Does fanfiction count for your reading assingment


Fanfiction, the art of weaving an existing universe with a fresh perspective colored by a fan's imagination, has long been a garnering platform for aspiring writers and avid readers. But the question arises - does fanfiction count for your reading assignment? The response will probably vary depending on whom you ask and the nature of the assignment. This article will dissect the issue from multiple perspectives.

The Genre of Fanfiction

Fanfiction can sometimes be dismissed as frivolous or 'lesser' literature because it borrows characters, settings, and themes from already established works. But this isn't fair. One could argue that all writing is, in a sense, fanfiction - every story told has been influenced by some external source, be it another writer, a piece of art, a historical event, or a personal experience.

Does fanfiction count for your reading assingment

The genre has also proven itself to be an effective way for aspiring writers to practice their craft. Many well-known authors started their literary journey via fanfiction. Therefore, to dismiss fanfiction as trivial or insignificant workspace would be overlooking its potential as a creative writing platform.

Literary Quality in Fanfictions

Like any other form of literature, fanfictions also have works that vary in quality. There exist both well-written, thoughtful pieces with deep insights into characters, culture and contexts, and there corners of the archive filled with poorly structured, hastily thrown-together stories. Quality, here, is subjective and lies in the eye of the beholder.

If the assignments emphasize assessing or understanding the aspects of literature like narrative structure, character development, or themes, a high-quality fanfiction can indeed serve the purpose. In fact, in some cases, it can even provide more in-depth insights into these elements, because authors are given a broader canvas of an already established universe to extend their thoughts and creativity.

Fanfiction and Critical Reading

Fanfiction can serve as a useful tool for developing and practicing critical reading skills. As it is a fun and engaging form of reading, students might find it easier to critically analyze fanfiction than traditional educational texts. Since fanfiction often involves taking existing characters or concepts and putting them into new situations or contexts, it can help sharpen analytical skills.

Additionally, reading fanfictions may stir curiosity to explore the original content, leading the reader back to the original work or even other literature. This, too, can augment to their literary experience and skillset.

Fanfiction and Learning the Use of Language

Though fanfiction can sometimes fall into the trap of using clichés and over-ornamental languages, good fanfictions can offer a model to learn language usage. Readers can learn how sentence structures can change pace or deliver emotional punchlines, how paragraphs can build tension, or how dialogues can reveal characters.

If the purpose of the assignment is to read like a writer, fanfiction is definitely a platform worth exploring, as it offers experimental grounds for language, some of which can be innovative and enriching for the reader.

Fanfiction Platforms

Works of fanfiction are prolific on platforms like, Wattpad, and Archive of Our Own (AO3). Each of these platforms allows users to publish their own stories, comment on others' works, and engage in a community of writers and readers. The accessibility of these sites makes exposure to various fandoms and genres easier than ever.

However, readers need to choose their works carefully since not every fanfiction will have the qualities needed for an academic reading assignment. While sites like AO3 have robust tagging and filtering systems that help in this process, it mostly comes down to individual discretion on pacing, themes, character portrayal, and how well the work stands on its own.


Can fanfiction be used for school reading assignments?

It completely depends on the nature of the assignment and interpretation of the teacher or educator. If they're open to the idea of including fanfictions and can understand that this form of literature can have merits that align with the objectives of the assignment, then yes.

Are there 'literary' fanfictions available?

Yes, there are quite a few fanfictions that provide a profound and in-depth canvas for characters and situations. Like in any form of literature, there will be well-written and poorly-written works. The challenge, however, lies in finding the ones that serve your purpose.

How do I choose fanfictions for reading assignments?

The choice would depend on the instructional goals of the assignment. If it is about character study, choose a fanfiction with strong character portrayal; if it is about narrative structures, choose the ones with innovative or complex narratives. It comes down to your ability to identify and choose beneficial works.


While fanfiction may not be traditional literature, it does not mean it lacks valuable insights or merits. If the objective of the assignment is to understand literature better - to understand character development, narrative structures, or themes - good quality fanfictions can definitely be counted. However, always remember to respect and adhere to the guidelines set by your educators.


1. Black, Rebecca W. "Online Fan Fiction, Global Identities, and Imagination." Research in the Teaching of English, vol. 43, no. 4, 2009, pp. 397-425. JSTOR,

2. Jamison, Anne. "Fic: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over the World." Smart Pop, 2013.

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