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Multigenre Writing
Beth Hammett
Greater Houston Area Writing Project
[email protected]
What is multigenre writing?
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Themed
Genres
Sub-genres
Self-contained
Captures voice
Research
• “A multigenre paper arises from research,
experience, and imagination. It is not
uninterrupted, expository monologue nor a
seamless narrative nor a collection of poems. A
multi-genre paper is composed of many genres
and subgenres, each piece self contained,
making a point of its own, yet connected by
theme or topic and sometimes by language,
images, and content. In addition to many
genres, a multigenre paper may also contain
many voices, not just the author’s. The trick is
to make such a paper hang together.
• Tom Romano, Blending Genre, Altering Styles,
2000
Tom Romano on multigenre writing:
“In such writing, it is often solely up to readers to reflect upon meaning
and make abstractions. Authors of narrative thinking ask readers to
live the page. And we leave the world. Essays, too, of course may
contain narrative thinking, though often they do not…. Multigenre
papers, however, as I conceive them, demand that writers think
narratively. Writers must meld the cognitive with the emotional…
Genres of narrative thinking require writers to be concrete and precise.
They can’t just tell in abstract language. They can’t just be
paradigmatic. They must show. They must make their topics palpable.
They must penetrate. And that is what multigenre papers enable their
authors to do.”
Genres and Sub-Genres
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Fiction
Non-Fiction
Recipes
Songs
Music
Videos
Graphics/Images
Plays
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Screenwriting
Poetry
Advertisements
Wanted Posters
Pictures/Collages
Fables
Tall Tales
Fairy Tales
Getting Started
Find a topic
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People
Places
Hobbies
Vacations/trips
Sports
Current events
History
science
Be Supportive, be a coach/facilitator:
Cognitive Struggle
Romano (high school) identifies a problem with the “openendedness” of the multigenre format. Some students need more
structure than others. The analytical thinkers may struggle with
imagination and creativity. Romano points to a need to develop many
kinds of skills so that students will be able to go beyond the mere
factual: “No matter what professions they enter, facts and analysis are
not enough. If our decisions are to be both sound and humane, we
need to understand emotion and circumstance, as well as logic and
outcome. Writing in many genres helps minds learn to do that.”
Objectives:
• Identifying:
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Make observations
Make connections
Comprehension
Summary
Paraphrasing
Point of view
Topic: Big Foot
He was family and friend. Blood
dripping from his mouth, we carried
him into the house, hooked up a fan,
sprayed him with water; we thought it
was a heatstroke.
The vet couldn’t save him. We cried,
prayed then cried some more. All to no
avail. Foot passed away and with him
went our love for a pet we had not
really wanted.
Foot had become my protector. I felt safe
when with him. His grave is marked
with a stone cross at the edge of the
pond he so loved to swim in. I still look
for him each day, and I know one day
we will meet again.
Beautiful to me
Is my best friend
Gone to heaven
Friendly
Over four
Orange/rust/black
Time to move on
Recipe for a Dog
½ cup happy family
2 tblsp. Alpo
¼ pint of pond water
1 large futon mattress
1 Rottweiler
Mix first 3 ingredients
well and pour over
futon mattress. Allow
to sit for several hours.
Add dog and enjoy!
Works Cited
Griffith, Paula. Multi-Genre Research Papers (Presentation).
Romano, Tom. Blending Genre, Altering Style.
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