Phase 1 - Introducing Me

My name is Ayesha Boison, a 19 year old, second-year student in the professional writing program. A born and raised Torontonian, with a background of Ghana. I love the colour blue, cheese, anime, kpop, music (not really country though, sorry), sleeping, eating and writing. I only realized I loved writing at some point in grade 10 of high school - all that time before I thought I was just a control freak about how things should be written. I especially love writing and reading fiction. There usually always wild and weird ideas for stories, characters, and worlds floating around in my head - sometimes even early in the morning like at 3 a.m. I aspire to become an author of young adult fiction - and are currently working on my first novel…

I am feeling absolutely topsy-turvy, nervous, anxious, and tongue-tied about this project.

A research tactic/shortcut that I think is commonly used by undergrads is only researching/using sources that aren’t academic, such as articles, anything that isn’t ‘peer reviewed’. This is helpful when students can’t really find academic sources for their topic, and mainly articles (magazine, news) are discovered quite easily and seem to have the info we want/need. This can be limiting because we aren’t expanding mush of our knowledge which can mostly happen with peer reviewed sources that have much more essential , in-depth, and critical information.

Week 2 - Opinionated

In Michael LaBossiere’s article he says that ‘philosophy begins with an opinion”, so perhaps it is safe to say that all knowledge begins with an opinion - mainly objective ones, and later it is either proven (becoming a fact) or denied with research. With subjective opinions (matter of opinions), it’s more so a personal judgement about something, and not something that can potentially become knowledge. It’s a distinctive belief that isn’t reasoned or supported with credible evidence, therefore it’d be easy to dismiss. Knowledge is indeed not ‘a matter of opinion’ at all - not possible really. Knowledge is facts, information, and skills discovered (at times stumbled upon as objective opinions), researched, and proven through experience or education. If all knowledge was ‘simply a matter of opinion’, the world would be quite misleading since, ‘everyone is entitled to an opinion’, and not all opinions are equally good, so it would be hard to tell the good opinions from the bad.

Week 3 - Fan-fiction in a Nutshell

Week 4 - 1,2,3…Pitch! It’s a Home Run!

Week 5 - POPULAR! I know about popular.

A popular source is a source that is among the many sites and articles and entries to come up (on the first page) when you search for something online, on a search engine (google, yahoo etc). It may not be unreliable (in fact it just might be a hundred percent reliable), but usually isn’t suitable for academic researchers to use, and it likely doesn’t exist for their purposes, but for the general population. I usually skim read an article/journal at first to find any keywords related to what i’m searching for (usually the title has some already which is what draws me to it), and if what I find seems to be on the right track, I go for reading most of it. As for credibility, I try to pay attention to the tone as i’m reading, to see if it’s biased or speaking from facts. I also scan the page for an author, date, references, site organization, and eventually I search up the author to know who they are and their credentials.,8599,2081784,00.html

The link above is an article from Time magazine. I don’t quite remember how I found it, but i do recall typing in words in the google search bar. I skim read the first page of it (out of 5 pages) and decided I wanted to use it for a source. I later looked up the author as he had no other identifying info other than his name. Lev Grossman is an American novelist and journalist. Looking back at the article, he described a few anecdotal evidences (including a minor interview at the beginning) which I’ve realized much of it are likely his. He writes professionally and not in a biased tone. As an article for a magazine, it can be like and shared multiple times on social media, which academic researchers might not view as a ‘serious’ source in a way.

A keyword is a word or concept with great significance. It’s important because it helps us find or narrow our searches in search engines or other places to search for things (maybe a library).

Keywords I’ve compiled: fan-fiction, fans, fiction, representation, diversity, harry potter, cultural, white male, mainstream, race, language, sexual orientation, gender, alternative, worlds

Week 6 - Scholars for Dollars

One scholarly source emerging as particularly helpful is a journal article by Antero Garcia, an Assistant professor in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University, called Making the Case for Youth and Practitioner Reading, Producing, and Teaching Fanfiction (2016). Garcia explains the social and personal benefits of writing fan-fiction as “fulfilling the social and emotional need for creative self- expression and wish fulfillment,” (pg. 353). I discovered this source by using google scholar, researching the keywords — ‘representation in fan-fiction’. I stumbled upon it around the second page of the results that came up. It’s a scholarly source because it’s written by an expert (as it provides his credentials, relevant to the topic) in the field (topic). The article has been published by an academic association. The information it has serves to inform, mostly writers and readers of various ages. It also has a list of references at the end, making the info it presents mos likely sound and reliable.

Another scholarly source, which may not be all that scholarly, is an article from Time Magazine by Lev Grossman (and American novelist and journalist), called, How Harry Potter Became the Boy Who Lived Forever (2011). He mentions the different forms fanfics can take (diversity in itself) such as artwork, musicals, and even in other languages (e.g. Thai, Japanese) (pg. 3), and also discusses what the genre means to people; a foreign thing to what is mainstream, but still an enormous entity (pg. 1). I discovered this source by looking through the reference list of an essay that I found online after searching something about ‘representation in fan-fiction’ on google. I don’t remember much about the contents of the essay. It appeared to me partially a scholarly source because it’s by an expert in the field of the topic - being a novelist and a journalist, thus relevant to the topic. The publisher of this source is a professional organization, but made primarily for the public. It’s has no references at the end which brings some doubt on its reliability, though it was also intended for writers and readers of various ages, and the info exists to inform - and even convince the public of what fan-fiction means to writers and readers.

