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4.3: Genres to Practice

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    Here is a chart of medium-sized projects that will help you practice creating/composing various genres. Your instructor may assign one or more from each category\(^{87}\). Brief introductions to the genres follow this chapter, and they contain student examples!

    Category A: Brief & Correspondence-Based Genres Details of Medium Project Criteria = At a minimum, include the following:
    Blog Create five blog entries revolving around your life. 1) Five quality entries of content; 2) five accompanied pieces of info: charts, memes, images.
    Email Write an email to the president of our college, letting them know the benefits and pitfalls of attending NDSCS. 1) Some sort of structure: intro, body, conclusion; 2) Three benefits/pitfalls (total) with details; 3) A “professional”\(^{88}\) tone
    Letter Write a complaint letter or complimentary letter to a company of your choice. 1) Structure: opening, body, closing/signature; 2) Three reasons - with evidence - as to why you’re writing; 3) A “professional” tone
    Memo Compose a memo that is an introduction of yourself. Follow the example in the chapter. 1) Block of info at top; 2) 3-5 Headers of details.
    Text Message <insert student-created medium project> <insert student-created medium project>
    Tweet Head to Twitter (or Pinterest or anywhere actual tweets or screenshots of tweets exist) and dig out three (3) that you want to analyze. In your analysis, your response to these three tweets should be your own tweets; yes, make sure you do not go over 280 characters in each tweet.
    Category B: Personal Genres Details of Medium Project Criteria = At a minimum, include the following:
    Obituary Write your own obituary. Think about what might be said about your life. {OR, if that’s too dark, write the obituary of your favorite character from TV or a movie or book.} 1) Content in third person; 2) life details; 3) chronological order.
    Memoir Write about a specific event in your life up to this point. Please make sure you have a lot of details and that it doesn’t span more than a day or two. 1) Structure of paragraphs; 2) content FULL of details; 3) snapshot of life; 4) reflection (optional).
    Multi-Genre Create a multi-genre piece about yourself that answers the question: “Who Are You?” Include the use of 5 different genres.
    Profile Compose a small interview-based pieces about someone you know. You should interview the person over the phone, text, or email. Ask interesting questions; get them to tell stories. Details on: 1) Appearance; 2) Background/heritage; 3) Personality. Also: 4) Use quotes from interview; 5) Make sure you have written about them in a way that lets us into who they really are.
    Category C: Technical Genres Details of Medium Project Criteria = At a minimum, include the following:
    Business Plan Create a Business Plan based on a company you’d like to own in the future. 1) Executive Summary; 2) Products and Services; 3) Market analysis; 4) Sales and Marketing Strategy; 5) Operations and Management; 6) Finance.
    “How To” Write a how to guide similar to the example in the chapter. Ideas: “How to be a Gearhead,” or “How to be a Nurse,” or “How to be a Typical College Student.” Use these headers: 1) Intro; 2)Materials Needed, and 3) Steps (with any warnings).
    Proposal This deals with College Redesign\(^{89}\). You will propose a total redesign of one aspect of your college experience. This might include: the academic calendar, grading & assessment, faculty & hiring, residential life, housing/food, what a degree is… Use these headers: 1) Intro; 2) Audience; 3) The End Product; 4) Costs and Supplies; 5) Tentative Schedule. Also: 6) Make sure you outline a redesign you think would benefit students: Get creative but make a good-faith effort to propose something that you might actually like to see happen. 
    Report Compose a progress report on how you are doing in this class or any other class. 1) Block of info at top; 2) Review of work completed; 3) Problems; 4) Work remaining; 5) Conclusion. See example in chapter.
    Resume Create your own visual resume from your text-based one. Check out the example in the chapter! Before and After, showcasing the change from very textual to very visual; use at least three (3) creative elements: images, borders, complimentary typefaces and sizes, white space usage, etc.…
    Category D: Creative Genres Details of Medium Project Criteria = At a minimum, include the following:

    A: PURPLE SQUIRREL. Are you a purple squirrel? This term is being used to describe students who are able to do the technical skills of a job while utilizing soft skills like written and verbal communication, critical thinking and problem solving, customer service, conflict resolution, etc. 

    B: FUTURE COMMUNITY. How do you think the community you live in can benefit from your education when you graduate from this college? 

    C: DIFFERENT RACE/GENDER. How would your life be different had you been born into a different ethnicity/race/gender?

    1) Some sort of structure: intro, body, conclusion (does not have to follow the five-paragraph essay model!) AND 2) three pieces of evidence or three stories to explain your point, etc.
    List Essay Compose a humorous essay titled “10 Ways You Know You’re in a Bad Relationship or Friendship.” 1) List of 10; 2) Each item should have an explanation; 3) Make sure it’s humorous. Follow the list format found in the chapter’s sample.
    Manifesto Write up your very own manifesto. 1) Some sort of structure (intro, body, conclusion); 2) Focus/thesis; 3) Three precepts with details; Passionate/persuasive language
    Meme Create a meme of yourself or your pet. Meme’s message should be about college.
    Poetry Write a free verse poem about NDSCS. Rhyming is not required. 1) Include 10 lines of description so we can “experience poetry through our eyes or our ears.” 2) The poem should also “excite pleasure, but it can also reflect sorrow or regret.”
    Category E: Argumentative & Research Genres Details of Medium Project Criteria = At a minimum, include the following:
    Annotated Bibliography Create an annotated bibliography capturing the summaries of three sources related to your field of study OR related to a hobby of yours. (Click here for an example.)

    1) Three alphabetical sources; 2) three quality summaries, and 3) three detailed citations.


    If you would like to compose a literary commentary, use our textbook as the piece to analyze. At the minimum, include the following criteria:

    For a social commentary, here’s your topic = When it comes to the future: Are Americans getting smarter, or the opposite? How do you know either way?

    1) Some sort of structure: intro, body, conclusion; 2) An argumentative thesis; 3) Three pieces of evidence that back your thesis.

    Review Compose a movie, book, or TV show review. Gather basic facts about the book/movie/TV show and take notes. 1) Start with a compelling fact or opinion on the book/movie; 2) Give a clear, well-established opinion early on; 3) Move beyond the obvious plot analysis; 4) Bring your review full-circle in the ending.
    Argument Compose an argument that answers the following: Do grades in any course reflect who you are as a student or how much you have learned? Think on any college or high school course you’ve taken – did that letter grade reflect what you learned? Why or why not? Do letter grades represent a student’s ability or intelligence? Your answers to these questions will become an argument. Some sort of structure: intro, body, conclusion 1) An argumentative thesis; 2) Three pieces of evidence that back your thesis; 3) One quality source integrated into the text and cited correctly at the end.



    \(^{87}\)Students might want to jump ahead into those chapter of genres they think they’d like to practice JUST TO check out the samples and formatting, etc.

    \(^{88}\)What is a professional tone?

    \(^{89}\)This assignment was developed for the class Punk and the Making of Self at Ithaca College, Fall 2016, by Dr. S. Alexander Reed: Licensed CC-BY-NC-SA.

    This page titled 4.3: Genres to Practice is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Sybil Priebe (Independent Published) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.