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GWRJ Issue 3.1

Fall 2012

Evan Nave

In Search of SOL: Graffiti and the Formation of a Writing Identity


Nave is confronted with the work of graffiti artist SOL and is compelled to relate the works he encounters with his own creative writing. As he does so, he asserts that writing is as much about establishing identity and existence as it is about executing craft and technique. In the end, he argues for a “graffiti consciousness” that enables all text producers to see themselves as writers, regardless of their scholarly or artistic credentials.

Lisa L. Phillips

Writing with Tattoo Ink: Composing that Gets Under the Skin

Phillips describes the process of tattoo compositions as a collaborative writing process between an artist and a client. For the client, the process involves making decisions about what she wants her tattoo to communicate to other people about her. For the tattoo artist, the process involves making informed decisions about placement, design, ink, and color based on the client’s request. Ultimately, the process of composition involves learning about a new genre.

Dustin Grayson

If Wallets Could Talk: Investigating the Genre of Receipts


Grayson attempts to break down and categorize one of the most popular, yet rarely regarded, literary genres of our culture—the receipt. While receipts may appear to be simple documents recounting basic information, they in fact contain a wealth of data that is revealing of both the issuer’s business practices and the recipient’s personality and character.

Karly Marie Grice

Journey to the Center of a Vlog: One Woman's Exploration of the Genre of Video Blogs


In a webtext comprised of a collection of videos, Grice discusses her journey from uninformed, sporadic vlog watcher to novice vlog author through practice, theoretical research, and conversations with others both inside and outside of the vlogging community. She uses CHAT and genre studies, especially an analysis of the antecedent genres of vlogs, in order to discover how our society’s values and expectations help shape the conventions of the genre.

Marc Vanderjack

Sass in 140 Characters: Learning to Communicate on the Social Network


Vanderjack explores how we first learn to communicate on the social network and the way we can improve our Facebook and Twitter prose. While we may only be able to express our ideas on Twitter in a few words, it is possible and potentially beneficial to rethink the boundaries that separate the “short” genres of web writing and the “long” genres of academic writing.

Erin Kilian

I Think, Therefore IM: Instant Messaging and Sisterhood

Kilian explores the influence that the genre of instant messaging had in shaping her relationship with her sister. She discusses the advantages of communicating in this genre, including its potential for sharing humor and creating bonding. She also looks at how the automatic archiving of instant message conversations generates written histories of our personal relationships.

Nicole Osolin 

Sports Journalists Have Love/Hate Relationship with Comment Boxes


Osolin explores the ever-blurring roles of ‘author’ and ‘reader’ in online spaces thanks, in part, to genres such as comment boxes that allow readers the opportunity to give their opinions about works published on websites. Looking at one online sports editorial piece typed up after an emotional Chicago Bears football game, she examines how those small comment boxes can have big impacts on the initial author.

Irina Nersessova

One Audience Too Many: An Interview on Prescriptive and Receptive Audiences in Screenwriting


An audience is traditionally thought of as a group that only participates in a given medium by experiencing and interpreting it but not by having any hand in crafting or changing it. However, screenwriters encounter an interactive audience that is actively engaged in the act of producing a film. This creates an interesting dynamic between screenwriters and their work, which Michael Melkon will elaborate on in this interview with Nersessova.

Sarah Scharlau

Commas Here, Commas There, Commas Everywhere!


Scharlau investigates how, and for what types of writing styles, commas are used. Using information from Grammatically Correct by Anne Stilman, Scharlau demonstrates features of commas from some of her own writing.

Tyler Kostecki

Understanding Language and Culture with Cultural Historical Activity Theory 

Drawing from his experience in ENG 145, an undergraduate writing course at Illinois State University, Kostecki breaks down the terminology of Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT). Using the terminology of CHAT and conventions from examples, he explains how each of the terms can be used to form a better understanding of genres, writing situations, language, and culture.

Moria Torrington

The Grape Dimetapp™ Effect: Revising the “Revision as Medicine” Metaphor


Revision is a process that writers sometimes feel is a “necessary evil.” Torrington explains how seeing and enacting revision through a Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) perspective can make the process more useful and, ultimately, less painful for writers who want to improve their texts in any genre.

Samantha Stout

My Relationship with Writing


Stout describes her method of approaching writing in a way that is less of a formal structure and more of a romantic affair. Writing is personal, and the way we go about writing varies from person to person. Stout uses the stages of a relationship to describe how she goes about deciding on a topic, researching, preparing to write, and ultimately writing compositions.

Brad Ure

From Cordially Yours to What’s Up: Investigating Formal and Informal Letters


Ure investigates the differences and similarities between two genres of letters, formal and informal. Ure will review common conventions in each genre and discuss when each type may be used and conclude by explaining how the letter genre is changing and what it may be like in the future.

Erin Frost

So What’s a Quad Chart, Exactly?: Exercises in Genre 

Frost details her experience with an unfamiliar genre—the quad chart. She explains the methodology behind her investigation of the genre, which involves doing research, consulting professionals, and producing the genre. Additionally, Erin examines the benefits of doing in-depth analyses when interacting with new genres.

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