I stumbled upon a humanities database called, EBSCO, and tried to search ‘representation in fan-fiction’ for any articles and such. The results were many periodicals - of Muslim, Jewish, Architectural, and other random subjects. I learned that my topic isn’t related to the subject of humanities, and also that the database/search engine of which you use to research what you are looking for, should be chosen accordingly and in relation to the topic, otherwise you’ll end up somewhere else entirely and off track. Though it could be useful to know that your topic has no relation to certain subject that maybe you originally thought it had something to do with. It could help narrow the search and avoid unnecessary ‘off-topics’ I’ll say, as well as eliminate any uncertainty.


EBSCO. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Garcia, A. (2016). Making the Case for Youth and Practitioner Reading, Producing, and Teaching Fanfiction. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 60(3), 353–357.

Grossman, L. (7 July, 2011). The Boy Who Lived Forever. Time Magazine. Retrieved from,8599,2081784,00.html

Week 7 - A Study in Municipality

Government sources might be useful or relevant in this project because it entails details of laws, rules and legislation’s in various countries, cities, towns and provinces. Such information can be helpful in providing some background info about a topic/issue, which can help us wholly understand what’s being discussed (in a podcast let’s say), and inform people about what can come next (punishment, reprimand, solution).

Industry sources might be useful or relevant in this project because it can provide statistics and databases that aids us in finding and collecting facts regarding demographics, minority groups, schools, and other general information. Such sources can also provide suggestions to other sites/mediums/links where you can find other certain kids of data or studies or guides, like journals or case studies. With access to such info, it can be useful for this kind of project where facts and stats kind solidify and support our claims, as well as enabling access to other sites where we can find info that we can add to what we already know or found.

Institutional sources might be useful or relevant in this project because it provides research by other schools (universities, colleges) which could include the ones in other countries and cities. The research can usually include info on a large variety of subjects. It can also provide access to another school’s libraries and archives (books, journals). All this info is likely peer reviewed and scholarly — there is usually a list of sources that were used to compile the info. With all this information such sources give us access to, it can ultimately be like a goldmine for this kind of project; such sites can open doors to wide ranges of info.


(n.d.). Research Guides. University of Oregon: UO Libraries. Retrieved from

(n.d.). Research Resources >> Government Funding Sources. APRA Canada. Retrieved from

(n.d.). Research Sources. Stanford Graduate School of Business. Retrieved from

Week 8 - On This Week’s Episode Outline of…!AmexjthM2XPRgyuCxZlio5TAlRue

Week 9 - A Good Judgement of Character

In the beginning, I will introduce Sadie Trombetta, who defines fan-fiction in her article as a new work of fiction that uses the characters or takes place in the setting of an original work and is written by fans instead of the original creator. Trombetta as a character, introduces us to what the genre essentially is, which is important to know before I go further into the story. So I ‘invite’ her as the first source.

As I get into the storytelling, I eventually pass it over to Lev Grossman, an American novelist and journalist, who lists the various forms that fan-fiction can take, thus letting us realize (shockingly) that the genre is also diverse in its self. With all these varied forms, fan fiction is much more flexible as it can be told in other languages, and from other perspectives of other characters.

Towards the near end, I introduce Assistant Professor at Stanford University, Antero Garcia, who describes his research of fan-fiction as a challenge of the ideas presented in literature. This information helps me disclose to listeners, what this genre is ultimately about, and supports the notion I present that it’s all-inclusive (it challenges the problematic ideas in original fiction — lack of diversity, etc).


Garcia, A. (2016). Making the Case for Youth and Practitioner Reading, Producing, and Teaching Fanfiction. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 60(3), 353–357.

Grossman, L. (7 July, 2011). The Boy Who Lived Forever. Time Magazine. Retrieved from,8599,2081784,00.html

Trombetta, S. (3 Mar. 2017). Why Fanfiction Is Good For Readers — And Writers. Bustle. Retrieved from

Week 12 - Looking Back Through The Looking Glass

The whole process of producing a podcast, was a bit frustrating regarding all the research and re-research I had to conduct. For weeks, no matter what direction I went, everything was too broad so I always had to find some kind of narrower path. Of the many sources I had found/searched for — academic or not — a few managed to stick around from beginning to end of this frustrating journey. I think I’ve learned new ways and options to find/conduct research, yet I still find that frustrating having to investigate whether or not the source is useful (scholarly articles especially, because they come with so much information and I gotta scan much of it to see what’ relevant to what I’m looking for).

I’m not sure that I learned anything about my abilities per say — it all feels same same. But I have seldom learned how to use a recording device, and kind of edit it. I am nowhere near confident in using it though, nor can I find it in myself to endure my recorded voice outside of a classroom setting. Although, I have discovered a new platform (Zotero) to help me cite (as I also find that stressful at times),and it gave me a little more confidence in finding a lot more sources. I think — I really think — that I’ve learned a thing [or two possibly] about communicating an idea, a lesson, and general information to an audience. I’ve become aware of the different voices I might be using, questions (rhetorical or not) I could ask, and using outside sources as ‘characters’ to help communicate the main thing I’m trying to prove/uncover/explain.

This vigorous, one-student-show, roller-coaster of a project, is something I might not want to revisit or retry for a long time. Although, I strangely enjoyed discussing it with other students who were in the same boat (class, tutorials). It wasn’t straightforward for anyone, and that brought a tiny bit of piece for me. Because of this course, I’ve actually listened to a podcast for perhaps the first time in my life, and they aren’t all that bad, but they aren’t all that intriguing either. The genre of podcasting is kind of a dead-end — for now, I guess.

The Final Podcaaaast! (April 4, 2019)