Multiple Genre Assignment revision

Note: I don’t have the readings set yet.

Overview: In our last unit, we got familiar with genres: what they are, how they work, how some audiences get privileged over others, how individual examples both follow the genre conventions and alter them. For this unit, you’ll:

  • choose a current social/political topic or issue that’s personally interesting to you,
  • pick artifacts/examples from five different genres that give you different perspectives on that issue,
  • create your own “response” artifact in a specific genre that addresses your topic or issue,
  • reflect about what you did and how you did it.

Go exploring! You’re not trying to prove a point or defend a position. You’re looking at how we talk about ideas in different ways and for different audiences. You even get to start by Googling and Wikipedia-ing and following links down long and winding trails.

Assignment Specifics: You’ll be able to do this individually or in groups of up to three people once we’ve talked about topics and issues. Here’s how it will go:

  1. Pick a topic and issue. Do a “Googlepedia” activity to find some ideas. Brainstorm all those ideas to see which one attracts you the most. Create groups if you want.
  2. Write a 1-page background report based on primary and secondary sources. This will give you a chance to dig into the various contexts of the issue in a general way.
  3. Collect genre examples/artifacts from 5 different genres. Write brief rhetorical analyses of each artifact similar to what you did in Unit 2. I’ll provide a list of genres, but if you find something especially wonderful, give me a chance to approve it (and add it to the list).
  4. Pick a genre to create your own “response” to the issue. Now is the time to really get creative! Create a video, write an op-ed, do a photo essay, create art or cartoons or comics, compose a song.
  5. Write a Reflection about the Project.
    • Why did you choose this issue? What opinions and assumptions did you have at the beginning?
    • What surprised, delighted, angered, confused you about the 5-genre artifacts?
    • Thinking about your own genre “response,” why did you choose this genre? What audience were you trying to reach? What did it do that the others didn’t so that you could reach that audience? How did you reinforce or challenge the conventions of your genre?
    • What were the challenges you ran into doing your genre artifact? What do you think was successful about it?
    • What did you learn about how multiple genres work to address a specific issue?
  6.  “Publish” your artifact by posting on OpenLab.

Learning Outcomes This Assignment Addresses:

  1. Read and listen critically and analytically in a variety of genres and rhetorical situations.
  2. Adapt to and compose in a variety of genres.
  3. Use research as a process of inquiry and engagement with multiple perspectives.
  4. Use reflection and other metacognitive processes to revise prior assumptions about reading and writing, and transfer acquired knowledge into new writing situations.
  5. Demonstrate the social and ethical responsibilities and consequences of writing.
  6. Compose in 21st Century Environments.


Leave a Reply