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GWRJ Issue 4.2

Spring 2014 

Jeff Rients

The Elf That Is You: The Failure of the Character Sheet in Dungeons & Dragons 


Using the unusual genre of the Character Sheet in the game Dungeons & Dragons, Rients demonstrates some of the problems that arise when a text is written by someone outside its audience. He explores the issues that arise when the creator of a text has power over the reader and a different level of investment in the activity surrounding the text. Rients connects the problems facing this obscure form of writing to other textual productions.

Samuel Kamara 

Exploring Marginalia: The Intersection Between Reading and Cognition

Kamara talks about how margin notes help reading and understanding. Moreover, he examines the genre features of marginalia as texts that are produced from our reading of other texts.

Kara Steiner 

Rocking a Documentary Film 

Steiner explores a more creative genre option than paper: writing the documentary genre. She discusses what makes a good documentary film and how to approach different elements of filmmaking. Steiner relates the process of creating a documentary to writing a research paper to filming music videos or skits.

Kayla Bruce 

Cracking the Genre of the Resume 


Bruce explores the genre of the resume and the variations of what resumes can look like. Bruce discusses the historical background of resumes and then looks at different examples and audiences for which specific resumes are appropriate. Bruce addresses the fact that resumes are context specific, and the choices must be carefully considered in order for resumes to be effective.

Sarah Witherspoon 

Digging into a Scholarly Journal: The Secrets Behind Genre Analysis

Witherspoon chronicles her process of writing a genre research report and describes her approach to performing a genre analysis of a scholarly academic journal. She suggests that the method she used can be applied to studying any genre of writing, and she discusses a method to determine the audience of a genre.

Ashley Dolce

They Just Don’t Add Up: How Formulas Are Out of Place in Composition 


Dolce examines why she has struggled with the pains of creating “writing formulas” for different writing situations. She illustrates how students are sometimes taught to write using a specific formula in school even though those tools may be useless in other kinds of writing situations. She explores a new way of approaching writing that helps to create individualized formulas for specific writing situations to help writers get through the battle of composing.

Samantha Donovan 

f(audience) = infinity 

Donovan uses mathematical references and the investigation of several different genres to analyze what it is that appeals to an audience. She discusses how there are infinite yet many indeterminate ways to appeal to any audience. Many paths may be taken in order to appeal to a particular audience, much like when attempting to evaluate a math problem.

David Marshall 

I’m Doing It Wrong: Political Posts on Facebook 


There are social and political pressures to behave in certain ways on Facebook, and acceptance of these powerful forces can limit what we do with Facebook and other social media. Marshall argues that our interests and activities define what Facebook is, not the other way around, and that any use of Facebook is a social and political act.

Katie Shoukry 

Meme, Meme, Meme: It’s All About Meme

As Shoukry takes an adventure through the interwebs, she discovers and reports on the basic production and form of memes. As she explores this web trend, she looks at the formula for their particular brand of humor. Shoukry discusses the importance of relatable comedy in this genre and ultimately defines what a meme means to her.

Maddy Marchini 

Tweet That, Like This, Check-In Here: Social Media Meets the Real World 


Marchini explores how social media policies are created and used in business, emphasizing their importance as an up-and-coming genre. Her knowledge and experience is rooted in her ENG 145 Business English course.

Daniel P. Hummels and Deborah Riggert-Kieffer 

Hegemony Cricket: Standardized Testing and You!

Hummels and Riggert-Kieffer fuse the genres of dystopian narrative and research focused on standardized testing. They illustrate how standardized testing reduces students to easy-to-manage numbers using a dystopic narrative and show the dangers of testing taken to its powerful limits.

M. Irene Taylor and Jeff Rients 

CHATting in the Workplace 

Rients and Taylor, non-traditional students currently pursuing graduate degrees in English Studies, discuss the conventions of specific genres in their former respective professions of banker and administrative assistant. Rients talks about the foreclosure letter, and Taylor explains the work order form. They discovered Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) is applicable as much in the workplace as in any classroom or research project.

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