Genre Analysis Assignment (Maren Nield)

Lesson Prep

Objective: Students will discuss Rhetorical Thinking strategies, including the definition of rhetoric, Rhetorical Situation (GRAPE: Genre, Rhetor, Audience, Purpose, and Exigence), Kairos, and audience. 

Student Preparation

  • Mindful Writing Chapter 6: Thinking Rhetorically
  • Op-Ed Outline Draft Submitted on Learning Suite

Instructor Preparation:

Lesson Presentation


  • Rush Write: (3-5 minutes)
    • Question Day 6: Do you believe in magic? Why or why not?
    • Discuss
  • Rhetorical Situation: (10-15 minutes)
    • Quick Reading Review GRAPE: Genre, Rhetor, Audience, Purpose, Exigence
    • Consider Quiz
      • Genre: “recurring types of writing identifiable by distinctive features of structure, style, document design, approach to subject matter, or other markers.” “Typified rhetorical actions based in recurrent situation.” (Bean 46, MW 68) 
      • Rhetor: “the speaker or writer or creator of the message…When you are a rhetor, you analyze the situation and craft the message, but you’re just one part of the rhetorical situation, as you may discover when you stand up to speak. Being a rhetor gives you rhetorical power but it’s power only to the degree to which the message is kairotic and the audience is open to the message…The rhetor is the voice of the message—the perspective, the identity, the voice, the stance, the bias.”
        • Kairotic: a fitting, timely response to the situation
      • Audience: “that group of people who are capable of being influenced by discourse and of being mediators of change.”
        • Know Thy Audience 
        • Two problems: (Imagined Audience Meme)
          • 1. It’s hard to anticipate the way people will response to anything we say because they’re not us
          • 2. “When we write, our recipients are invisible and inscrutable and we have to get through to them without knowing much about them or seeing their reactions. At the time that we write, the reader exists only in our imaginations.”
            • “imagined reader’s interpretation”
            •  “imagined audience.”
      • Purpose: what the rhetor intends to achieve by speaking or writing
        • How does the rhetor want to influence attitudes?
        • What does he/she want the audience to feel, think, or do?
        • What does he/she want to achieve?
        • Why is he/she speaking/writing/composing?
        • (Penguin meme)
      • Exigence: “an imperfection marked by urgency which strongly invites utterance…exigence is the invitation to speak or write because speaking or writing might solve a problem.”
  • GRAPE Analysis
    • “Now we’re going to watch a movie trailer. As we watch, I want you to make notes on the scenes. Identify GRAPE
      • What other genres could you present this film as? How?
      • Greatest Showman Different Genres (This video is relatively long, consider showing only a few options, or setting the video as a homework example for the coming assignment. )
        • Side note about importance of Editing
        • Discuss
  • Multi-Modal Genre Assignment
    • Rhetoric Goggles
      • Now, I picture these “goggles” or “glasses” with multiple lenses as the view for Rhetorical Situation. We see this metaphor used in multiple different situations, such as the term “rose colored glasses.” The way we look at things, the way we choose to understand is determined by the glasses we place over our eyes. When we speak about rhetoric, we say…
      • “Effective communication is persuasive, which means that it influences someone’s attitude and therefore behavior. Attitude is a judgement about something. Judgments are hard to change.”
        • What kind of genre am I being asked to create?
        • Who am I as a rhetor?
        • Who is my audience? What kind of audience are they?
        • What is my purpose? What do I want my audience to feel, think, or do?
        • What is the exigence, and what would be a fitting response?
    • We will design a very basic movie plot together in class. You will then be split up into groups and select a genre from a hat. You will spend the rest of class time organizing and writing a script for your movie trailer. You will prepare and present your two-minute trailer during the next class period. 
    • Design Plot on Board (Five Minutes)
  • Homework (3-5 minutes)
    • Mindful Writing chapter 6, Review – prepare to discuss audience
    • Prepare movie trailer for class presentation – Be aware of your audience 
    • Y-Search Modules 1 and 2