Jessica Penner, Genre Strategies/Assignments

Q: What are some strategies or low-stakes assignments you might use to teach your students what genre is, and how and why we move between genres in order to reach our audiences and achieve our desired outcomes? Try to think of strategies that you might be able to use online.

A: I liked the idea presented in the Murder/Rhetoric piece we read, since my trashy TV of choice is crime drama. Having a student review how one documents a crime scene is a good way to look for specific details. Then having a student write those details in different forms: from police report to a newspaper article–from newspaper article to a feature piece or eulogy–from a feature piece to… I’d say you could do the same with other jumping off points, and you could have a series of questions with each genre used: Who is the audience in A? Why do you say this? What does A want to see? What about B? (And so forth.) All of these would easily be taken from the internet.


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