Blog 4: This Isn’t Your Average Mirlyn Catalog Quest

I think it’s safe to say that for most college students, research isn’t the most intriguing thing. Speaking for myself, any way, I 100 percent stand by this claim. When I think of research for my past courses at Michigan, I’m haunted by images of me staring at my laptop screen scrolling through the Mirlyn catalog for what seems like 18+ hours, only to find one or two “scholarly” articles that maybe have a sentence pertaining to my argument or topic at hand-which I usually deem “good enough” (oops.) I’m now wondering aloud if this sounds familiar for anyone else, or if I just need a serious crash course in effective researching? Definitely both, but more than likely, more the latter. REGARDLESS of my own struggles of traditional research, I was pleased to discover that starting the research for my repurposing project was a lot more interesting and I found much greater success than I have in my past research quests.

Drawing from what I plan to do with my repurposing project, one of the sections of my Elite Daily modeled piece (“Life”) generally requires more academic background than other sections of Elite Daily (which require pretty much-none.) I’m focusing this piece on the benefits and drawbacks of using humor to cope, so my initial research started by simply googling “humor and coping” in google scholar and the general search engine. I found several different articles ranging from Psychology Today to articles written in the PyscINFO database at the University of Michigan. Most of these articles talked about the benefits of using humor, but where they led me is what made me rethink the original layout of this piece. I was led to various popular publications such as TIME, Forbes and People, all of which talked about various entertainment figures and how their use of comedy/ humor in their live’s have come with drawbacks.

Based off the wealth of both academic and popular culture background I was able to extract on the subject, I’ve decided to model this piece as a numbered PRO and CON list of using humor as a coping mechanism. Based on academic research, experience of respected entertainment figures and my own dependency on humor as it has both helped and hindered me,  I feel like I have a lot to draw from in the creation and legitimizing of my piece. That being said, I may consider breaking the piece up into two different parts (1 piece= the pros and 1 piece= the cons) of using humor to cope. There’s a lot I’ve found on the topic, and I feel like I have a lot to say. It might be more effective and cohesive with the Elite Daily style to break it up, so it doesn’t appear so obtuse and long-winded.

Looking at my other piece, The Five Types of Funny-Guys You’ll Date in Your Lifetime I’m excited to use my own experience as well as the experience of others to create something that is hopefully super relatable for most women. I wonder if I’ll be able to get enough input/ dating stories from other women to make sure it’s as relatable as it can be, but I’m excited to see where my conversations on the topic go with my friends, peers and family.

Courtesy of
Courtesy of

Rebecca Soverinsky

Rebecca is a Junior (please send help for her mental state in accepting this and a walker for her aging body) studying Communications at the University of Michigan. She believes award show season is the best season (shout out to E! News) and is always willing to take on a challenge or learn something new- as long as there is Nutella involved. She hopes to learn as much as she can from the Sweetland Minor in Writing, and she's excited to see what's in store.

2 thoughts to “Blog 4: This Isn’t Your Average Mirlyn Catalog Quest”

  1. Rebecca,
    I too am guilty of perusing through Mirlyn catalogue for ungodly amounts of time when I have to do a paper, with my end result only being a few satisfactory articles. With regards to you questioning your project, I would not necessarily change the projects form based on the research you did. When you looked for articles that dealt with humor and coping, it would only be natural that you find this material in such publications. This is a topic that is hard to write in a non-professional setting, as it can be controversial. However, that does not mean that you cannot write about the relationship between humor and coping in a more light hearted manner. In fact, it might be beneficial for you to do so, as it would allow a new perspective on the matter. As long as you are conscious of your ideal audience while you write about this topic and the voice with which you present it, I believe that it can be written in any form that you so please. It may be a little bit more difficult to do, but I feel like the reward of expanding your paradigm on writing will far outweigh the extra work that would be needed. However, that is up to you to decide; I am solely suggesting that you weigh the options carefully.

  2. Yes, I can absolutely relate to the issue of spending hours on ProQuest or Jstor but really only coming up with a few articles that are helpful to my own research. I think it’s awesome that a lot of your research will involve interviewing people, and gathering personal stories from yourself and from others. That sounds so fun! I think a pro/con list is a really interesting way to present factual information, that on its own may be more dry. I think your piece will end up being both funny and informative, which I think is exactly your goal! I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

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