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. Brandon Rivera

    Ready for Unit 3 and I believe I will focus on the informative genre.

  2. Jamani Anderson

    Honestly I think Unit 3 would be fun The genre Im going to target is a nonfictional genre.

  3. Khandoker

    How exactly would be go about making a video essay? Do we have to make a video as well or just write a script?

    • Jill Belli

      If you decide to create a video, you’ll need to actually create the video itself (rather than just a written script).

      • DavidP

        Is there a minimum/maximum for how long the video has to be?

        • Jill Belli

          It varies for each project. As the assignment states, the length of the piece is dependent upon the particular genre you choose (and other key aspects of the rhetorical situation — the purpose, audience, venue, etc.).

  4. Holaly Dzakpa

    I should start thinking about my intended target audience but I want the genre to be informative to all

    • Jill Belli

      It’s great that you want your project to be useful to all, but you definitely need to choose your intended audience (that was the assignment due yesterday).

      • Holaly Dzakpa

        Hello Professor Belli, My intended audience would adults in order to teach thier kids the appropriate way. Thank you for replying and I hope I am no longer confusing!

  5. Neal Ross

    I don’t know how I feel about unit 3 yet, I think I was ready for something completely new and to put the last unit behind me. A grant proposal or a speech may be good genres to use for my topic in order to reach the audience and goal.

  6. Henry Ren

    I’m not sure how to feel about unit 3 yet, but I feel pretty solid about it considering I already basically wrote down the sources and ideas necessary in the RAB.

  7. 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?

  8. Brandon Rivera

    Week 13 post:

    My audience for the Unit 3 assignment will focus on the younger and gen z side of people. The main reason is that they are at risk of not securing a future job. I will focus on writing an informative speech since I will it will best suit my information. So my informative speech genre, allows me to use my information from Unit 2 and write as if I were speaking to them in person.

  9. Tahani Rabah

    I would like to write a poem for my genre like an informative piece of writing. I just need more clarification on what we are actually writing on. I know it has something to do with unit 2, and I’ve read the unit 3 post Over and over. Can anyone explain to me ?Thank you

    • Jill Belli

      Interesting choice, Tahani — usually poetry is not the first thing that comes to mind when we want to produce something “informative.” This doesn’t mean you can’t do it (I’m fascinated by the choice!), but it does mean that you need to share your intentions / rationale for choosing this genre, along with your audience (that was actually a requirement of this prompt).

      As for explaining more about the Unit 3 assignment, happy to help. However, I’m not clear on what your confusion is (since the assignment has a lot of details about what you are writing). Could you provide specifics about what particular aspects of the assignment you’re confused about (you can actually quote from the assignment), and what your particular questions are?

  10. Neal Ross

    I was focusing on a grant proposal as a genre targeted at people who can fund reach initiatives into how mental health of Queer youth’s mental health is effected by parental acceptance. I aim weary going into this genre as I am not too sure what it entails. I think I am leaning more towards an informative speech aimed at parents of queer youth to educate them on how their acceptance towards their kids effects their mental health, and hopefully encourage them to contribute more effort toward acceptance and learning about the LGBTQ+ community.

  11. Henry Ren

    Week 13 Update

    So far, my points remain fairly similar or the same. The specific audience I am trying to reach is not only those who don’t enjoy music but those who listen to music without much importance. I want to convey the idea to those who don’t understand how music can play a more important role than just entertainment by displaying its past importance in historical events such as civil rights movements throughout the 20th century. I want to write my unit 3 in the form of a magazine because I feel that it’s very flexible and less strict regarding structuring.

  12. Khandoker

    Can I make a meme?

    • Khandoker

      If I use templates for the meme do I have to cite them?

      • Jill Belli

        Khandoker, have you decided on this as your genre? As the assignment states, one meme is not enough for the entire project, but you could certainly create a series of memes or a meme along with something else (written text in an article, or a social media post?). From the Unit 3 assignment:

        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. one meme is not going to be substantial enough for an entire formal project (worth 20%)

  13. Logan Aloise

    My specific audience sis based for older teens that can drive and care about their environment. The genre would be based on modern times/ non fiction. I chose these thing because I want to have a good future and a heathy climate and environment.

  14. Brandon Rivera

    Week 14 post:

    As of now, I am about 75% done with my Unit 3 work. I am working on my adding 1 more important piece of information that will wrap up my thoughts on my topic. After that, I will focus on the smaller details of improvements such as the flow of the project, grammar, or silly mistakes. Overall I am happy with the way things are shaping up and will be ready to submit by the due date.

  15. Neal Ross

    I am still considering wither I am going to do a write or verbal speech, A verbal speech would be less structured and more improved based on my speech outline where a writer speech would have specific lines. I could always do a written speech and present it verbally but speeches are more natural when not read out word for word.

    • Jill Belli

      At this point you should be settled on a definite genre, since the entire draft is due early next week. I know you were originally considering a grant proposal (which was also a cool idea!), but leaned more towards “an informative speech aimed at parents of queer youth to educate them on how their acceptance towards their kids effects their mental health, and hopefully encourage them to contribute more effort toward acceptance and learning about the LGBTQ+ community” (from your 11/15 comment above).

      That sounds like a good plan, and you will need to draft the speech (a written script) and then ideally present the speech via audio (your speaking it). I agree that there adding some natural-ness to the speech (the in-the-moment creations) can be effective, you also want to make sure you get your message across and it is well-received (especially important given your content, purpose, & intended audience). One suggestion you might try is to use dictation (it’s now available even in the latest feature of Microsoft Word!) to draft your speech by speaking, then go back and edit the words on the page, then speak again, then edit again in writing, and revise that way.

  16. Henry Ren

    Week 14 Update:

    I am done with the first body paragraph, but it’s a bit lengthy and I hope to reduce it a lot so that it’s more straightforward and appealing.

    I have viewed about 2 other sources that I may use in place of my source 2 and 3.

  17. Khandoker

    I am stuck on what to do 🙂 Just kidding but drafting has been difficult so most of everything is in my head. I hope I will be able to provide some news on my progress soon.

  18. logann

    I do not feel confident at all on what exactually I am supposed to do therefore I am making no progress.

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