Unit 2, draft 5-3-2020. Researching genres of writing in the world; and Unit 3 draft

Possible writing assignments illuminating the social context of writing: 4 categories of genres. Different audiences.

Note: I still need to select readings to use as mentor texts.—JW

Unit 2, draft 5-3-2020. Researching genres of writing in the world

Out of the things you read in the world, find two or more examples of each category. Then write a rhetorical analysis of the 2 texts/documents/information package. Analyze the genre, the audience, language choice, tone, seriousness, the multi-modal design presentation, the packaging of the information and the effectiveness of delivering the message. What is the social context of the writing? Why did the person write the text? Who was his intended audience? What language did he use and why? What are the rules or the requirements of the genre?

You will then write one text in each of the categories below. Use multi-modal elements if possible. You might start by writing a brief reflection discussing who is your reader? How do you communicate effectively? How serious or light-hearted are you going to be? Or what is the social context of the document or text you are writing? What are you trying to achieve with the text you are writing?


1.Personal/everyday/social media category (brief, quick, low stakes)

Daily to-do list or weekly schedule

Text message thread with photos/Social media post thread

Personal diary/journal

Letter or email to friend or family member on an important topic


Descriptive profile of self or person you know

Music or movie review


2.Work/professional/ official business documents (short or medium, low stakes)

Ingredient list on food product vs recipe

Restaurant menu

Business letter—returning an item that was unsatisfactory

Description of item for sale online—sales copy, e.g. real estate listing

Online photo essay

Interview of a person or persons to be published online


Case history of a person in social services (?)


Commercial, advertisement video or static online—analyze


Police report—compare to Janet Boyd

Eulogy for relative or obituary

Wedding speech for friend, toast


3.Literary genres including entertainment/media (longer time to develop, but low stakes on grade)


Poem (set of 3)

Fictional short story—first draft

Nonfiction narrative/Memoir/Personal essay

Idea for a television series/movie/video game; with outline or plan or design



4.Academic genres (higher stakes????)

Metacognitive Reflection

Thesis focused essay

Research paper or review of sources

Science lab report


Learning objectives

  • Read and listen critically and analytically in a variety of genres and rhetorical situations.
  • Use research as a process of inquiry and engagement with multiple perspectives.
  • Demonstrate the social and ethical consequences of writing.




Unit 3. Writing in a new genre. Rewrite one of your texts in another genre. ***Language From Julia A: In Unit 3, you will be using your research from Unit 2 to compose a document/artifact in a new genre. You might want to write a newspaper article or a children’s book, compose a short story or create a video essay. There will be no new research done.


You need to consider your audience and the best way to communicate with them. This will help guide your genre. You also want to consider the purpose of your final product. What do you want the audience to walk away from the experience of your piece with? Your final product can contain pictures or sound, but it must contain at least 2000 words as well.


Learning Objectives:

  • Read and listen critically and analytically in a variety of genres and rhetorical situations.

        Compose in 21st Century Environments.

3 thoughts on “Unit 2, draft 5-3-2020. Researching genres of writing in the world; and Unit 3 draft

  1. jaccileslie

    Hey Wu,

    I like that the prompts are succinct and to the point. Also, that students have an assignment that correlates to different genres, which clearly aids in their comprehension for Unit 3. I am not sure if you’re including high stakes (the question marks) but for sure I think you should keep/include it and assign thesis driven essay. Although multi-modal is great, students need work on writing skills. In the end, I like your assignments and may pay homage to your ideas.

  2. jaccileslie

    I am a little confused with Unit 3. Create a paper menu for Unit 2. So for Unit 3, I can create an online menu or write a review on the menu? Is this correct?

    I think I like genres of the world. Diversity and inclusivity.

  3. Carrie Hall

    Jim, as I mentioned before, I like the idea of having the students write in these 4 genres, but I do see these as sort of homework assignments. I would suggest for this unit, you have them write these things (one of each, not two. You don’t have that much TIME!) as low-stakes assignments and then pick the one they like the best and flesh it out for the homework. I think you need to clarify the introductory paragraph, too. I think you’re asking them to do a rhetorical analysis of an everyday genre (cool!) so as a class you’ll need to brainstorm everyday genres to help them along. You may also need a worksheet to help them “do a rhetorical analysis” because most of them have no idea what that means. I use my tried and true monster SOAPStone handout of course, but if that’s not your style, a lot of people in the class are using something similar.

    For Unit 3, it’s a bit much I think to say “hey write any brand new thing in any brand new genre,” BUT I think you could make this into a translation exercise in which you ask students to take something they’ve written this semester (could be one of their high OR low-stakes assignments from Unit 2, give them a choice! Throw the lit narrative in there too!) and translate it for a new audience. What genre do they think best suits that audience? That would be cool.

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