Professor Belli | Fall 2022 | City Tech

Unit 3: Writing in a New Genre

In this Writing Workshop, we’ll be introducing and working through the Unit 3: Writing in a New Genre assignment together. As with the Writing Workshops for Units 1 & 2, I’ll be rolling out content periodically here over the next few weeks, as we advance to each stage of the assignment (each week’s content is separated & labeled below).

Week 12 Content

First things first: please read + annotate the Unit 3: Writing in a New Genre assignment. Get a feel for its purpose, components, & expectations.

After reading the assignment, you’ll see how Unit 2 leads into Unit 3. You’ll use the same content (the research you found and conclusions you drew) but present it in a new way, for a new audience.

To get the ball rolling, do some freewriting on the following prompt & then drop a comment below with some thoughts. Then go back & respond to your classmates’ comments (everyone should post their initial comment by W 11/9 at 12pm):

At the end of Unit 2, you decided who you thought needed to hear about your research. Who was that? Do you need to narrow that down a bit?  What genre do you think is best to reach that audience?

Week 13 Content

This week we’re working to clarify (with as much specificity as possible) the particular audience & genre of your Unit 3 piece, and then to make some real progress on planning & drafting that piece.

I know it can seem daunting at first (and overwhelming!) in terms of how to even get started composing in a new genre. Those feelings are normal and expected, but they are not a reason to shy away from pursuing something out of your comfort zone. I really encourage you to consider creative genres that incorporate multimedia (rather than just written text). The process can actually be really fun for you, you’ll learn a lot of new skills along the way, and you’ll be on your way to producing a really fantastic, unique Unit 3 project!

Examples of genres you might try are YouTube videos, Ted Talks, a series of social media posts (e.g., Instagram, TikTok), children’s books, creative writing (short story, poem, play, etc.), graphic novel / comic / manga, letter to a politician, posters, pamphlet, blog post, magazine article, podcast, etc.

Interested in pursuing one of these genres but are not sure how to get started? Not to worry … I and your classmates are here to support you! Later this week I’ll be sharing some resources to help you create in these new genres, and we’ll continue to crowdsource additional technologies, tips, & tools for working in a variety of genres. None of us are experts in these genres, so we’re all learning together.

Contribute: After reading Week 13 content here & engaging in this week’s Peer Review assignment (use their feedback to help you with revisions), leave a comment below that explains:

  • your specific audience (e.g., not just “those interested in my topic”)
  • specific genre (not just “an article of some kind”)
  • why you choose these things

The goal with this comment is to state your intentions and rationale (for both audience & genre), and be as clear & specific as possible. Comments due by noon (12pm) on W 11/16.

Check out these Helpful Resources for Creating New Genres & add your own!

Week 14 Content

This week we’re focusing on drafting your genre pieces and Artist Statements.

The first thing you should do for this week’s Unit 3 Writing Workshop is to read + annotate the “Artist Statement Guidelines” in the Unit 3 Assignment (scroll down to the bottom for this new content). The Artist Statement is a required, critical component of Unit 3 (no projects will be receive credit within it).

You’ll notice that the Artist Statement is a reflective piece of writing — luckily, you’ve had a lot of practice in this genre already with the Cover Letters that you wrote for the final drafts of Unit 1 and Unit 2.

*Note: for Unit 3, you won’t be writing a separate Cover Letter.

After you’ve familiarized yourself with the Artist Statement Guidelines, explore the examples of Unit 3 student work below:

[Unit 3: Writing in a New Genre]

[Unit 3: Artist’s Statement]

Reviewed the above examples? Don’t forget to check out these Helpful Resources for Creating New Genres (introduced in Week 13) & add your own!

*Finally, add a comment below with a brief update on your progress to-date! Comments should be made on W 11/23, and are required from everyone. If you have any questions, you can also ask them in the comment section below.

Let’s Discuss!

Use the comment section below to ask any & all questions about the Unit 3 assignment more generally as well. As always, review all materials (and click all links) before asking questions, as you may find the answer you’re looking for there. But if not, ask away!


  1. Brianna Santiago

    Hi professor, I just had a question how many words does it have to be on the unit 3 assignment or how many pages & can it be double spaced.

    • Jill Belli

      Hi Brianna — thanks for your question. The assignment addresses this topic, in the following section:

      Length/Timeliness: The genre piece can be whatever length it needs to be based on the conventions of the genre, but it should be substantial. One meme is not really enough for 20% of your grade in a major English class.”

