University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign Workplace Genres & Theories Paper

Can you help me understand this English question?

Writing Project #2: Advanced Genre Theories: Observing Genres DUE: Draft #1 – 9/29 Revised – 10/6


“One way to get a handle on these complicated concepts is to try to apply them. In 7 pages, you will choose an advanced concept or concepts regarding genre (e.g., genre uptake, meta-genre, genre sets and genre systems) to apply to and analyze a genre or genres of your choosing.”

That’s the syllabus language. But, as always, it’s widely open to your interpretation. I’m going to lay out two options, but of course, you can hybridize them, or you can develop your own approach to writing this text.

Option 1:

Follow the ‘metagenre,’ or, language above. Take the main concepts that we’ve been working on since reading Bawarshi & Reiff (2010) and Paré & Smart (1995) and apply those of your choosing to a genre or genres. That is, “observe” those genres “in action” and analyze what you see. “Genre or genres” here can be interpreted in different ways. You can choose to take a single assignment from another class and analyze it as a genre (or metagenre), paying close attention to the sorts of “uptakes” it might work to secure based on what it asks you to do — this would be a sort of “genre-as-text-artifact approach.” You could trace how a genre is related to, follows from, and leads to other genres (which is another way to think about uptake). But you’re not limited to conventional texts by any means. The key here is to think about what these sorts of concepts we’ve looked at in this unit can tell you, or help you explain about, something from your everyday life, work, etc.

In the past I’ve had students:

  • – Analyze a course syllabus, or sections of one, from this or another class
  • – Analyze an assignment prompt from another class
  • – Analyze genred language practices they used as they worked in an Alzheimer’s ward
  • – Analyze a set of plays from their football team; this could probably work for any sports team
  • – Analyze protocols from work in a warehouse (work orders, etc.) as genres, genre sets, and genre system
  • – Analyze protocols from work as a barista as genres, genre sets, and genre system
  • – Analyze our classroom practices, genres, documents, etc. I can’t possibly imagine all the examples you might be interested in. Choose something you know that you can readily apply genre to and choose something you don’t have to chase right now; by that, I mean that you will want to have ready access to whatever it is you choose to apply these concepts to.