I really enjoyed the article “Navigating Genre” by Kerry Dirk. As my colleague already mentioned, Dirk takes a wide approach to looking at genre and how it affects communication. I think it’s crucial to look at genre and writing in this way early in the semester. It’s important for students to think about what we talk about when we talk about writing, structure, expectations, and so many more aspects of interaction when we write.
I enjoyed thinking about Dirk’s article in the context of Writing in the Workplace, which is the course I teach for City Tech. What are some of the expectations that we bring into the workplace? How does workplace location affect the way we respond to certain situations? Are they correct?
I love looking at how young professionals and students-turning-professionals view their workplace, specifically in comparison to their classroom or their home. In the context of the pandemic, for many it’s all the same location, but vastly different communication spaces.
I’m also excited to discuss how malleable a genre can be as well. Again, when looking at the workplace environment and expectations for communication, I like to ask the question “what genres can be broken?” or “what SHOULD be broken?” I think these questions are even more important when we look at how certain companies reacted to the Black Lives Matter movement and their call to be better. In order for many companies to do this, they had to break their own rules about what we can and cannot talk about when it comes to work and race. Additionally, how authentically do they allow their employees to engage at work, and how does that change the rhetoric?
My favorite part of Dirk’s article was when he fully admitted that being a writing instructor isn’t about knowing everything. In fact, when you accept that you don’t know most things, it brings about opportunities for students to have authority over their own writing and gain confidence for future communication. I’m excited to learn how to “write along” with students and to remove that boundary of authority to get the students to engage the most authentically with their own work.