Project Processes and Goals
To be successful in this project, you’ll need to start thinking right away of how you might apply it to your
own field or profession. The
, to be submitted to your blog (2/12), should get youthinking about how you want to define your professional field. What individuals, occupations,institutions, organizations, etc. comprise the field? More importantly, what genres are most significantin this field? Your proposal should seek to answer these questions, but it should also strive to articulatea preliminary goal. That is, what do you hope to find out about how these particular genres influencethe social/material conditions of your field? How you might relate that goal to some of the readings
you’ve been exposed to thus far?
Next you’ll need to start
gathering actual samples of genres in your field
. You can try doing searchesonline, but this kind of primary research might be more successful if you are able to contact aprofessional in your field and ask them to direct you toward some specific texts. A great place to startwould be professors and graduate students in your major. But you might also visit places and eventswhere professionals in your field work and ask them to help you out. As we move into the next project,
you’ll be expected to do even more primary research so any contacts you can mak
e now will help youlater on in the course as well.
Once you’ve gathered 3
4 examples of genres in your field, you’ll begin a
nalyzing these texts using a setof heuristics
, speculative questions designed to make specific interpretations of prima
ry data. We’ll do
class group work geared at analysis of your genre samples, but you’ll also be expected to do
significant work on your own.
Making an Argument
What’s important to remember is that your essay is not just a report of your answers t
o these questions.Rather, your essay also needs to
put forth an original argument about how genre operates in your field
using your primary research and analysis as evidence for this argument. Furthermore, your argumentshould also attempt to inform and reflect on the ongoing conversation about genre as defined by theauthors in this unit. What do we know about genre as it is defined and explored by these authors? Andhow might we add some new insight into the conversation by extending, questioning or challenging one
or more of these authors’ theories? Ultimately, your essay should demonstrate an understanding of the
research on genre and attempt to make a discovery about how genre operates in your field by using oneor more of the theories we encounter in that reading. All of this makes the reading and reading
responses throughout the unit especially important. You’ll want to do some synthesizing as you go
through these readings so that it is easier to think about how your research fits into to ongoingconv
ersation as you’re beginning the project.
Writing a genre analysis essay can be a bit difficult, especially if you didn’t have any prior experiences with this type of papers. The structure of this particular piece of academic writing should be similar to any other essay you’ve worked on. This means that it must have an introduction, body and conclusion. However, the content of these sections will be special.
Use the following tips if you want to write a genre analysis essay that will truly stand out:
Although people often use the names of different genres in everyday conversations, few actually understand all their nuances. This is why you should include some general information about the genre you are about to analyze in the introductory paragraph of the essay. This way, you will give the readers a better idea of what they should expect from your paper.
There are dozens of arguments you can develop, but you need to focus on the ones that would be the most persuasive for your targeted audience. This means that you should do dome research in order to learn more about these people. You can also study the age- group statistics from different social polls in order to determine what kind of arguments and evidence the people you write for will find most convincing.
You must not only describe the main characteristics of different genres but also explain how they influence the information that needs to be expressed. Do changes in shape affect meaning? If so, to what degree will the information be distorted due to the fact that it’s expressed in some particular way?
You need to delve beyond the traditional markers of genres and analyze the object of your study in great detail. List the various methods used to express the information and explain the effects of each.
Genre analysis essays usually deal with several genres as there isn’t a text, movie, or painting, made using one “pure” genre. Every work of art is a mix of different styles, though usually some of the specialized characteristics define the object as a whole. When you write an analysis essay, you need to consider all the styles that lie underneath the most notable features. Try to use this information in order to determine which of the genres in the mix is the most efficient in expressing information.