Writing with Genres in Context

The purpose of this assignment is to: (1) demonstrate how well you can explain a genre of your choice, (2) compose your own example of that genre, and (3) justify how your example conforms (or successfully bends) the genre conventions. There will be three major components to this paper. First, working with your genre of choice, define what the genre is and how it works (rhetorical situation, genre conventions, etc.) using three (3) examples of the genre. Then, you will compose your own example of that genre. Finally, you will explain why your text belongs in the genre and how it matches up with the examples you provided. To get started, choose a genre you want to compose in. (This is important because you don’t want to be stuck with a genre you don’t like if you have to compose in it.) If you’re not sure what to choose, ask your instructor for guidance. Before you compose, find three (3) examples of that genre to use as evidence for defining the genre and how it works. You may want to refer to the checklists for rhetorical situations (BBG p. 15) and genre conventions (BBG p. 25). After you’ve defined the genre, compose your own example and justify how that example conforms or successfully bends the genre conventions. When you’re ready to begin the writing process, think about the following: • How would you define this genre, especially in terms of the rhetorical situation and the genre conventions? • How do the examples you’ve chosen conform to the genre? Do any of them bend the genre, and if so, why are they still part of the genre? • How will you transition from the definition to your composition? • How will you justify your composition as belonging to the same genre? (Ideally, you should use the same criteria for justifying your composition as you had for the examples.) You can also think about the paper in these four categories: 1) Style—What is the tone of the genre? How does it appeal to readers? 2) Design—What formatting choices define the genre? What types of design choices are possible? How are they used? 3) Medium—Where is the genre found? How does that location/technology impact the format of the genre and access to it? 4) Use—Who uses this genre? How do they use it? What types of things usually get talked about with this genre?

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