Assignment 3: Composition in Three Genres
The final project for our class asks you to use the research conducted within your second project—the research essay—to create a composition that uses different genres to communicate to a targeted audience about that same topic. In other words, you need to create two new pieces that relate to the claims you made in your Researched Essay. You will use your previous research, along with new sources, to inform your creative strategy and help you make the rhetorical choices necessary to create an effective composition. In this assignment, you will be relating your topic to audience even further than you did in your researched essay, incorporating additional evidence and new arguments designed for audience expectations. You will target your audience(s), consider the rhetorical situation, and develop genres to communicate to that audience based on the knowledge you have from developing the research essay.
Your genres are your choice, based on your analysis of the rhetorical situation learned in the research process. While at least one of your creations should be written text, neither of the three creations should be a lengthy paper. You don’t have time for that at this late point in the semester. You might, however, write a character profile, a poem, a short story, or a movie review (these are just a few of many possible examples) that relates to the main point of your researched essay. Our textbook provides numerous examples of possible genres, including photo essays, movie reviews, collages, posters, and ads.
Please consult the Index of Genres at the back of Bedford Book of Genres for ideas. Some possibilities include: complaint letter, comic strip, original song, youtube presentation, infomercial, twitter campaign, map, how-to guide, news article, satirical article (a la The Onion), press release, celebrity profile, Wikipedia entry, propaganda poster, flash fiction, inspirational speech, lab report, diet plan.
The only genres I'm excluding from your choices (aside from NSFW genres) are personal narratives and research papers. I'd also like to discourage obituaries about people, although an obituary for a dying institution or lifeless counterargument might be pretty great.
As an example, let's say I researched the existence of Bigfoot for my academic essay. For Project 3 I could choose to write any of the following:
a tabloid-style news article in which I report a recent sighting
a how-to guide for Bigfoot enthusiasts who hope to get a glimpse of this elusive creature
a photo essay with a series of blurry apelike images
a pamphlet that promotes a luxury Bigfoot expedition geared toward wealthy retirees
a news report that discredits the Bigfoot photo essay
an angry letter to the editor of the journal that published the photo essay
a passionate plea on a crowd-funding site in which I attempt to raise the attorney's fees I accumulated after being charged with perpetuating a hoax and defrauding seniors.
Preparatory Assignment #4: Project Proposal (minimum of 200 words)
After doing some thinking about what you’d like to create, why, and how, you’ll submit a Project Proposal that explores what you’re thinking about doing, why, and how (that is, describe the two creations you have decided upon).
The Composition-in-Three-Genres Retorical Rationale
In addition to the two creations, you are asked to write a Rationale that explains the rhetorical choices you made in each genre and how you see those choices as rhetorically effective for your context and audience. In other words, for each of your creations, you’ll write a 200 word explanation (minimum of 600 words in all) of why you did what you did and how well you think it works or doesn’t work for your intended purpose and audience.
Prompt for Rhetorical Rationale
Statement of Goals and Choices What, specifically, is this piece trying to accomplish—above and beyond satisfying the basic requirements outlined in the assignment? In other words, what work does, or might, this piece do? For whom? In what contexts? What specific rhetorical, material, methodological, and technological choices did you make in service of accomplishing the goal(s) articulated above? Catalog, as well, choices that you might not have consciously made, those that were made for you when you opted to work with certain genres, materials, and technologies. Who and what played a role in accomplishing these goals?
Due Dates for Drafts:
Thursday, November 10: Project Proposal
Thursday, November 17: Rough Draft (Three Genres)
Tuesday, November 22: Second Draft (Three Genres and Rationales for peer workshop)
Tuesday, November 23: Third Draft (Three Genres and Rationales for presenting)
Final Draft (Three Genres and Rationales) due in ePortfolio at semester’s end.