Brainstorming and interesting topics

A Brooklyn College student told us about his research process for a paper he wrote for his English II class:

“She said, ‘Pick one of the topics we discussed in class and advance on it and do some research.’ And write ten-page paper so I could get out of English II. And for a while, I was stuck.”

The focus of this class was disability studies, and he started off by thinking about “how people in the public see a person that’s disabled if they’re doing things that we normally do every day, they seem them as heroic and brave and, you know, how we see them.”

The student continues by sharing that he still felt stuck on the paper, and that he visited his professor’s office hours several times during the writing of this paper:

“And I started thinking, ‘You know, Marvel characters superheroes — for comic superheroes — I could try to put an idea about how they’re disabled as well and how, like, each superhero or villain has some kind of disability that can relate to the disabled person so the people can look up to them.'”

This student also narrated his drawing, highlighting his intial topic indecision and trepidation, and emphasizing that his interest in his topic helped carry him through the research and writing process:

“And then I would put myself with the computer, looking at it and trying to see the computer and, like, what to write about. And maybe to show that I got stuck I would, like, show me throwing the pages for the first time in the garbage. And then finally, how do you say brainstorm? The light bulb, the light bulb. Always the light bulb.”

“And I wrote about the villains — Two-Face, how he has bipolar disorder. Because I’m a psych major, so I wanted to put something in there. So I was like, ‘And I’m actually having fun with my research paper.'”