How to do a Comic Book Research Paper

Jun 16, 2021


Doing a comic book research paper is no different from doing any other kind of research paper. Once students decide on a research title, they still have to do research, cite all their sources and provide a detailed reference list. 

The format of comic books offers both words and images which the reader must interpret. As comic books and graphic novels represent an evolving form of art and literature, scholarship and research around them is increasing all the time. 

Come up with a title

Within the context of a society that’s changing rapidly, comic books entertain and educate but they have also documented and interpreted many historical, social and current events. 

There are some unique and valuable insights that can be obtained from studying comic books.  

There is no shortage of stimulating topics for a comic book research paper. One law student wrote a thesis about whether comic book superheroes were good models of justice. 

Another wrote about how the image of the scientist in the Marvel comics evolved over the years, how the process was influenced by societal changes and what they are like now. One student wrote about the influence of Japanese Manga on North American pop culture, while another reflected on how digital media affected comics. 

Use online comic book resources

New collections and resources are being created and developed to meet the needs of fans, scholars, collectors, and researchers. With all the internet resources, it can be challenging to identify ones that are updated and maintained. They often lack organization, although they may contain authoritative content. There is a research guide for students that contains annotated online comic book resources. It includes organizations, associations, bibliographies, collections, online journals and magazines.  

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Create an outline

An outline of a comic book assignment will show the thesis statements and main ideas. These are specifically the features that students will discuss and evaluate and the material they will use for support. Creating an outline makes a paper much easier to write. 

Use a research writing service

The research proposal writing service from Uk.EduBirdie is available to British students and offers them an opportunity to have a research proposal written by expert writers. They can explore the profiles of various professional writers before selecting the one they feel is most suitable. If they are not happy with the quality, they can request the writer for revisions and don’t have to pay until they are satisfied. This service is available to both U.K. and international students.

Use a citation guide

Bibliographic citation can be problematic when dealing with comic books. They incorporate aspects of both books and periodicals. The primary aim is to provide location information to assist those who want to track down a cited source. Of basic importance is that citation should incorporate four basic elements: writer, artist, story title, and publication information. Students can use an online style guide that gives instructions and examples for citing comic books. 

Some difficulties  

Comics are easy to recognize but not so easy to define. Page layout, art style, text and images all contribute to the overall impression and without one element, the other does not work as well. There are few set rules for how to analyze comics and to determine how the different elements interplay with one another to create meaning. Not all comics feature the same degree of ironic interplay between the elements but they can still be difficult to interpret. 

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Students are often diverse in their writing experience and academic writing can be a challenge to master. Assigning comic book research papers to students can help them to learn and evaluate different forms of evidence. Students often battle to distinguish between academic sources and anecdotal evidence.

Innovative and interesting  

Students often find a comic book research paper interesting and different to write despite the difficulties. Scott McCloud’s book Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art has become like a handbook for anyone interested in studying or analyzing comic books. It helps to establish a set of terms that convey information presented in comic books and is presented as a comic book itself.   


It can be difficult to analyze comic books. They are remarkably dynamic, detailed and textured. Students must approach comics as informed readers and approach a comic book assignment in the right way. They need to choose a suitable topic, formulate a good argument and acknowledge their sources. Using a less traditional medium, like comic books, may just give a student who enjoys more visual learning a chance of writing a winning comic book assignment. 

Author Bio:

Joshua Robinson works for a novel publishing company where he is the lead author and has written several high-selling novels in sci-fi, mystery, suspense and satire genres. He’s a brilliant academic writer as well and has done thousands of essays for college students, all of which have won high ratings from the students. His free time is for reading poetry, listening to classical music and playing table tennis.

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