Genre Analysis

Purpose This assignment assesses your ability to:

• SLO 2: identify specific conventions, audiences, and purposes relevant to one’s particular discipline;

• MLO 3: identify the rhetorical elements of a genre (analysis); and • MLO 4: analyze a discipline-specific genre for its genre conventions (analysis).

Although writing occurs in every discipline, what this writing looks like will vary across disciplines. For example, writing a lab report in a Biology class is different from writing a literature review in an Economics class or an expert witness testimony in a Courts and Forensics course. Put another way, writing is discipline-specific, which means every discipline has specific genres that are commonly used within that discipline. The purpose of this assignment is to help you become more familiar with what effective writing and communication looks like in your discipline so that you can continue to build your professional ethos.


In this assignment, you will analyze a discipline-specific genre provided by your instructor using the chart below.

Step 1: Review the below Genre Analysis Chart. When you are ready to begin the assignment, download the Word doc. version of the Genre Analysis Chart.

Genre Analysis Chart

Questions Analysis of the Genre Specific Evidence from the Genre

What do you notice about the purpose of the text? Is the purpose explicitly stated or is it implied? Is the writer trying to inform, educate, persuade, prove a point, describe, narrate, or something else? Does the text want the audience to do, think, or understand something specific?

What do you notice about the content/message? Is the main message directly stated or implied?
Is there an introduction and/or conclusion? Is support/data provided for the claims that are made? What do you notice about word choice/language? Are there context- specific words used? Is the language advanced or is it able to be understood by a general audience? What sorts of transitions or other signpost phrases are used? Are there abbreviations used, and if so, are they defined/explained? Is first- person used (I or we)?

What do you notice about how the audience is addressed? How does the text engage with its target audience? Is the audience directly named? Is the audience directly addressed with “you?” Is it clear what the audience can be expected to already know or believe? What does the writer want the audience to do, think, or feel as a result of reading/viewing the text?

What do you notice about the visual appearance and/or organization? Are there images/photos? If so, where are they in relation to the alphabetic text? Are there columns, bullet points, or headings? Does the text use sections and/or sub-sections? Columns? Bullet points? Varying font sizes? How does the text use color?

Step 2: Fill out the Genre Analysis Chart according to the discipline-specific genre listed below.

Discipline-Specific Genre: economics journal article. An example is the Coase, R.H. (1960), “The Problem of Social Cost,” Journal of Law and Economics 3: 1-44


On the left side of the chart, you will notice different categories for analysis. There are specific guiding questions for you to consider as you analyze your genre. Although you should analyze each category, you do not need to respond to all of the questions in each
category; instead, you should choose to respond to the questions that are most applicable to the genre you are analyzing. This is what you put in the first column: “Analysis of the genre.” Then, you will identify at least one specific example from the genre that offers evidence to support the analysis you put in the first column. This is what you put in the second column: “Specific evidence from the genre.”

Step 3: Upload your completed Genre Analysis Chart to the assignment box below.