ENG1101 – Unit 2: Genre Research Project (adapted from T. Clarke’s sample)
In this assignment, we will be researching one topic from a multi-genre perspective. We will be taking what we’ve learned about writing situations and the audience/purpose/constraints of a given text and using them to deduce the conventions that make up the GENRE of a given text. When we think of genres, it is useful to think of the definition of genre as a category; now we want to be able to determine what the criteria are that make different text fit into the same categories. These are what we’ll call the conventions of the genre.
In “Navigating Genres,” Kerry Dirk writes that the genre of country music conventionally includes songs about lost love, dogs, and pickup trucks. Perhaps more relatably, we all interact (or used to, at least) with the genre of subway announcements.
1. What are the conventions and constraints of a subway announcement? What is another way that the information communicated in those announcements might be communicated? Which genre works best, and why?
In order to build out this kind of genre awareness, I’ll be asking you to think about a topic or skill or hobby that you are expert, or at least interested, in. Within that realm, what is an event or issue that is of interest to you?
For instance, I am a soccer fan, and if I were to complete this assignment, I might choose the dramatic loss of Arsenal FC to FC Barcelona in the 2006 Champions League Final as my topic. For that event, there are any number of places to begin. First, I might look up a good highlight video. There are very specific aspects of a past match to include in such a video – good passes, tackles, chances, goals, runs of play, pivotal swings of momentum, etc. I would break down how that video is follows/breaks the conventions of a good highlight video. Then, I would look for another way to interact with that event – say, an in depth post-match conference with one of the managers. I’d watch the Arsenal manager detail how his team came heart-stoppingly close to winning the most elite trophy in the footballing world, and think about how a post-match interview has different conventions than a highlight video, and communicates different information. Last, I might choose to read a soccer analyst’s longform written tactical analysis of the match. For this essay, I would define what constitutes each genre, and then go on to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each in comparison with the others.
Stage 1: Research Question + Annotated Bibliography (Due XX/XX)
This should be something you care about, something you’ve always wondered about—something that will keep you engaged, as you’ll be continuing this line of inquiry in Unit
3 as well. (In my example, my Research Question would be how did Arsenal lose in the UCL final in 2006?) Complete the Formulating Your Research Question Worksheet and have your question approved by me. If you change your question, your new question must be approved.
With that question, you will then research, gather information on, and analyze four (4) sources consisting of at least three (3) different genres. Complete an Annotated Bibliography for your sources.
Stage 2: Rough Draft (Due XX/XX)
Write the rough draft of your report. The best way to go about this is to write the report for each source (you will have already completed this step using the guide outlined in the “Rhetorical Analysis of Sources Plan”), then write the introduction and conclusion. Remember that format and appearance count, so give yourself time to proofread and make it look great! Include a Works Cited page of your sources. Bring two (2) copies of your rough draft to class to participate in the peer writing-workshop.
Stage 3: Final Draft (after Peer/Professor Feedback, due XX/XX)
Prepare the final draft of your report. Include a Works Cited page of your sources. The entire report consisting of source analysis, introduction, and conclusion, and excluding the Works Cited page, should be at least 1800 words.
Stage 4: Reflection (due XX/XX)
Write a reflective letter about the process. Consider: What did I learn from this process? About my own process of thought? About my reading process? My writing process? How can I apply what I have learned to other contexts? Your reflective letter should be at least 500 words.
1. Is your document readable and informative? Does it teach us about what you’ve learned, as it relates to question? Does it teach us, not only about the content of the sources you’ve chosen, but also the rhetorical situation surrounding those sources? In other words, is it a “good” source? Good for whom? Why?
2. Did you do solid research here? One of the main goals of the assignment is to learn something new about your topic AND to help you learn to find information on your own, to be applied to future situations. If you simply choose the first three options on Google, that’s not doing enough, and your topic will most likely not be as nuanced as it could be.
3. Did you find sources in at least three (3) different genres? Did the genres you chose “gel” with the content – that is, did the genres you chose make sense for the goals of both Units 2 and 3?
4. Your report must look great and must be organized in a way that makes sense to the reader you have in mind (and to me!).
5. Is your language appropriate to the audience you have in mind? No matter how you chose to write it, the type of language you use (how it is written) must be consistent and must be appropriate to your audience. You should be able to explain with a good line of reasoning why you chose the language you chose.
6. Cite your sources and include a Works Cited page.