Paper # 3

I used this for the first time this semester. I’ve noticed that most students chose to write short stories, op-eds and open letters.

Paper #3: Writing in a New Genre

In this paper, you will be using your research from Unit 2 to compose in a new genre. You might want to write a declaration, a manifesto, a rulebook, a magazine article (from a particular publication), a comic book, a children’s book, short story, a video essay etc. The possibilities are virtually endless, except you must:

  1. Have a rhetorical understanding of the genre you choose
  2. Make use of the research you did in Unit 2

It would help you to have a specific example of the genre in which you choose to write. Perhaps you discovered the genre while you were doing research for paper #2. You might have written about this genre, in some form, so use the knowledge you already have, and the knowledge you will gain from further research, to craft the best version of a document in the genre you’ve chosen. If you are choosing to do something say in video or song, you must transcribe the words. Word Count: I want you to follow the rules of the genre and don’t want you to write to fulfill a word count. That said, the piece you write needs to be well-developed. I also want you to write at least a 500 word reflection on the paper. I will hand out a separate sheet with questions that need to be addressed in the reflection. Reflections are written and submitted once you receive a grade for the paper,

Some ways you might want to get started:

Question your intent. Think, “What do I have to say? Why do I care about this topic? What is the best genre for me to communicate what I have to say?”

Choose a genre you like and that you think best fits your intent. If you decide for instance that you want to talk about bodegas, or your bodega specifically, perhaps an exposé is best.

The point here is, the topic and genre should gel.


  1. Consider again how your research and genre analysis in Unit 2 has addressed/influenced your line of questioning. What do you want to say? Why is your topic important to you and to the community at large? Which genre is best suited to communicating your message?
  2. Once you’ve narrowed your focus/have chosen your genre, outline your argument. How will your support your general claim? What kind of sources would strengthen your argument?
  3. Conduct further research, if necessary, to support your claims/vision.
  4. Begin writing. Bring in research and the methodological knowledge you’ve gained from our investigation into genre and rhetoric. Look to your source/mentor text for ideas about structure.
  5. Incorporate reflection and feedback in order to improve the final product.

How will this be graded:

  • Accuracy of genre analysis-Did you identify the common elements of this genre?
  • Care and creativity- Did you put time and effort into the project?
  • Repurposing- The question/argument from your research paper is present 

2 thoughts on “Paper # 3

  1. Carrie Hall

    Alison, a couple of ideas:

    1. You might want to ask students directly: “What did you learn in Unit 2 and who needs to know it– that is, what AUDIENCE are you trying to reach? What is the best form or GENRE with which to reach that audience and why?” That might help students think more about why they’re using the genre they’re using– and may help them think of the purpose of what they’re saying.

    2. I suggest you ask students to use a “mentor text.” That is, if they decide to do a TED talk, ask them to find one they like and write a reflection on it. What facets of that TED Talk are they trying to emulate and why? How will they do that? What facets of that TED talk are they trying to avoid and why? How might they do THAT?

    Great work!

Leave a Reply