Genre Analysis Essay

Genre Analysis preliminary draft due 2/3/10 at 1:30 pm.

Genre Analysis final draft due 2/17/10 1:30 p.m.

To deepen our understanding of discourse community concepts, we will analyze both traditional and multimedia documents as genres.  A genre is a form of communication such as a book, a billboard, or a blog. When we conduct a genre analysis, then, we are looking at the forms of two different texts within or across discourse communities.  The purposes of this assignment are to help you understand the importance of genre and discourse community knowledge to writers. Additionally, this assignment will reinforce your understanding of the ways writing differs among genres and allow you to strengthen your skills in writing in the genre of a textual analysis.


Compose:  Locate and photocopy (or print, save, link, or scan) two types of genres on the same issue or topic.  Consider our discussion on the concept of genre, how to recognize different genres, and the features that differentiate one genre from another. You should begin the process by creating a matrix that shows the differences and similarities through the four areas of genre analysis: rhetorical issues, content, structure, and style/language as a way to formulate/outline the content in the body of the essay.  


Design: As you begin, read about different genres such as posters, documentary photography, instruction sets, editorial and opinion pieces, essays, and comics in Section 3, pages 315-509 in your textbook: Compose, Design, Advocate. Carefully choose two different genres about the same subject matter for your genre analysis essay. 


Address the following areas, and use evidence from the genres to support your discussion, and maintain third person voice throughout:



·        Start with a brief discussion of the subject/topic that the two genres are focusing on.  Include the title of each piece, the genre type, and the author or company name of each in the introduction. 

·        State the thesis, either implied or stated, in each genre.  Your thesis, which goes in the last paragraph, is the synthesis of the two genres.  


Audience and Purpose Questions 

·        Who is the intended audience for each genre?

·        What discourse community (or communities) is this audience in?

·        What is the audience likely to know? Want to know? Why?

·        How much time will this audience want to spend with the information presented in the genres?

·        What is the purpose of the information presented in the genres? (inform, persuade, entertain)



Rhetorical Issues: Ethos, Pathos and Logos:

·        How does each genre help to establish the information's credibility?  Is it effective?

·        How does each genre help to evoke an emotional response from the audience?  Which emotions?  Why?

·        What types of evidence are used to support the claims of the information in the genres? Is it appropriate? Why or why not? 



·        How is the information shaped by the genre (s)? (Consider the limitations/freedoms of space, time, layout, audience, and so on.)

·        How are the genres organized to convey its message?

·        How does the structure facilitate the purpose of the information in the genre(s)?   



·        How formal/informal is the language?

·        What specialized vocabulary is used?

·        What other language features do you notice?



·        Which genre was more effective in conveying its message?  Why?

·        Offer a final comment on the impact of genres on discourse.  


Product Testing:  You will receive comments on drafts through peer review, the Writing Center, the evaluators, and/or your instructor.  


Advocate: Submit a 4-6 page essay in which you analyze and compare two genres on the same subject/topic.  Maintain third person voice throughout. 


**Choose your genres carefully—poor choices will lead to an insufficient genre analysis.**


Submit both a rough draft and the final draft as well as copies of both genres (can be a link) to the submission area in Blackboard.  Save your paper using your last name, and the word, "genre,” and “draft” or “final” depending on the version of the paper you are submitting.


 ·        Use 12 pt. font, Times New Roman, Arial, or Georgia style, double space, and use appropriate voice/tone for an analysis essay.   

·        Provide a Reference page and use in-text citation when referring to specific passages or examples of each genre. 

·        Use third person voice.  

Key Elements Checklist:

ü       Choose two distinct genres.

ü       Provide evidence from the genres to answer all questions.

ü       Provide a conclusion that synthesizes your analysis.

ü       Keep the essay in third person voice.


Assessment Rubric for Genre Analysis




















30 pts.



Specific, developed analysis and insightful 

comparisons between the genres. Appropriate

choice of genres.


Analysis is generally sound but could be more specific in some areas. Insightful 

comparison between the genres. Appropriate choice of genres.


General and/or undevelop-ed analysis and some comparison between the genres. Appropriate choice of genres.


Analysis is sparse; almost no comparison between the genres and/or  


choice of genres.


No relevant analysis and compare-sons made between the genres and/or inappro-priate choice of genres.


Supporting Details






20 pts.


Support information is related to analysis and supportive of the topic/sub-ject.


Support information has minor weaknesses relative to analysis and/or support of the topic/sub-ject.


Support information has major weaknesses relative to analysis and/or support of the topic/sub-ject.


An attempt has been made to add support information, but it was unrelated or confusing.


No support informa-tion found or irrelevant.







20 pts.


Maintains focus on topic/sub-ject throughout response.


May exhibit minor lapses in focus on topic/sub-ject.


May lose or may exhibit major lapses in focus on topic/sub-ject.


May fail to establish focus on topic/sub-ject.


No analytical focus found.


Writing Fluency: Clear, Concise, Correct




15  pts.


Demon-strates skillful writing fluency, exhibits few or no mechanical errors.


Demon-strates reasonable writing fluency, exhibits few mechanical errors.  


Writing fluency is lacking, exhibits several mechanical errors.  


Demon-strates minimal writing fluency, exhibits numerous mechanical errors.  


Writing is not fluent-- unreadable.


APA and







15 pts.


Sources are cited correctly in the document and on the reference page.


Sources are cited, but there are a few errors in the format.


Sources are cited, but there are several errors in the format.


Some of the sources are not cited and/or the format is not correct.


Sources are not cited at all.

*Rubrics are subject to minor changes. Students will be notified if changes occur.


OW 1/09

For educational purposes only.


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