3: Genres and Their Purpose

Through my first semester here at Susquehanna my personal definition of what a genre is changed. Before I only thought of genres when it came to music, movies, and books. However, when I took the Writing and Thinking class with Dr. Roth he challenged my views on genres. Our first assignment was to write an email complaining about a product or service. Now did I think about emails as a genre before? No, of course not, but there I was being told that all I understood about genres was only a fraction of what’s actually true about them. I soon realized that genres included anything from a blog post to a book review to a personal essay.

My understanding of genres and what they mean got even more complex when I read “Genre: What is a blog? What is a wiki?” and “Navigating Genres”. A definition that I found interesting was, “Genres are types of texts that share certain features because their users share certain purposes” (Meyers).  In Mitchell Roshannon’s post, he said, “Any group of things that are alike in some way and respond to something can be a genre, therefore, making essays, academic papers, and even memes genres rather than genre being limited to horror or science fiction.” This relates back to genres being created because of a purpose, that purpose is a response, and that response is instigated by the user.

When prompted for this assignment I was completely lost. Then I thought back to the day we had to find interactive websites. Mine was an online Clifford storybook by Scholastic that allowed its readers to change words in the story to make it their own, and they could even change the language from English to Spanish. I think I would like to explore interactive storybook apps or e-books for children as my genre. My thought is these types of stories are used to enhance learning experiences for children and children that have disabilities. I would like to see if this is true.

Word Count: 335

Dirk, Kerry. Navigating Genre. writingspaces.org/sites/default/files/dirk–navigating-genres.pdf.

Meyers, Greg. “Genre: What is a blog? What is a wiki?” Discourse of Blogs and Wikis, p. 15-27.