Sample English Research Paper on J. K. Rowling Major Works

J.K Rowling is popularly known as the author of Harry Potter Fantasy Series. J.K Rowling was born in Chipping Sodury in the year 1965 on July 31st. She and her family lived in Winterbourne but later moved to Tutshill when she was nine years. Her parents read a lot and so books were her all around her. She wanted to be a writer from an early age and wrote her first book called “Rabbit” when she was six years and later wrote a novel about seven cursed diamonds at age eleven.

Rowling studied at Wyedean Comprehensive School and then later went to Exerter University where she learned Classics and French.  She developed her first idea of Harry Potter when she was delayed by a train which was headed for London in 1990.From there she began planning the series most of which she drafted on paper. Her first professional career was a teacher which begun in 1991 in Portugal where she was teaching as an English teacher. This is where she met her husband, Jorge Arantes and they were blessed with one child, Jessica. However, they broke up, and she was apparently thrown out of the house. She raised her child as a single mother surviving on state benefits and concentrating on writing Harry Potter. It was tough life for her as sometimes she would go to Edinburgh Café and write as her child had a nap.

She finished her first copy of Philosopher’s Stone and tried to find a publisher and was rejected by five publishing houses. Eventually, a small publisher agreed to take the book and paid her advance of $1500 (Kirk 39).She was however discouraged and advised to continue teaching as writing did not pay, but fortunately the book sales started picking in few weeks of publication in 1996. By 1998 the books were a success, and she was earning a seven-figure sum. Harry Potter was one of the most recognized media products. In 2006, J.K Rowling finished her final book of “Harry Potter, Harry Potter, and Deathly Hallows.”

J.K Rowling Influences

            Firstly, her life history and her journey to success has been a great motivation to people looking forward to achieving their dreams including entrepreneurs and inventors. J.K Rowling journey was not easy considering all the challenges and discouragements she faced that writing did not pay but pushed through them and succeeded eventually. One aspect of her zeal is trying as many publishers without tiring to publish her first book. This showed some form of determination and desire. She also has a great influence through the themes of her works in almost all aspects of life. Her books examine social issues like prejudice and conflict. Harry Potter series instilled positive influence on its generation. The books induced this group to have greater levels of acceptance for all groups without discriminating have higher political tolerance and greater opposition to torture and violence among others (mA Churcher 199).

Harry Potter connects a lot to characters belonging to stigmatized groups. Through her works, J.K Rowling tries to appreciate and understand their hardships and fight for social equalities. Considering there are many factors that shape our attitudes, reading books can have a positive impact on our development and social skills. Reading Rowling novels implied literal engagements with social, cultural and psychological complexities of life. Harry Potter series helped raise children of its generations by educating them on moral conception of rights and wrong. This explains why her fans were more liberal and negative towards President Bush. They had learned to be more opposing to torture.  J.K Rowling most magical effect was how she influenced her readers to be less prejudiced against stigmatized groups including immigrants, refugees, and homosexuals among others.

Historical perspective of Harry Potter

            J.K Rowling works is a reaction to the treatment of their cultural heritage. There are important points that keep emerging. “The History of Magic in Birth America” is one of the issues. This particular issue relied on worn-out stereotypes which ignore the true cultures and traditions of distinct nations. It reinforces the conception of Native America People as mystical beings and not real beings existing today. For example, in some of her descriptions, she claims that the Native American Wizard was gifted in animal and plant magic. This refers less to the cultural traditions of Native Americans, and more of stereotypes of mystical Nobel Savage used for centuries by non-natives which make Native American seem unusual.

J.K Rowling gives us a fictionalized account of Native American culture. In her writing about the Navajo legend, ‘skin walkers’ are said they can be evil witches who can take the form of animals. Explaining about the myth, Rowling wrote that the myth “has its basis in fact…A legend grew up around the Native American Animagi, that they had sacrificed close family members to gain powers of transformation… Such derogatory rumours often originated with No-Maj medicine men, who were sometimes faking magical powers themselves, and fearful of exposure” (Flood 1).Rowling further explained that in her wizard world, there were skin walkers but a legend created by non-magicians as a symbol of wizards. The reality, however, is that to Native Americans, Skin walkers have roots and contexts and therefore when Rowling tried fictionalizing a living reality of a marginalized group, that is cultural appropriation.

Plot summary of Harry Potter series

            The Harry Potter fantasy series comprises aspects of love, romance, hate, curse, and rebirth. The seven books begin with “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” Harry Potter loses her parents when ten years old and starts living in poor conditions. He receives a mysterious letter inviting him to Hogwarts School of witchcraft and wizard. All over a sudden something begin making sense like why his relatives hate him, why he has a scar on his forehead and all the nonmagic people and begins imagining his future better than his past. He is a celebrity in his school, the person that killed his parents and left him a scar and the only person that can escape evil. In this book, more characters emerge who stay through the series.

The “Chamber of Secretes” is the next book. Ginny, one of the characters find a book that belongs to Lord Voldemort’s school days. She reads out a chapter about Chamber of secretes which turns as a gateway for an early monster. The monster disturbs children in school. Harry discovers his ability to speak snake language and gets to learn some secrets of Lord Voldemort. The books end as Harry is fighting the monster and saves Ginny but in the process destroys a soul in the diary book which was hidden by Lord Voldemort.

Following book is “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.” Harry is in his third year. Here Harry gets to know her father’s friends, Remus and Sirius. Remus teaches him how to fight dark creatures while Sirius happens to be a murderer believed to have contributed to the death of Harry’s parents.

