Everybody Loves Research

I doubt that the statement that headlines this post has ever been said by anyone anywhere. Particularly not by a college student in the midst of the mid-semester frenzy. I started writing my repurposing project and realized that I was nowhere near solid on any aspect of my project. What’s my genre exactly? Well, I was going to go for the basic long form essay, but the intro alone spans approximately 3 pages. I’ll have to cut a lot of that out, of course. Should I do a series of short journalistic opinion articles instead? It came time to start writing about my five controversial books, and I started, naturally, with the background of most book-related topics and (arguably) a series that has, over a decade, gained a following worthy of the term phenomenon. Can you guess? Here’s a few hints:

I started to write about Harry Potter. I soon realized, however, that if I was ever going to finish this project, I really needed to narrow down my focus. That’s hard to do when you’ve grown up among the billions of other fans and personally know people who have banned their kids from ever saying the name “Harry Potter.” I decided to attempt to understand the other side beyond my personal knowledge of the subject. My search began with the American Library Association. Eventually, I was lead to an old, and well-written article by such a parent that outlines the allegations against Harry Potter and then attempts to understand and advocate for strong parenting, rather than an outright ban on material that they don’t want their kids reading. After reading the whole article, I found myself panicking a little: How can I ever incorporate all of this information into one paragraph? And what, I ask you, is the true definition of:

Julia Smith

I am, like everyone else, a list of identities. I am a college student, a writer, a reader, a soccer fan, a worrier, both independent and dependent, a friend, a sister, organized until lack of time prevails, a leader, a follower, fond of sleep and bad at getting it, an amateur artist, a thinker, a collector and just your overall observer of the world we live in.

2 thoughts to “Everybody Loves Research”

  1. Julia,
    It’s really impressive that you’re doing such in-depth research into a topic (Harry Potter) that you clearly are very knowledgable on, but still understand that there are aspects that you need to learn more about. Having this perceptive is going to make your re-purposing project so much more thorough. I think the series of short articles may be more conducive to allowing you to fit more books in the project, but I do think it would definitely change the genre conventions that would be expected. It would be interesting to try and fuse the two, although I can’t say I’m particularly sure of what that would look like or how it would read for the audience. In terms of my own perception of what “banned” means, I would say that it means taking the decision-making power out of someone’s hands, thereby leaving them unable to choose for themselves. Hope this helps a little!
    -Eli

  2. Hey Julia,
    I can totally understand your dilemma, there is a ton and a half of information out there about our man HP. I think you should attempt to not stress too hard about how you will fit everything in, and focus more on what exactly you are trying to say and select for the facts you need to back up your argument. As far as my own definition for BANNED- I think the word (as applied to books) means it is officially prohibited by law and you can be punished for choosing to read it. Hope this helps!

    – Julia P.

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