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GWRJ Issue 2.1

Fall 2011

Jordana Hall 

Reading as a Writer of Genres 

Hall approaches reading from a more active perspective, arguing that reading is a two-part structure that readers often take for granted. She suggests that active reading, or identifying generic features and frameworks as strategies for writing, provides a model for how readers might learn to write more effectively in a situation. 

Karoline Kniss 

Writing Lines: Blurring the Boundaries between Visual and Written Genres


Kniss explores her process for creating political cartoons using a framework she developed through her experiences as an artist and student of genre studies. She focuses on a cartoon she created criticizing the No Child Left Behind Act and examines how the model she created for drawing cartoons is also useful for other kinds of creative activity.

Amy Hicks 

Scroll-Point-and-Click Composition?: The Generic Complexities of Playlists 

Hicks explores the compositional processes involved when creating playlists. While it may seem that it’s as easy as scroll-point-and-click, composing in this genre requires some serious brain power. Hicks looks specifically at organizational methods and the emotions required to make a successful playlist.

John Wons, Kelly Boyce, Sara Civitello, Laken Onderisin, and Blake Rosensteel

How To: Write a Letter to an Elected Official 


Wons, Boyce, Civitello, Onderisin, and Rosensteel collaboratively identify six general guidelines for writing a persuasive letter to an elected official. As examples of writing in this genre, they include two letters, one for continued support for the Illinois 4-H program and the other for shutting down the tobacco industry.

Meghann Meeusen

Taking the High Road: Why Learning to Write Isn’t Easy and What We Can Do About It


Meeusen recounts her struggle to master a genre she thought she understood, only to realize the complexity that comes from subtle differences in purpose, function, and context from one kind of writing to another. She describes how grappling with such concepts as high and low road transfer, genre immersion, and analysis of rhetorical context helps her to meet writing challenges that may seem insurmountable.

Elizabeth Williams 

Don’t Be Quiet: Talk as a Tool for Improved Writing 

Williams discusses why it’s important to talk about our ideas and our writing. The act of speaking makes our brain do things that writing alone or thinking silently can’t accomplish, and she pulls from Lev Vygotsky and Kenneth Bruffee to illustrate this. Williams concludes with an unfortunate example of what can happen when writers don’t talk to others about their writing.

Rachel Parish

Turning Speeches into Scholarship: Trajectory through Composition


Parish presents one possible way in which supposed “non-school” writing, in this case public speaking, can actually benefit the writer in both academic and public atmospheres.

Shailen Mishra

A Bit about Genre and Transferring of Skills 


Mishra recounts his experience of writing a restaurant review for the first time and the unexpected challenges he faced in the process. Having started with the assumption that writing remains the same across genres, he finds that transferring writing skills across genres is not a straightforward process. 

Jamison Lee 

Genre Studies, Grice, and Burlesque


Lee addresses North Carolina’s drawls and frog abuses, situates the Gricean maxims as a way to introduce the formal elements of genre studies, explores the deliberate neglect of Gricean maxims and genre conventions in humor writing, and extrapolates the importance—in all writing situations—of a keen awareness of these genre conventions.

Hilary Selznick 

Researching One in Six Million 

Selznick addresses how the research involved in writing a memoir about her grandmother’s history as a Holocaust survivor differs from the research strategies she learned as an undergraduate student writing a research paper. 

Haley Stouffer 

How i Lrnd 2 Txt: An Adventure in Genre 


Stouffer takes a personal look at the genre of texting and the changing technologies she has used to text. She traces her experience from new technology to new technology, examining the changing problems and benefits that texting brings with it.

Susana Rodriguez

Researching, or How I Fell In Love With Post-It Notes 


After years of trying to figure out what her teachers wanted when they handed out writing assignments asking for a literary analysis, Rodriguez came up with a three step process for herself to help get her from starting idea to finished paper. She uses a metacognitive approach to explain why the writer makes the decisions they make in the process—basically writing about writing analytical papers analytically.

Kevin Snodgrass

Memorial of the 5 Paragraph Essay 


Snodgrass writes an obituary for the 5 paragraph essay, which died in his ENG 101 class. He reminisces about what he learned at an early age about writing a 5 paragraph essay and his later, more complicated encounters, including the ACTS introduction, STAC conclusion, and mel-con body paragraph.

Scott Sands

We Meet Again? How a Playwright’s Knowledge of an Antecedent Genre Made Learning Screenwriting Possible (But Difficult)


Responding to Pankaj Challa’s instructional article about writing screenplays in the 2010 Writing Research Annual, Sands explores the features a writer has to learn in order to successfully engage with a writing task and how writers make sense of such features when they encounter them in an unfamiliar kind of writing.

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