Genre Analysis Prompt
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This assignment asks you to write a thesis-driven interpretation about an assigned text, guided by an analysis of key genre conventions and complemented by secondary sources.
Your argument should define your assigned text as an example of a specific genre according to one or more key conventions present in this text, and analyze how the text employs, reinterprets, or subverts those conventions in order to elicit a certain response from a particular discourse community, or address a relevant issue within that discourse community.
Because form and content are inextricable, your analysis should focus on the text’s language and stylistic choices, not just its ideas or narrative. Secondary sources should be used to provide context and background information, and to engage with other people’s arguments about the text or genre.
Your instructor will provide appropriate secondary sources that you may integrate into your argument, and may have some additional requirements to guide the development of your essay.
Rhetorical Situation: Your audience for this essay is the academic discourse community including your instructor and your peers, with whom you will workshop and collaborate as you develop your ideas. Beyond demonstrating your critical reading and academic writing skills to your instructor, your purpose in writing this essay is to contribute meaningfully to the ongoing class discussion of genre, rhetorical situation, and your assigned texts.
Length: 1500-1800 words, typed, double-spaced, and formatted in MLA style.
Sources: A minimum of two (2) secondary sources, not including the primary text, must be used to develop the essay. At least one of these sources should present a complex argument that contributes significantly to the essay’s thesis. Sources may be academic or non-academic, and a works cited page is required as part of the final draft.
Process: Multiple drafts, peer review, and substantive revision are required elements of this assignment. Missing or incomplete drafts and other process work will result in a grade penalty on the final draft, up to and including failure.
Knowledge Practices & Processes
By the time you complete this assignment, you should be able to:
Situate a text within its generic context by identifying its key genre conventions, discourse communities, and purpose(s)
Analyze how relationships between genre conventions and stylistic choices in a given text achieve a specific purpose, elicit a specific audience response, and/or address a specific context
Develop arguable claims driven by textual analysis and substantive engagement with secondary sources, in accordance with academic writing conventions
Integrate primary and secondary sources according to their relevance and rhetorical efficacy within the essay
Credit the original ideas of others through proper attribution and citation, in accordance with academic writing conventions
Give productive feedback on peers’ writing-in-progress; prioritize and implement feedback received from instructor and peers to revise effectively over multiple drafts