizarre land and subjected to the dangerous procedures of its captor (sailor); therefore the negro was transplanted from Africa to the plantations of the Americas and at the mercy of the bondage and tough treatment of his new get better at.

The Premature Burial

This short report was based after the concept of being buried alive. It focuses upon somebody who has been struck down with a condition called 'catalepsy' which puts you into a loss of life like trance. Here a person is buried alive and only at a later time when the tomb is exposed is the accident revealed. Poe calls for benefit of a fear that was widespread amongst folks of the 19th century in the concept of being buried alive. It again illustrates Poe's desire for the morbidity of fatality.

The Imp of the Perverse

This story is about that of an imp or demon that influences a person to be able to conduct acts of mischief. The storyplot starts with a candle, having been located in the area of a victim, and omits a poisonous vapour. The causes the loss of life of the sufferer who reads during the night by the candlelight in a badly ventilated room. The narrator, being the murderer, thinks he has got away with the criminal offenses following the coroner provides a verdict of 'an act of god' The narrator subsequently inherits the home and enjoys the benefits from the deed for many years to come. He seems that the only way he will ever be caught is that if he confesses the criminal offenses. He later detects himself running right through the roadways and confesses the deed to a low profile friend. This brings about him being tried, convicted and sentenced to loss of life.

The story is based upon the premise that all people trim towards self-destructive tendencies which ultimately we cannot enough time moral responsibility for the deed that we perform. Other critics have suggested that the storyplot related purely to Poe's life and his depiction of personal torment and self-destruction. It took place at the same time when he thought betrayed and held a general population feud with the English poet Henry Longfellow.


This was a satirical analysis narrated by Poe in 1844. The storyplot is situated upon a guy who died after swallowing a needle accidentally. This leads to the appearance of your odd character made of a keg and bottles of wine (the angel of the odd), who's said to be the root cause of these bizarre events. The person is not persuaded of the storyplot and falls into a drunken stupor. The man later wakes up to find that his house is burning and narrowly escapes death by clambering down a ladder from the upper window of the house. During the escape a hog brushes at night ladder causing the person to fall and break his arm. He later will try to woo two different women who have a good laugh at his wig, this he was pressured to wear after his head of hair was singed in the flame. All of these misadventures lead the man to feel he's cursed and he makes an attempt suicide by drowning. In this occurrence a crow steals his clothes and the ensuing run after sees the person slipping off a cliff only to be rescued by the rope dangling from a heat balloon. At this time the angel of the odd re-appears and asks him to confess that bizarre situations can really happen. The person refuses and the angel slices the rope allowing the person to show up to his loss of life. This is viewed as the revenge of the angel.

The story includes many parallels with Poe's own life. In particular the results of his dependency with alcohol and perhaps drugs. Opiate drugs of your hallucogenic mother nature were widely used at this time and particularly in sea jacks like Baltimore where Poe lived for some time and was recognized to have become an alcoholic living amongst bad company. Poe was also regarded as a tortured soul of self-destructive tendencies. This added to his gothic style of writing.


Berenice was a horror storyline compiled by Poe in 1835 and follows the sag of one 'Egaeus' destined to marry his cousin Berenice. His future bride-to-be sometimes appears to deteriorate in health by an mysterious disease that leaves only her pearly whites in a healthy talk about. Berenice dies and is also buried leaving Egaeus with an obsession over her pearly whites. One day a servant gets into his room to inform him that Berenice's grave has been disturbed and she is still alive. Egaeus is available to have a box made up of 32 blood vessels stained pearly whites with a poem that instructs of his appointments to the grave of his beloved. This is plainly an indication of the insanity of Egaeus and his obsession with the sole healthy remaining element of one's teeth.

Critics were surprised by the gruesome account and graphic horror of the storyline. They questioned Poe's mind-set to create such stories. Poe may have been inspired by the suffering of his better half Victoria and dyeing from Tuberculosis as she experienced an agonising and prolonged death. Addititionally there is some question over Poe's sanity given his link with drink, drugs and tendencies of self-destruction and his desire for death.


Eleonora tells the story of the narrator who resides with his cousin in the 'valley of the numerous coloured lawn'. It had been regarded as an idyllic paradise of exotic birds, fragrant blooms, and softly working streams. Eleonora was unwell and was beautiful only ready to perish. She didn't fear loss of life but only the loss of her lover from the valley to another. Once Eleonora dies the valley starts to fade and lose its splendour. The narrator leaves the valley and goes to a City where he complies with and marries Emengarde. Eleonora visits the narrator from the afterlife and blesses the couple stating that they are absolved and the reason why would be produced known in heaven.

