Articles on Genre Recommended by Tony Scott:

Devitt, Amy J., Anis Bawarshi, and Mary Jo Reiff. "Materiality and Genre in the Study of Discourse Communities." Devitt, Amy J.; Bawarshi, Anis; Reiff, Mary JoCollege English 65:5 (May 2003) 541-58.

". . . language and its genres are as material as the people using them" (542).

In this article, each of the three authors take on a different genre for analysis--jury instructions, patient medical-history forms, and ethnography--in an effort to demonstrate "how genre analysis contributes to the use of ethnomethodology as a research technique that focuses on language and society and that is especially eligible to contribute to the pedagogy of text-dependent subject matters. Whether we are studying academic, professional, or public communities, genres, considered as material entities, enable us to enrich the idea of a discourse community by giving discipline and focus to the study of the unities of langauge and society." (542)


Bawarshi, Anis. "The Genre Function. " College English; 62:3 (Jan 2000) 335-60.

". . . communicants and their contexts are in part functions of the genres they write" (335).

". . . genres, ultimately, are the rhetorical environments within which we recognize, enact, and consequently reproduce various situations, practices, relations and identities." (336).

In this essay, Bawarshi argues that "genres do not simply help us define and organize kinds of texts; they also help us define and organize kinds of social actions, social actions that these texts rhetorically make possible. It is this notion of genre that I wish to explore in this study in order to investigate the role that genre plays in the constitution not only of texts but of their contexts, including the identities of those who write them and those who are represented within them" (335)

Wardle, Elizabeth. "'Mutt Genres' and the Goal of FYC: Can We Help Students Write the Genres of the University?" College Composition and Communication 60:4 (Jun 2009) 765-789.

"If students are taught decontextualized 'skills' or rigid formulas rather than general and flexible principles about writing, and if instructors in all classes do not explicitly discuss similarities between new and previous writing assignments, it stands to reason students will not see similarities between disparate writing situations or will apply rigid rules inappropriately. In other words, one reason for lack of transfer is instruction that does not encourage it" (765).

"In this article I first briefly overview the difficulties of teaching genres out of context, as FYC is asked to do. I then describe the results of a study I conducted of a composition program at a large midwetern university; this study concretely illustrates real problems that teachers--even teachers of homogenous cohorts organized around majors--encounter when faced with the goal of teaching students to write the specialized genres of the academy. I conclude by arguing that this research should lead us to radically re-examine the goals of FYC; I suggest we should no longer ask FYC to teach students to write in the university and instead construct FYC to teach student about writing in the university" (767).

Carter, Michael. "Ways of Knowing, Doing, and Writing in the Disciplines." College Composition and Communication 58:3 (Feb 2007) 385-418.


"One way of helping faculty understand the integral role of writing in their various disciplines is to present disciplines as ways of doing, which links ways of knowing and writing in the disciplines. Ways of doing identified by faculty are used to describe broader generic and disciplinary structures, metagenres, and metadisciplines" (385).

"By questioning the strict boundaries that mark off the disciplines one from another, postdisciplinarity also implicitly questions the assumed disjunctoin between the specialized knowledge of a discipline and the generalized knowledge of writing: the former is not so special; the latter is not so general. It may be, then that writing is located neither fully in nor fully outside the disciplines because disciplinary boundaries themselves are porous and in flux; the disciplines are not fixed containers at all. Projecting the disciplines as ways of knowing, doing and writing tends to emphasize not disjunction but junction, the intersections of disciplines, the connection between research and teaching, and the ties between writing and knowing. From this perspective, it is not so much writing in or outside but writing of the disciplines" (410)



Here are some commonly recognized academic genres.