1 Kazragal

Genre Analysis Essay


Project Processes and Goals


To be successful in this project, you’ll need to start thinking right away of how you might apply it to your

own field or profession. The

Project Proposal

, to be submitted to your blog (2/12), should get youthinking about how you want to define your professional field. What individuals, occupations,institutions, organizations, etc. comprise the field? More importantly, what genres are most significantin this field? Your proposal should seek to answer these questions, but it should also strive to articulatea preliminary goal. That is, what do you hope to find out about how these particular genres influencethe social/material conditions of your field? How you might relate that goal to some of the readings

you’ve been exposed to thus far?

Gathering Samples

Next you’ll need to start

gathering actual samples of genres in your field

. You can try doing searchesonline, but this kind of primary research might be more successful if you are able to contact aprofessional in your field and ask them to direct you toward some specific texts. A great place to startwould be professors and graduate students in your major. But you might also visit places and eventswhere professionals in your field work and ask them to help you out. As we move into the next project,

you’ll be expected to do even more primary research so any contacts you can mak

e now will help youlater on in the course as well.


Once you’ve gathered 3


4 examples of genres in your field, you’ll begin a

nalyzing these texts using a setof heuristics

, speculative questions designed to make specific interpretations of prima

ry data. We’ll do

some in-

class group work geared at analysis of your genre samples, but you’ll also be expected to do

significant work on your own.

Making an Argument 

What’s important to remember is that your essay is not just a report of your answers t

o these questions.Rather, your essay also needs to

put forth an original argument about how genre operates in your field

using your primary research and analysis as evidence for this argument. Furthermore, your argumentshould also attempt to inform and reflect on the ongoing conversation about genre as defined by theauthors in this unit. What do we know about genre as it is defined and explored by these authors? Andhow might we add some new insight into the conversation by extending, questioning or challenging one

or more of these authors’ theories? Ultimately, your essay should demonstrate an understanding of the

research on genre and attempt to make a discovery about how genre operates in your field by using oneor more of the theories we encounter in that reading. All of this makes the reading and reading

responses throughout the unit especially important. You’ll want to do some synthesizing as you go

through these readings so that it is easier to think about how your research fits into to ongoingconv

ersation as you’re beginning the project.

Genre Analysis Essay

Genre Analysis preliminary draft due 2/3/10 at 1:30 pm.

Genre Analysis final draft due 2/17/10 1:30 p.m.

To deepen our understanding of discourse community concepts, we will analyze both traditional and multimedia documents as genres.  A genre is a form of communication such as a book, a billboard, or a blog. When we conduct a genre analysis, then, we are looking at the forms of two different texts within or across discourse communities.  The purposes of this assignment are to help you understand the importance of genre and discourse community knowledge to writers. Additionally, this assignment will reinforce your understanding of the ways writing differs among genres and allow you to strengthen your skills in writing in the genre of a textual analysis.


Compose:  Locate and photocopy (or print, save, link, or scan) two types of genres on the same issue or topic.  Consider our discussion on the concept of genre, how to recognize different genres, and the features that differentiate one genre from another. You should begin the process by creating a matrix that shows the differences and similarities through the four areas of genre analysis: rhetorical issues, content, structure, and style/language as a way to formulate/outline the content in the body of the essay.  


Design: As you begin, read about different genres such as posters, documentary photography, instruction sets, editorial and opinion pieces, essays, and comics in Section 3, pages 315-509 in your textbook: Compose, Design, Advocate. Carefully choose two different genres about the same subject matter for your genre analysis essay. 


Address the following areas, and use evidence from the genres to support your discussion, and maintain third person voice throughout:



·        Start with a brief discussion of the subject/topic that the two genres are focusing on.  Include the title of each piece, the genre type, and the author or company name of each in the introduction. 

·        State the thesis, either implied or stated, in each genre.  Your thesis, which goes in the last paragraph, is the synthesis of the two genres.  


Audience and Purpose Questions: 

·        Who is the intended audience for each genre?

·        What discourse community (or communities) is this audience in?

·        What is the audience likely to know? Want to know? Why?

·        How much time will this audience want to spend with the information presented in the genres?

·        What is the purpose of the information presented in the genres? (inform, persuade, entertain)



Rhetorical Issues: Ethos, Pathos and Logos:

·        How does each genre help to establish the information's credibility?  Is it effective?

·        How does each genre help to evoke an emotional response from the audience?  Which emotions?  Why?

·        What types of evidence are used to support the claims of the information in the genres? Is it appropriate? Why or why not? 



·        How is the information shaped by the genre (s)? (Consider the limitations/freedoms of space, time, layout, audience, and so on.)

·        How are the genres organized to convey its message?

·        How does the structure facilitate the purpose of the information in the genre(s)? 



·        How formal/informal is the language?

·        What specialized vocabulary is used?

·        What other language features do you notice?



·        Which genre was more effective in conveying its message?  Why?

·        Offer a final comment on the impact of genres on discourse.  


Product Testing:  You will receive comments on drafts through peer review, the Writing Center, the evaluators, and/or your instructor.  


Advocate: Submit a 4-6 page essay in which you analyze and compare two genres on the same subject/topic.  Maintain third person voice throughout. 


**Choose your genres carefully—poor choices will lead to an insufficient genre analysis.**


Submit both a rough draft and the final draft as well as copies of both genres (can be a link) to the submission area in Blackboard.  Save your paper using your last name, and the word, "genre,” and “draft” or “final” depending on the version of the paper you are submitting.


 ·        Use 12 pt. font, Times New Roman, Arial, or Georgia style, double space, and use appropriate voice/tone for an analysis essay.   

·        Provide a Reference page and use in-text citation when referring to specific passages or examples of each genre. 

·        Use third person voice.  

Key Elements Checklist:

ü       Choose two distinct genres.

ü       Provide evidence from the genres to answer all questions.

ü       Provide a conclusion that synthesizes your analysis.

ü       Keep the essay in third person voice.


*Rubrics are subject to minor changes. Students will be notified if changes occur.


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