Comics as a Literary Resource

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The English Language Arts (ELA) classroom has evolved from a space for students to not only learn about general reading and writing skills, but to also gain prowess in articulating and backing up claims with textual evidence. With the recent adoption of the Common Core State Standards Initiatives by California (CCSSI), evidence-based claim-writing has become an essential component of the modern day ELA class. The adoption of CCSSI also comes at a time where student consumption of visual media outside of the classroom is at an extreme high-point. As a result of developments in technology and increasing access to a proliferation of media platforms, visual media consumption is leading to an increase in potential for visual literacy development for students. In order to engage students of this visually immersed generation, the employment of multimedia texts will be important in acknowledging the skills in visual literacy that students have developed outside of the classroom to be bridged towards evidence-based claim-writing. I am proposing that comics, as a genre of multimedia text, can bridge this gap between budding visual literacy and relevance towards the skills emphasized by the CCSSI for modern day ELA classrooms.
In order to see what effects comics have on student engagement, and whether comics can viably be integrated into a CCSSI classroom in order to improve claim-based evidence writing, I conducted a field study at Sequoia High School in Redwood City, California, in conjunction with an english teacher in a 9th grade English II Support Classroom. Over the course of two months, I made weekly visits to the classroom, creating comics-based assignments and lesson plans for students in conjunction with their classroom teacher to aid them in developing claim-writing skills for their final semester essay, which was to prove a claim about a group of characters in John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. I found that the use of comics as text allowed for a quantitative and qualitative increase in student textual engagement, and was conducive in aiding students generate original claim ideas and opinions about the text as well.


Type of resource text
Date created [ca. May 2018]


Author Nguyen, An
Advisor Garcia, Antero


Subject Multimedia
Subject comics
Subject ELA
Subject English language arts
Subject high school students
Subject Graduate School of Education
Subject survey
Genre Thesis

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Nguyen, An. (2018). Comics as a Literary Resource. Unpublished Honors Thesis.
Stanford University, Stanford CA.


Undergraduate Honors Theses, Graduate School of Education

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