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Posted: November 30th, 2022

Module 6: Assignment – Genre Analysis Draft and Peer Review

Module 6: Assignment – Genre Analysis Draft and Peer Review

In their article, Carolyn R. Miller and Dawn Shepherd ask the following questions about blogs: “Why did blogging catch on so quickly and so widely?…What audience(s) do bloggers address? Who actually reads blogs and why? In short, what rhetorical work do blogs perform—and for whom? And how do blogs perform this work? What features and elements make the blog recognizable and functional?”(1). Miller and Shepherd’s questions can be applied widely and to a variety of genres. For this project, we will apply these questions to some other genre to understand how that genre functions within a particular rhetorical situation.

For this project, you’ll focus on a specific genre that is directly related to your discipline or field or research. For example, if you are in Biology, perhaps you’ll analyze the lab report genre. If you’re in Literature, perhaps you’ll analyze the close reading essay.

Once you’ve selected your genre, you’ll try to determine what makes it “tick”: what are the genre’s distinguishing features? How is it shaped by social/cultural forces?

For your analysis, you’ll need to do some research on your chosen genre. I recommend looking for at least two examples of writing in your particular genre, plus at least two outside sources (not including our assigned readings) that will help you shed light on your genre, its history, functionality, context, etc. Be sure to make use of the embedded librarian page for helping finding sources related to your genre and for citing the sources you use in your analysis in MLA style both within your essay and in a Works Cited page.  

I suggest starting your writing process by applying some or all of Miller and Shepherd’s questions (listed above). You might also rely on our class discussion posts on genre as you brainstorm. The following list of questions might also help you to generate some compelling insights that transpose into your essay:

What motivates writers to continue working in the genre?
Which audiences does the genre attempt to address?
Who actually reads the genre and why?
What formal features and elements make the genre recognizable and functional?
What rhetorical work does the genre perform? How does it do this work?
Why did the genre catch on so quickly and so widely? Or, why didn’t it?

Within your essay, you might also consider any recurring elements, themes, or topics within your chosen genre. As well the following questions: What makes a text in your genre a “good” one rather than a “bad” one? What makes a text successful or flawed? Is your genre part of a particular discourse community? If so, how do people outside of that community relate to the genre? In other words, is your genre highly exclusive or inclusive? Is it arcane, rarified, technocratic, or widely popularized? Is the audience narrow or broad? What social forces might be involved in the shaping, reception, or distribution of the genre?

Remember, that as an analysis, you’ll want to organize your research, ideas, and claims about your chosen genre into a larger argument or thesis that characterizes the nature or function of your genre!

Your genre analysis should be 500 words.

As before, after the due date passes, Canvas will automatically assign you two of your classmate’s drafts to peer review. For this to work, it is VERY important that you all submit your drafts on time! You’ll have two days after the due date of this draft to complete the required peer reviews for your two assigned classmates. 

You can refer back to the Module 2 Peer Review assignment if you would like to consult the document and/or video with the technical instructions on completing peer reviews in Canvas as a student.

Please consult the rubric below for descriptions of quality peer feedback.
Submission of Draft and Peer Review RubricENG 225 Peer Review Rubric (v.1) 100 to > 90 points 90 to > 80 points 80 to > 70 points 70 to > 60 points 60 to > 0 points 0 points
Submission of Paper and Quality of Peer Review Responses Draft is complete and submitted on time. Responds multiple times to each of the assigned drafts in ways that include thoughtful comments about the content and organization of the draft as well as advice
on grammar/punctuation/
style. Draft is complete and submitted on time.  Responds to the assigned number of
drafts in ways that include thoughtful comments about the content and/or organization of the draft as well as advice on
grammar/punctuation/style. Incomplete draft and/or not submitted on time. Does not respond to the assigned number of drafts, but does respond to a draft in ways that include comments about the content or organization of the draft as well as advice on grammar/punctuation. Only submitted an outline of paper.  Responds in curt fashion to drafts and/or only focuses on grammar/punctuation. No paper submitted. Provides little to no feedback on assigned drafts.   Did not complete any part of the assignment.

materials to use

Module 6: Module Reading(s) – Disciplinarity, Discourse Community and Genre

Please take the time to read the following items to introduce the concepts and topics that we will explore together in this module:

Reflections on Academic Discourse: How it Relates to Freshmen and Colleagues
by Peter Elbow. In this essay, Elbow, one of the pioneers of writing instruction, writes to teachers of composition, arguing for the value of academic discourse (which he sets out to define) at the same time making the case for teaching nonacademic forms. As you read, think of your own relationship with academic discourse, particularly the various choices and constraints it poses for you.
Doctrines, Disciplines, Discourses, Departments
 by James Chandler. In this introductory essay for a special edition of Critical Inquiry, you’ll find a discussion of key terms like disciplinarity and method and interdisciplinarity in the context of the modern university. This essay can give you some idea why academic disciplines look/act the way they do in college.
Transdisciplinarity: Disciplinary to Transdisciplinary Knowledge-Building
from Essential of Transdisciplinary Research by Patricia Leavy. In a sense, Leavy picks up where Chandler leaves off–describing various ways researchers/writers can cross disciplinary boundaries. This reading helps identify characteristics of and differences between disciplinarity, multi-disciplinarity, interdisciplinarity, and transdiscplinarity. Which of these terms might best desribe the types of writing you have done so far and the types you might be doing in the future?
Questioning Academic Discourse
 from Negotiating Academic Literacies by Vivian Zamel. Zamel challenges reductive views of academic discourse communities and asks students/teachers to engage in inventive rather than imitative writing practices.

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