      So the length & formatting of what you will create for Unit 3 depends on the particular genre you choose.

      • Brianna Santiago

        hi professor,Thank you so much for answering my question .

  2. Jasper Cheung

    When is the final draft of this assignment due? I’m considering creating a video essay on my topic but I’m not sure if I will have enough time to do so.

    • Jill Belli

      Thanks for your interest in creating a video for Unit 3, Jasper. Final draft deadline is listed on the Unit 3 assignment: Friday, December 2nd.

      • Jasper

        Unfortunately I think the timing may be too tight to do a video. I was thinking about a epistolary novel instead. Do you think this would be acceptable for the final assignment?

        • Jill Belli

          I hear you, but think a video is totally doable for you. An epistolary novel, less doable (a novel is a few hundred pages long!). The key is to really consider the intended audience and then choose an appropriate genre to reach them.

  3. Jayleen

    Will there be any peer review for this assignment? If there is what is that going to look like?

    • Jill Belli

      Yes, we will be peer reviewing Unit 3 at various stages (proposals, first drafts). I’ll provide more details about what to do when we get to those activities.

  4. Indira

    My target is to focus on single parents that works in NYC, as a parent we would like to give our kids a better place to live and above all we would like to leave them an estate and I think with the knowledge of my research I could give better options to those families that only have a salary and that obviously is not enough in NYC to buy a house. The genre that I would like to enter would be like a flyer or something like a magazine that can be distributed physically or posted on those real state offices (maybe), as well as in the cyber world.

    • Jill Belli

      I like the idea of having something that (directly) reaches the target audience through being physically posted somewhere locally (and the digital option is also a great way to extend your piece’s reach). Have you settled on a particular genre, Indira?

      • Indira

        Hello, I think that I would go for a flyer but I had been stuck lately, I was trying to work on the project over the weekend and my mind wasn’t able to develop this project. I am still working on it, but must likely the genre will be the flyer.

  5. Lizbeth

    At the end of Unit 2 I decided that students should hear about my research, since my topic was about education, I think that students like high schoolers or college students may want to go more in depth in education systems. Understanding this would help us become more aware of the type of education we are receiving. I also think that educators would also want to hear about my research since they the ones that decide how to teach young minds like what techniques or skills they will teach.  I think a scene from a film or video may be best, but this is something I’m still trying to decide. 

  6. Brianna Santiago

    At the end of Unit 2 The audience I decided I needed to hear about my research was people who are facing a mental illness specifically depression who are thinking or are going to see a therapist. I didn’t need to know it down a bit because it could be any kind of mental illness like those people who not only for depression but may have anxiety or post traumatic stress from something that’s traumatizing and needs to see a therapist and the research that I conducted helps them as well. I think the genre that is best to reach the audience is articles on stories of people who have experienced seeing a therapist and them leaving the therapist and it does more harm than good for them. The reason why I say this is because they might be suffering from the same mental illness as them and can describe the feeling and they can connect more . and they become more engaged because it’s not just facts like on the website being thrown its peoples actual experiences.

    • Jill Belli

      Connecting with your audience through first-person experience (the stories of people who have used therapy) is a great idea, Brianna!

      • Brianna Santiago

        Thank you professor

  7. pedro gomez

    After finishing unit 2 I realized that most people who undergo weight loss surgery are young adults. In unit 2 i found out that there are many health issues that appear 10-20 years after the surgery. so I want to make sure that people who are undergoing the surgery understand that it should be a last resort. I am still picking between writing a play or writing a magazine article where I could give an example of people who have regretted getting surgery.

    • Jill Belli

      Pedro, have you settled on a genre after the work we’ve done over the past two weeks (including peer review)? A play and magazine article both would be interesting, but they are quite different from each other (so you’ll need to choose).

  8. Brandonyu

    How are you supposed to present it in a new way? Are there a list of genres we can access?

    • Jill Belli

      As the assignment states, anything is fair game, as long as it’s new to you (you haven’t created it before), you choose it intentionally, and you make a clear case for why it’s the most appropriate genre for this particular project.

  9. Jill Belli

    Thanks to those of you who have been active in this Writing Workshop. A friendly reminder that comments about genre/audience were due yesterday at noon, so make sure to drop a comment specifically addressing this prompt ASAP:

    At the end of Unit 2, you decided who you thought needed to hear about your research. Who was that? Do you need to narrow that down a bit? What genre do you think is best to reach that audience?

