Thinking about genre with students

I’m planning to do some work with students to encourage them to think about genre in their profession. (NB: See comment on this post for outcome of an activity based on this post).

This fits into my wider project to think about writing at UTS (building an evidence base, conducting research on pedagogic tools, thinking about integration across the curriculum and particular types of writing such as the discussion paper).

The purposes of writing

In the excellent book ‘Teaching academic writing’ the authors suggest an actyivity to help students explore the purpose of writing asking them to:

  1. Individually consider types of writing they have done in the preceding period
  2. Categorise these types in small groups (perhaps with some “suggested functional classifications such as memory aids, social communication, learning about x, for assessment”)
  3. In a whole class discussion, narrow the focus to academic writing activities and the purposes of these

I’m interested in mimicking this, although I would restrict to professional contexts alongside academic ones.

Later they propose another activity to encourage studfents to think about argument (and evidence) in academic writing, asking students to think about how expressions such as ‘draw a conclusion’ or ‘link theory and evidence’ apply to their own and other’s writing. I’d be interested in doing something like this asking students to think about how (the best) in their profession tend to make claims, etc. (i.e. to consider the evidence base – or ‘epistemic conventions’ – and argument expression).




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