This has a direct correlation with the life span of Poe and particular the suffering and death of his partner Virginia. During the time that she endured for five years Poe lived with his young cousin who later became his better half. It is the question of guilt and absolution from sins. Poe considering his feelings for the love of other women whilst his wife was dying. Poe was evidently tormented by the suffering of his wife.



The idea of gothic horror writing derives from the Germanic competition of Goths or Visigoths in European countries. These folks were popular in European countries as a fierce race of folks that dealt in tales of death and the supernatural. Gothic writing has been associated with horror since the mid-18th Century. Specifically the literary works of Edgar Allan Poe and Bram Stoker (the author of Dracula). The design of gothic writing gained its attractiveness through the period 1750-1820. In Britain the Bronte Sisters and particularly Emily with the storyplot of Wuthering Levels. In the USA this was picked up in the South by such writers as William Faulkner and his book entitled "A rose for Emile". Another was the Pulitzer Reward winning publication of "To destroy a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee and made into a great film starring Gregory Peck.

"Poe presumed his art-all art-should be assessed by international, somewhat than national or regional, requirements, but he was, nonetheless, frequently discovered at the time with the South. He didn't protect his region's politics or social customs, like other antebellum southern writers, but his lyricism was common to southern poets. Lifted a Virginian, Poe sometimes posed as the southern gentleman, even if transcending regionalism in his work. "


During the division between the North and Southern expresses it was broadly held that Poe was politically encouraged towards the South "Certain scholars understand this issue in terms of any North-South section and view Poe as the agent of a southern literary custom fighting resistant to the domination of the brand new England literary group". Despite offering in the Union Military and spending time at Western Point it was extensively placed that Poe's sympathies continued to be with the south; structured after his formative years in Richmond Virginia.

Poe became relatively controversial for the reason that he defended the idea of view regarding slavery in the South. He drew parallels between ant-slavery agitation at the time of Cromwell (Britain) and the French Revolution. He remarked that these were all about an strike on property; the reason being the freedom of the slaves. He further explained that recent occurrences in the West Indies and the Southern Expresses all give rise to the potential recurrence of a property pick up being initiated by Northern State governments land owners who are politically encouraged. Poe continued to say that there existed a relationship between your slave and the grasp; the slave being very faithful to the Professional. The Master in turn provided employment, shelter and security. Poe wrote this from the point of view of the southern family who got owned or operated slaves. He was especially vocal during his editorship of the 'Messenger' in Virginia and he shared lots of tablets referred to as 'Pinakidia'.

Poe observed a trend in the market place where a large numbers of magazines were for sale that depicted the visual horror of slavery. Poe utilised this tendency in his own narration covering both pro and anti-slavery viewpoints. So many of his tales exchanged after the terror of slavery. Poe masters the concept of slavery to be able to invoke terror into his readers. In the history of 'Hop Frog' he reveals how "the literary market place turns the author into a slave for the voracious urge for food of the audiences for horror". Poe deals with the integration of slavery into that of racial stereotyping as observed in 'Murders in the Rue Morgue', the ape that is captured and required to react to a weird land.


Edgar Allan Poe achieved better acclaim as an author and a poet in international circles instead of in america. His literary executor 'Rufus Griswald' was considered to be both jealous and an opponent of Poe. He branded Poe as a drunkard and opium addict and defamed him to American literary culture. It had been some 50 years after Poe's fatality that the genius of his work began to receive international acclaim. Poe in a way went downhill following the loss of life of his wife and he became a lot more involved with alcohol, drugs and combining in bad company. Baltimore was especially bad during this time period and he was found deceased lying outside Ryan Inn a tavern in Baltimore. There were many speculations about his loss of life however the latest theory from the College or university of Maryland is that he died of rabies, possibly from a rabid kitty. Poe was reported to be extremely keen on cats and this might have been the consequence of a bite in one of his dogs. THE TOWN of Baltimore similarly possessed many sailors passing through it which led to numbers of rabid animals in the poorer areas of the town. "Poe was also one of the very most prolific literary journalists in American history, one whose comprehensive body of reviews and criticism has yet to be accumulated totally. James Russell Lowell (1819-91) once composed about Poe: "3 fifths of him genius and two fifths sheer fudge. "


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