These are the Most Assigned Novels by Women in U.S. Colleges


Less than a third of assigned reading in U.S. colleges is written by a woman. But who are the women authors that are being assigned? WordTips analyzed 300,000 English Literature syllabi in U.S. colleges using to see, and these are the results.

a graphic of the top 50 most assigned novels by women in American colleges, beginning with Frankenstein, Her Eyes Were Watching God, Beloved, Jane Eyre, and The Awakening

While Frankenstein took the top spot on the list, WordTips also analyzed the most assigned female authors, which causes authors with a larger body of work — like Virginia Woolf and Toni Morrison — to take higher spots on the list.

a graphic of the top 50 most assigned women novelists in American colleges, beginning with Virginia Woolf, Toni Morrison, Mary Shelley, Jane Austen, and Charlotte Perkins

Most Assigned Women Novelists In American Colleges

  1. Virginia Woolf
  2. Toni Morrison
  3. Mary Shelley
  4. Jane Austen
  5. Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Most states agreed on Frankenstein as their most-assigned novel written by a woman, but the second most common pick shows a little more variety, as the graphic below demonstrates.

a graphic of the second most assigned novel by a woman in each state

Check out the full analysis at WordTips, including the difference between books assigned in public colleges and Ivy League schools.

Find more news and stories of interest from the book world in Breaking in Books.

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