Monday, March 31, 2014

Unexpected Benefits of English Symposium

Creative Commons License 2.0 / tripu
 When I went to English Symposium, I didn't expect it to be very helpful for my paper, especially considering that the panel I attended was entitled "Teaching Harry Potter."  I'm not an English teaching major and Harry Potter didn't seem to have much to do with A Little Princess or Alice in Wonderland.  I just went because they were talking about Harry Potter.  I thought that maybe I could get some tips on using a seemingly non-academic book for an academic paper.  I also thought it might be somewhat helpful to see how they used their sources in analyzing the text.  While attending the panel was helpful in that respect, it was helpful in other ways that were more specific to my paper as well.

First off, this panel was helpful in expected ways.  It was nice to be able to see that it is possible to talk about a beloved book in an academic setting and do a good job with the academic aspect while still genuinely appreciating the book.  I think that in this situation, that might have been achieved partially because of the way in which the sources were used.  The more interesting speakers focused a lot on the Harry Potter books and brought outside sources in to clarify things without relying too heavily on them.  It was a good reminder for me that while outside sources are important, my paper will be more interesting if I focus on analyzing the text more.

As far as more specific help goes, I was surprised at what I found.  Truth be told, I suppose there wasn't really all that much in the speakers' presentations that related directly to my paper, but one of the speakers used a quote that reminded me of an article about A Little Princess that I had read earlier.  I thought it over for the rest of the panel, and now I think that I have a clearer idea of where I want to go with my paper.  Plus, I have another potential source to use, because I found the article the quote was from later.  So even though the panel didn't relate too much to my paper, I actually did get some good results from attending it.


  1. I'm glad you found a way to connect the session you attended to your current project. Good luck with your drafting!

  2. I liked how you placed yourself in an environment, even though it didn't directly relate to your exact topic, in which literary works were discussed. Your example to research something new and being open to learn something new is how you gained those insights which may not have came if you hadn't tried.