 “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” book introduces other wizarding schools. There are two teams from Durmstrang Magical Institute and Beauxbaton who comes to Hogwarts to the Triwizard Tournament. Everyone is astonished when the goblet spits Harry’s name, who must undergo three death tasks.

The following book is “Harry Potter and the order of the Phoenix. “The book composes an account of love and romance. Wizards are going through adolescents. The 15-year-old Harry gets a powerful crush and feelings of rebellion and triumph. He begins to question why he is the only one that has to fight. The pressure of giving up is too much especially with everyone denying the truth including the newspaper of the magic world which insinuates that Triwizard Tournament is all in his head. No one believes in Voldemort . Harry accidentally finds old parts of books signed by someone mysterious and this marks the following book called, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.” Dumbledore, a character of the book is among the few people that believe Harry. They both understand that the final battle is around the corner and needed to take all measures to defeat Voldemort. They get clues from the Pensive on how to defeat Voldemort.

Finally is “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” The book is divided into two parts where Voldemort has completed ascending to power and gets control over the Ministry of Magic. He and his friends drop out of school to fight Voldemort. They get in a mission of searching Voldemort’s Horcruxes. In the search, he learns about the Professor and why he always hated him and also learns about Mr.Dumbledore past. Harry discovered he is one of the Horcruxes and surrenders himself to Voldemort that cast a killing curse on Harry. Later on, Dumbledore explains that Voldemort had destroyed the Horcrux inside him upon using Harry’s blood to gain his full strength. The book ends as Harry returns and with the help of his friends Ron and Hermione, he defeats Voldemort and his supporters thus saving the world of witchcrafts and wizards.

Description of major and minor characters

            Harry Potter comprises of many characters. Harry Potter, the protagonist of the series, is a sympathetic figure, a child that was introduced in the magic world while still very young. Throughout the books, he grows in a setting forming friends, fighting foes and finding love. Ron Weasley is Harry’s Best Friend. He is not a coward and not contented living Under Harry’s shadow. He is also comic. Though he lacks natural magic talent, he overcomes his challenges through faithfulness and endurance. Another character featured almost throughout the seven books is Severus Snape. He is the most interesting and complex characters in the books. He is a figurative hero. He is not good in many ways, but when his true loyalties and hardships were revealed, everyone included those that hated him accepted he was a good guy all along. He was rather cruel, a bully and bitter yet loyal and loving. As J.K Rowling describes her, “he was a Slytherin who died a Gryffindor” (Rowling 22).Another important character is Hermione. Hermione is as described in the book a “smart one” that has saved the lives of her friends including Harry. She is like glue that keeps her little group together and also with the potential to tear them apart. In the books, she is described as nerdier than Emma Watson. J.K Rowling describes her as, “very logical, upright and good” (Dewi 29).

Albus Dumbledore plays the role of the pseudo grandfather in the story. He is proven to be one of the most skilled wizards living. He gives advice to Harry and plays a father figure. In the book, he tells Harry that “we all have good and evil inside us, Harry. It is the side that we choose to act on that determines where we stand” (Potter 116). Sirius is the  “The Prisoner of Azkaban.” His death made Harry so sad that he almost killed Bellatrix. Sirius continued appearing to Harry and advising him. Remus is portrayed as the bravest character having dealt with curse the whole of his life. He taught Harry to be courageous. Remus was used to symbolizing many things for the author like people infected with aids and how society stigmatized them.

Neville was a funny character more than Ron and developed himself tin most parts of the books .One of the incidents where he took his Gryffindor status is when he led Dumbledore’s army. Neville also developed himself through his love for Hermione though entertaining it was not much of the character development. Another character is Bellatrix Lestrange who is evil and with calculating nature of Voldemort. She is the kind that does wicked things and laughs all the time. She tortured Neville parent’s and murdered her own cousin, Sirius. She also tortured Hermione and murdered Dobby, a character that is admirable in the book and who saved Harry many times. This account gives Bellatrix horrific accomplishments.

There are other characters like Fred/George and Weasley. They are most of the times joking and having fun around Harry and Ron. They are the kind of people that are good to be around though not very important in the story. Molly Weasley is also another minor character, another figure to Harry. Hagrid is Harry’s close friend but does not bring a big difference to the plot. There is Nymphadora Tonks, a wizard with the ability to change her appearance like changing the colour of her hair. She is known to wear t-shirts and jeans in the book. There are other many characters comprising of wizards, good people among others who help build the plot of the story.


            Harry Potter is a compelling series with themes build by characters that can directly be related to the real world. The books carry with them many lessons in almost all aspects of life and although it has been criticized for not representing the native America well. It is important to note that the life of the author and where she grew in may have contributed to some of these misrepresentations. Most important is the tremendous influence her books have had on people especially in the world of politics.

Works Cited

Dewi, Cut Nursyidah. “The Portrait of JK Rowling’s Life on Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.” Jakarta: Uin Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta, 2012.

Flood, Alison. “JK Rowling under fire for writing about ‘Native American wizards.” The Guardian, 9 Mar.2016.

Kirk, Connie Ann. JK Rowling: A biography. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003.

mA Churcher, Kalen. “Political Activism and Harry Potter.” From Here to Hogwarts: Essays on Harry Potter Fandom and Fiction (2015): 199.

Potter, Harry. The Order of the Phoenix. London: Bloomsbury Publishing Inc, 2003.

Rowling, Joanne K. Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban. London, UK: Bloomsbury Publishing Inc, 1999.