Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I had a positive experience in reading the first couple chapters of Bawarshi's book. It helped me better understand the text book Scenes of Writing: Strategies for Composing with Genres (co-authored by Bawarshi) that Dr. Stacey is using in his English 100 class and has me thinking about ways in which I can introduce ideas around genre into my own classroom.

Getting students to consider genre, in Bawarshi's sense of the concept, seems to be a practical way to get students, especially those who are not as passionate about English/writing as we may be, to approach composition. It allows them to apply a concept with which they have constant interaction to writing tasks in the classroom. I think that the examples that were used in the book that emphasized the small nuamces of language and its effects on genre were powerful and would make a great addition to my collection of classroom lessons and techniques. Perhaps I am too optimistic, but I imagine a vast majority of students would appreciate the exposure.

Autoethnography assignments, analytical writing, exercises with Burke's Pentad, writing lessons for law students, music reviews . . . I can easily imagine how genre can fit into any of those. I am, however, having trouble envisioning myself using the approach for an entire semester as Dr. Stacey is. I will be curious to not only read further in this book but also to watch the English 100 class unfold over the semester and see if there are differences in the writing of Dr. Stacey's students and students of other instructors.

I didn't see "audience" discussed anywhere in the first two chapters. How does imagining the audience feed into a genre approach? Is it just an assumed part of genre?

1 comment:

Karol said...

You're lucky you get to watch this in action in the 100 classroom. You'll have to give reports for the rest of us!