At the end of Unit 2, we asked the question: What is the most important thing you learned and what audience do you think needs to know about it? For Unit 3, we ask ourselves: what is the best genre to tell that audience the information you learned in Unit 2? 

In this unit, you will write about the subject you researched in Unit 2 in the genre of your choice (within reason!) Whatever you choose, the most important factor is that it is the genre that best reaches the audience you think needs to hear about your topic. 

By the way, there’s no such thing as a “general audience.” Not ever, and especially not for this assignment. For example, the audience of The New York Times isn’t “general” — it’s located mostly in NYC, educated, more or less affluent, more or less liberal. And it’s definitely NOT the same audience as The New York Post!

Your challenge here is to figure out how to get your target audience to listen to your message. Will they listen to a political speech? Watch a video essay? Read a magazine article? Read/watch a scene from a play/film?  Read the lyrics to a song? You can use pretty much any genre, as long as it’s one appropriate for the audience you choose. No middle school kid is going to sit still for a 30-minute political speech even if it’s about how to keep from being bullied. Wrong genre, poor analysis of your audience. All I ask is that you make sure it isn’t offensive (racist, sexist, homophobic, religion-intolerant). Also, no Power Point or Google Slide show!* I mean it!

Once you’ve written your new genre text, you’ll also write an Artist’s Statement to go along with it, something that tells us what you intended to do, who your intended audience was, what you went through to get it done, how well you think it turned out, and where you think it might be published/shared with that audience. There are guidelines for writing the Artist’s Statement in the Schedule section.  

So, to recap, in Unit 3, you will: 

  • Write about the research you did in Unit 2.
  • Address the audience you think needs to know what you learned in Unit 2 (just the most important parts).
  • Write in the genre that you think will best reach that audience.
  • Write a one-page Artist’s Statement that explains your process.

What you’ll be graded on:

Genre: Whatever you choose must actually fit in that genre. A video that’s just a single picture for two minutes isn’t a video because it doesn’t move; it doesn’t engage us the way a video/film should. When you do your proposal, you’ll have a chance to set up what the rules and conventions are for that genre.

Appropriateness for audience: If you’re doing something for 4th grade students, it shouldn’t be full of graduate school words. Appropriate means word choice, approach to topic/issue, use of visuals if you use them – does the way you “wrote” your genre piece fit what would work best for this audience?

Effectiveness of message: We’ll share these in class so you’ll get a chance to see if you got your point across. Did it fulfill your purpose?

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 10% of your grade in a major English class.  

Artist Statement: Did you thoughtfully reflect on your process, even if things didn’t turn out quite how you wanted? 

*Why? Because first of all, PowerPoint isn’t a genre, it’s a tool. You use Powerpoint to do something, like make a presentation or give a talk. Second of all, you’ve probably done a PowerPoint before, and the purpose of this assignment is for you to learn to write something new.  Third, there have been a lot of studies done on the most boring forms of delivery, and PowerPoint is consistently at the top!

Now go to the Schedule page to find the video lecture, handouts, links etc for Unit 3.

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