The Importance of Genre in Learning to Write
In the world of composition studies, genre refers to a category of written or oral texts characterized by similarities in content, form, and style (Broadview Press, 2006). The concept of genre is useful in that it helps us to understand the expectations that come with different types of texts. In other words, genre provides us with a set of conventions that we can follow when producing a particular type of text.
When we think about genre, we often think about literary genres such as the novel, drama, or poem. However, genre can also refer to non-literary texts such as scientific journal articles, legal documents, or email messages. The important thing to remember is that all genres share certain characteristics that make them recognizable as belonging to a particular category.
2. What is Genre?
The word genre is derived from the French word meaning “kind” or “type.” In composition studies, genre refers to a category of written or oral texts characterized by similarities in content, form, and style (Broadview Press, 2006).
Genres are not static; they are constantly changing and evolving over time in response to social, cultural, and technological changes. For example, the rise of social media has given rise to new genres such as the Tweet and the Facebook status update. As another example, the advent of email has led to the development of new genres such as the email message and the online petition.
3. The Importance of Genre in Learning to Write
The concept of genre is important for several reasons. First, understanding genre can help us to better understand the expectations that come with different types of texts. In other words, genre provides us with a set of conventions that we can follow when producing a particular type of text.
For example, if you were asked to write an email message to your professor requesting an extension on a paper due date, you would need to adhere to certain conventions in order for your email to be considered effective. These conventions might include using a formal tone, being brief and to the point, and using proper grammar and punctuation.
Second, understanding genre can help us to produce more effective texts. If we know the expectations for a particular type of text, we are more likely to produce a text that meets those expectations.
Finally, understanding genre can help us to better understand the texts that we encounter in our everyday lives. When we know the conventions associated with a particular genre, we are better able to make sense of the texts that belong to that genre.
4. Genre-Based Pedagogy in the Classroom
Agenre-based approachto teaching writing focuses on helping students learn to write effectively in specific genres. This approach emphasizes the importance of understanding genre conventions and utilizing them when composing texts.
One advantageof this approach is that it can help studentsto better understandthe expectationsfor different typesof texts.When studentsknow the conventionsassociatedwith a particulargenre,they are morelikelyto producea textthat meetsthose expectations.
Anotherofthe advantagesof thisapproachis thatit can helpstudentsto write moreeffectivetexts.Ifstudentsare familiarwiththe conventionsof agenre,they
Students can use the same language tools and strategies when composing their own texts. A genre-based approach can help students to better understand the texts that they encounter in their everyday lives. When students know the conventions associated with particular genres, they can make more meaningful discoveries about the texts they read and see in the world around them.