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Genres and Academic Discourse (pt. 2)

Assignment Summary

Assignment part 1

Sample Text Passages:

1. If I told you about a land of love,
friend, would you follow me and come?
In that land are vineyards
that yield a deadly wine--
no glass can hold it.
Would you swallow it as a remedy?

2. The good Anna could not understand the careless and bad ways of all the world and always she grew bitter with it all. No, not one of them had any sense of what was the right way for them to do.

3. I fled Tibet on 31 March 1959. Since then I have lived in exile in India. During the period 1949-50, the People's Republic of China sent an army to invade my country.

4. Wildwood State Park is well out on the island, 73 miles east of New York City. It is roughly rectancular and has a frontage of about 1.5 miles on the Long Island Sound. Situated on high ground with high bluffs, it covers just over 500 acres. There is good walking along the pebbly North Shore beach there.

5. That I may fully grasp that jewel, the Mind, I worship here the Tathagatas, and the flawless jewel, the true Dharma, and the sons of the Buddhas, who are oceans of virtue.

6. Nov. 22--The subject is scalding hot, untouchable as public policy. Even the brave run from it. And it is only a question: Should the U.S. government pay reparations to the descendents of slaves? STORY CONTINUES BELOW

7. "The quality of Ms. Roy's narration is so extraordinary--at once so morally strenuous and so imaginatively supple--that the reader remains enthralled all the way through."

8. The following, according to an order published at the end of the seventeeth century, were the measures to be taken when the plague appeared in a town(1). First, a strict spatial partitioning: the closing of the town and its outlying districts, a prohibition to leave the town on pain of death, the killing of all stray animals; the division of the town into distinct quarters, each governed by an intendant.

9. More than particular types of writing--there are, after all, so many, and the world is changing too quickly to allow us to predict accurately which genres our students will need five or ten years hence--the most important lesson for student writes to learn is that genres are socially real and that to participate effectively in a discourse community one usually must adapt to (or around) readers' generic expectations. They should learn to notice genres, to make sense of genres, even to renovate genres.

Instructor's Comments

genre textual analysis
course WRT 101 and up
activity type freewriting, class discussion, small group discussion
skills definition, audience awareness, genre distinction, classification, analysis
duration 1 class
see handouts
handouts: sample text passages (html, Word file)
contributor: Michael Pittman