ENGL 343 Introduction to Genre Analysis, Assignments

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Bibliography Assignment

 Final Draft: Sept. 13

For this assignment, you will complete a bibliography for the course research project. This bibliography will help you structure your research and clarify your topic and provisional thesis. You must have a minimum of 10 entries (although I expect that you will add more as the semester progresses).

Keep the following in mind as you plan and draft:

Use the Bibliography to map out your course research paper. Pay particular attention to the scope of your topic. Is it too big? Too small? Too vague?

Length: Again, 10 entries is the required minimum although you are more than welcome to provide more. It is better to focus on figuring out what sources you may need instead of meeting an arbitrary minimum.



Assignment 1:

Profile of a Social Movement/Issue

Proposal: Sept. 6

Rough Draft: Sept. 27

Final Draft: Oct. 2


This assignment serves as way to begin exploring the background material you will need to provide and well researched and robust argument. You will compose a paper on the social movement or issue that intersects with your research topic. With this paper you will focus your attention on the rhetoric of your chosen social movement. This includes the important arguments, beliefs, and anthems that express the movement’s central characteristics.


Depending on which social movement you choose to explore, you may need to narrow your scope to a particular event or moment during the movement. For example, if you were to write about the Civil Rights Movement, it would be preferable to choose a particular moment, such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, given the expansive and multigenerational nature of the Civil Rights Movement and its myriad events. Such an event would provide a wealth of history and information to explore while maintaining a constitutive relationship with the larger movement, thus allowing you to make inferences about important rhetorical themes and arguments.

Keep in mind that the larger goal here is to grapple with the history and rhetorical themes that will help you to build a solid historical and critical frame for your course research paper.

Length: 8-10 pages



Assignment 2:

Genre Analysis Essay

 Proposal: Oct. 9

Rough Draft: Oct. 23

Final Draft: Oct. 25


With this assignment you will apply some of the theories and ideas from our readings to your analysis of a particular genre. The genre you choose should coincide with your chosen topic for the course research paper.

For example, if your chosen topic was the film The Deer Hunter, your profile of a social movement would explore an event/s related to the Vietnam War and your genre analysis essay could explore such genres as: American film during the 1960s, the “war film,” masculinity and film, post-traumatic stress disorder on film, etc. Again, the approach you choose should match your ideas for the course research paper.

Keep in mind that you should use this essay to explore the various theoretical ideas we will explore during the course.

Length: 10-15 pages



Assignment 3:

Analysis of Rhetorical Artifact

 Proposal: Oct. 30

Rough Draft: Nov. 20

Final Draft: Nov. 22


This assignment will involve a deep analysis of your chosen topic as centered on a particular rhetorical artifact. A rhetorical artifact includes anything that seeks to strategically communicate with a particular audience. This includes movies, music, art, speeches, essays, etc.  While your genre analysis essay asked you to explore a particular genre, this assignment is asking you to perform a deep analysis of your chosen item that resides (as you might argue) within that genre.

For example, if your chosen rhetorical artifact was a particular editorial or political commentary, you would explore everything surrounding its production and reception, including a rhetorical analysis of its structure, methodology, and audience.

However, similar to the genre analysis essay, you will apply some of the theories and ideas from our readings to your analysis.

Length: 10-15 pages




Assignment 4:

Full Course Research Paper

(Plus one page course reflection)

 Proposal: Nov. 27

Rough Draft: Dec. 4

Final Draft: Dec. 15


With this assignment you combine, revise, and restructure your previous work into one large research paper. However, this assignment will involve much more than simply copy and pasting your assignments into one document. The process of combining these assignments will require both new writing as well as extensive revision in order to present an organized document. It’s also quite possible that there will be sections of each paper that simply will not fit into the larger essay. The goal here will be to present a thoughtful argument with smooth transitions, solid background information, and skillful use of critical concepts.

The completion of this assignment may cause your chosen topic to shift slightly. That is to be expected. As you work through the assignments, you may discover ideas or approaches that you want to explore more. In any case, it’s more important to present a strong paper rather than string pieces of text together that don’t combine well into a focused argument.

Keep in mind that this assignment will be the capstone for the course and should be a presentation of your best work and a reflection of the various ideas we explore in class.

Course Reflection: Please use this one page document to discuss your experience of the course and what you have learned. I use these comments to improve the course for future students as well as to learn from you! Please attach the course reflection to the end of the document.

Length: 30-35 pages