  10. briansook

    My prompt us addressing the death penalty and prisoners put on death row

    • Jill Belli

      What genre are you planning to use for Unit 3?

  11. Lizbeth

    My specific audience is to college/high school students and educators like professors/teachers. My genre that I’m thinking of using is a scene from a film or if I can find any Ted Talk videos. Since my topic is about education systems, I want to encourage them with what I’m trying to explain with my writing, and I think the best way to do this is with a video. Personality watching videos is one way I like to learn new information. 

    • Jill Belli

      Lizbeth, your two proposed target audiences–students and educations–are quite different (with different needs, interests, etc.), so it’s important to narrow that down further.

      As for the genre, I agree that many people learn well through watching videos! Keep in mind, though, that Unit 3 requires you to create the content yourself (e.g., the Ted Talk or the film scene), rather than simply find / share one that is already created.

      • Lizbeth

        I think I will do a magazine article, we have to create them like use evidence we find and create this whole article on our own? if that’s the case maybe I can use the videos as evidence/ find other resources

        • Jill Belli

          You are not doing additional research for this project — the research / content was already done for Unit 2. The goal of Unit 3 is to tailor the presentation of this content for a specific audience in a new genre, so the focus will be around the creation of the new genre piece (the magazine article).

  12. Jayleen

    My specific audience will be the younger generations like Gen z and Millenials. More specifically people that are already advocating for mental health, or are interested to know more about it. My specific genre will be an online narrative article that talks about the struggles throughout quarantine. I think that people feel more connected to a topic if it’s coming from first-person’s perspective since it brings a humanistic approach to the matter instead of just stating statics. I believe that people from the younger generation use things like google to research, instead of going to libraries and physically looking for information they need so why not write an online article?

    • Jill Belli

      Agree, Jayleen, that providing narratives and first-hand experience is really compelling!

  13. Jasper

    My specific audience is gamers. My specific genre will be a youtube video essay. As video games are a visual medium, I believe that a video will be a great way of helping my message get across as it is also a visual medium. If I keep the video relatively short, I should be able to retain audience attention.

    • Jill Belli

      Jasper, this sounds interesting. Could you clarify what a video essay is (as opposed to just a video), for your classmates who may not be familiar with that genre?

      Also, is there a way to narrow down your target audience further? Gamers is pretty big/broad … Particular ages? Types of games played? Other factors?

  14. Doriani

    Hi professor, my specific audience would be hard working parents and individuals as well adolescents that live in low income communities suffering from food desert. I am really interested in making a comic or a letter to a politician. I’m not sure which one to pick, can I get your opinion, on which one I should pick? I’m not sure, how either of them should look like, can I get examples of it? Can I draw for my own comic?, How long should it be? I want to pick one of these two genres because I think I would be really interested and invested in it.

    • Jill Belli

      Doriani, glad to hear about your interest and investment (that’s awesome!). The genre you should choose depends on what you want to accomplish with it, and especially on who you are trying to reach (your target audience is still quite broad, so it would help to narrow that down further first).

      Personally, I do think a comic would be a really interesting, creative approach; you can definitely draw your own (and write the content). Length is dependent on the genre, and can vary. Part of the work of Unit 3 is to research similar genres, publication venues, and texts (and our Workshops help guide you through that process), and you will find many examples through that work.

  15. Brianna Santiago

    Good morning, professor that my Pacific audience will be on people seeking therapy who have the mental illness for example depression was wondering if another article book from a newspaper is a different genre.

    • Jill Belli

      Brianna, could you clarify what you’re asking here?

  16. Brandonyu

    my audience would most likely be high school students

    for the genre, I’m kind of stumped on what genre to use

    I picked high school students for the audience since I think they need some encouragement

    • Jill Belli

      Brandon, can you remind us of your topic?

      I know it can be difficult sometimes to settle on a genre, but the work we’ve been doing for the past few weeks is meant to help you choose one that you feel comfortable with and that is appropriate for your particular project. What genres have you been considering, and why? (keep the rhetorical situation in mind)

  17. Brent Regis

    I have made really nice progress with this article I’m writing. It’s much more enjoyable to write since it can be less formal sometimes. I want to teach people but I don’t want to bore them with a huge word dump.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *