Project 1: Genre Analysis


We begin our mapping of our literate ecologies by focusing on one aspect of your ecology that you already inhabit and are familiar/comfortable with. We will use a tool called genre analysis to help us understand the  genres of reading and writing you do in a discourse community you already participate in, like, think is fun, or are just really familiar with.

You will choose a discourse community to focus on, and then you will locate 1-2 genres of reading or writing that are important in that discourse community. We will work through a genre analysis together as a class using genre samples. From there, you will put together an analysis essay of the genres, including the clues we get as to their function within the discourse community, and what they tell us about the members of that community.

The analysis essay is a common college assignment across many different majors. The basic structure of an academic analysis is CLAIM + EVIDENCE. Simply put, analysis focuses on describing how something works by breaking it down and examining its various components, and making a claim about that something, using the components as evidence. In this version of the analysis essay, the something(s) you’ll study are examples of writing from a discourse community you have chosen to focus on. This assignment has three main goals:

  1. to develop your understanding of key course concepts concepts (genre, discourse community, analysis),
  2. to provide you with practice using genre analysis as a reading strategy
  3. to give you practice writing about genres and discourse communities you are already familiar with, in order to lay the foundation for analysis and argument later in the semester.

As your instructor, I will use this assignment to assess your achievement across all three of these goals.

Assignment Prompt
Write a 1500-2000–word paper that identifies, describes, and analyzes the conventions of the genres you found, the functions of the genres in the discourse community, and the clues the genres give readers about the members of the discourse community. Here’s the basic outline of the essay:

  1. An Introduction—presents your claim and lays out a brief “mapping statement” about the genres and the key points of evidence you’ll present
  2. Presentation of Genres—breaking down the genres, presenting the conventions you’ve identified, describing the functions of the genres in the discourse community and analyzing the evidence, connecting it back to your claim. In this portion of the essay (loosely, “the body”), you are free to/encouraged to insert photos to illustrate your points or highlight particular genre features. (note that insertion of figures will not change the overall word count)
  3. Conclusion—Should mirror and extend your introduction to restate and further expand on your claim and the “take-away” for readers about the genres and the discourse community

Essay Minimum Requirements

  • 1500-2000 words
  • typed; double-spaced
  • formatted for MLA style
  • written in formal, edited English
  • essay must accurately identify and describe the conventions of each genre presented
  • essay must clearly analyze the genre functions within the discourse community, making effective connections between claim and evidence
  • essay must have coherent organization

Due Date

  • Upload your paper to Blackboard by the start of class on 2/1/2017.


The genre analysis essay is worth 100 points. A grading rubric for the assignment is listed below.


Features Excellent




Needs Revision




Does the introduction state the purpose of the essay and provide readers with a map of the key points? (“In this essay, I will explore…”)  10  8  6 4
Does the beginning of the essay introduce or foreshadow the paper’s evaluative claim? (“I argue that…”)  10  8  6  4
Do you accurately identify the different conventions of the genre, using specific examples from the text to prove your points?  15  10  5  0
Do you provide a persuasive description of how the genre functions within the discourse community?  15  10  5  0
Do you provide a detailed breakdown/analysis of the genre conventions and functions in order to say something about the discourse community and its members?  15  10  5  0
Do you develop clear claim about the genres functions and the discourse community based on your analysis?  15  10  5  0
Clear and Effective Writing
Is your paper edited and polished for presentation?  5  4  3  2
Did you format your paper using MLA style?  5  4  3  2
Do you present your ideas using a general to particular pattern that flows logically from one point to the next?  10  8  6  4


Learning Outcomes


  • Compose persuasive academic genres, including argument and analysis, using rhetorical and genre awareness.
    • You’ll practice demonstrating understanding of the concepts of genre awareness and will practice writing in the genre of analysis.
  • Use a flexible writing process that includes brainstorming/inventing ideas, planning, drafting, giving and receiving feedback, revising, editing, and publishing.
    • You’ll practice with steps in a flexible writing process as listed in the outcome.


  • Use reading strategies in order to identify, analyze, evaluate, and respond to arguments, rhetorical elements, and genre conventions in college-level texts and other media.
    • You’ll use the concept of genre analysis as a reading strategy.


  • Use a flexible research process to find, evaluate, and use information from secondary sources to support and formulate new ideas and arguments.
    • You’ll use the concepts of genre analysis as a pre-research tool explore and to formulate ideas and analysis of a discourse community.





























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