Sample Process Paper

                           The Legacy of Mickey Mouse











                                   Process Paper

                                                                                                    Johnny Jump-up

                                                                                                      Junior Division

                                                                                                   Individual Exhibit






    This is how I decided upon my topic.   In September, my teacher distributed a list of topics to the class that were aligned with the theme and the curriculum.  Our assignment was to choose three possible topics and research them with the intention of eventually narrowing it down to one.    Our teacher also said that if we had a topic that was not on the list, with his permission, it might be considered.

       That is when I decided to explore a topic of my choosing.     Since the personification of Mickey Mouse has been around for more than eighty years and is recognized as a symbol around the world, I thought it would be interesting to settle upon the lovable rodent as my topic.  I later developed my thesis statement with the help of my English teacher as part of a class assignment.


     This is how I conducted the research for Mickey Mouse.  My family had recently returned from a trip to Disneyworld. I had taken hundreds of pictures during the trip.  I printed any that I thought would be relevant and set them aside.  Next, I went on-line and scanned web-sites on the history of Mickey Mouse.  After printing articles, I highlighted information that referenced  context, the story, and impact and paraphrased notes onto a three-column graphic organizer provided by my teacher.  Finally, I was able to craft questions for an interview and skype Walt Disney’s great grandson who provided me with some interesting insight.


  I decided to enter the “Exhibit” category of the History Day contest because of all the pictures and original sketches I had accumulated.  I purchased two tri-fold backboards and braced them together with duct tape and rulers.  Next I spray-painted each panel black, white, and red.  Then I used stencils to letter the title, thesis statement, and each panel as “Context, Story, and Impact.”    I then attached captions where necessary and included a timeline at the bottom of the display. I constructed a diorama of “Steamboat Willie” to lay on the table.  Finally, I downloaded an excerpt from Mickey’s first cartoon accompanied by his most recent production.  These two historic pieces, along with a portion of my interview could be viewed from a tablet that I placed on a shelf behind the diorama.


      I feel my topic “The legacy of Mickey Mouse” relates clearly to this year’s theme of “Leadership and Legacy” for the following reasons.  Mickey Mouse was a pioneer in cartoon animation who ushered in other animated adventures and innovations.  Secondly, since Mickey Mouse has evolved, his image has become one of the most recognizable symbols on the planet.  Mickey Mouse transcends culture and language barriers.  His message of wholesome, tolerant fun can be appreciated by people from all corners of the world.  I hope his legacy will continue for generations to come.