Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Clarification of Genre Portfolio Assignment

Okay, so everybody seems pretty confused about what exactly you have to do for the next major assignment. Here is the boiled-down version.

Your objective here is to:
-practice your critical thinking and critical analysis/response skills
-practice identifying and writing in different genres*

I want you to focus on doing deep thinking about the texts you are analyzing, and consider cultural narratives, rhetorical analysis, and Peters's "Five Ways of Interpreting a Text".

The point of critical analysis is not to say whether a text is good or not, or to point out mistakes, but to look for its meaning, and what it says about the culture it comes from.

What you are turning in:

You have to create three critical responses to three different texts. Each text has to be in a different genre. Then, you have to write a memo explaining each genre in your porfolio and some of its characteristics. (We will work on the memo in class Tuesday and I will give you a template for it.)

Each response you write has to be approximately 400-500 words or the equivalent in a different medium. You may write three short print essays, and turn them in in class, or you may write three blog entries, and post them to your blog by midnight on the day the assignment is due. If you are doing blog entries and analyzing online texts, you must include a link to your text, or embed it in your blog.

Types of texts that you might analyze:
-blog entry
-youtube video
-cultural artifact

-or anything else created by people. You can't analyze a tree but I am open to almost anything else.

Note: you can revise and rethink writing you have done for homework and in-class assignments for this project. (So, you can re-write and extend the things you have posted to your blog.)

This assignment is due Friday, February 27.

Class is cancelled Monday and I will be holding extra office hours from 9-12, in addition to my usual Friday office hours from 10-12, to conference with you about this project. I will also be happy to talk with you about your grade on the first essay, which I am handing back this Friday.

*What is a genre? I came across the definition that genres are "dynamic rhetorical forms that are developed from actors responses to recurrent situations and that serve to stabilize experience and give it coherence and meaning" (Berkenkotter & Huckin 1995).

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