Mrs. Juster's Virtual Classroom

  

Web Site Disclaimer

Please note that I do not control and am not responsible for the accuracy, relevance, timeliness or completeness of any documents on this web page containing hypertext points to information created and maintained by other public and private organizations. The inclusion of pointers to particular items in hypertext is not intended to reflect their importance nor to endorse any views expressed or products or services offered by the author, the referenced material, or the organization operating the server. (Adapted, Library of Congress Disclaimer.)

How to: Multi-Genre Research Paper


Multi-Genre writing is the discovery of "truth through fiction".  The thesis of a multi-genre research paper is communicated through the creation of a variety of creative writing pieces that are then sequenced in such a way that the thesis and supports are clearly and effectively articulated and communicated. Like a traditional research paper, a multi-genre paper does involve outside sources. Like a traditional research paper, it is a vehicle for the communication of a unique and independently developed thesis. Unlike a traditional research paper, it is more often a powerfully moving paper filled to overflowing with the writer’s own voice.

A multi -genre research paper contains:

  • Title Page
  • "Dear Reader Letter". This introduces the thesis and offers the writer an the opportunity to speak directly to the readers. 
  • At least ten multi-genre pieces (The genres have been carefully chosen. The pieces have been intentionally crafted.The specific sequence of the pieces has been  established.)
  • End Notes (to explain the source and/or inspiration for specific pieces) and Bibliography (to credit any and all outside sources in MLA format. )            

Downloads:

Note to Teachers: My approach to multi-genre writing has been directly influenced by Tom Romano, author of Blending Genres, Altering Style.  While a graduate  student at UNH,  I was fortunate enough to take Dr. Romano's course on multi-genre writing. I can't recommend the course, Dr. Romano or the book enough.  Multi-genre writing is an exhilarating challenge. It is at once difficult and stimulating. It awakens the creative spirit within. After writing a multi-genre research paper, my students beg to have the opportunity to write another one - and that is the highest praise of all! 


 Genre Descriptions & Examples

These examples and definitions represent only some of many forms of creative writing that can be found in a multi-genre research paper. Additionally, each genre listed here can be expressed in more than one way. 

Which new genres (or variations of a genre) can you devise? If you would like to include a genre in your paper that is not represented here, download this rough draft form.


Prose Fiction: Dramatic Scene

 

With a war brewing in Europe, the threat of deportation loomed large for any immigrant as yet unnaturalized. The only way to remove the threat was to pass the test. The test would be long and arduous – especially for a country girl with a third grade education. One misstep, one wrong answer could mean deportation. Who was the president? What’s the supreme court? As a citizen, will you swear to protect and defend the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic? Will you no longer sing “God Save the King” but “My Country ‘Tis of Thee”? Will you forswear  the Maple Leaf and cling to stars spangled? Will you say “state” instead of “province”? “President” rather than “King”?

 

Download an RTF draft & directions.  

      

 

 

Genre Specific Directions

 

This genre features an internal monolog or third person omniscient narration and is more focused on theme than visual imagery. A title is optional.

 

Conventions Note

Each genre has its own rules/conventions which can be determined by following the genre-specific directions above and using the example.

 

Prose Fiction: Narrative Scene

 

The salt spray stung her skin as she crossed the deck for a better and final glimpse of Yarmouth, of home. Soon she could see nothing but gray sea behind her, gray sea before her, gray sea in every direction. Satisfied that there was now no turning back, she made her way to the interior of the ship where her sisiter, the chaperone was waiting for her on the crowded bench.

Once seated, she checked her purse repeatedly for her birth certificate – proof that a neighboring farmer had sworn testament to her birth – one of the King’s own subjects. Satisfied that her identity was intact, she trained her eyes on the horizon and focused on the moment. First, the day long crossing, then the simple wedding ceremony and finally, her future.

 

 Download an RTF draft & directions.      

 

  

Genre Specific Directions

 

This genre does not contain dialog. It communicates a story with actions and images much like a film without dialog might communicate. A title is optional.

 

Conventions Note

Each genre has its own rules/conventions which can be determined by following the genre-specific directions above and using the example.

 

Diary Entry

 

January 10, 1940

Dear Diary,

I have accepted John’s proposal and will soon be known as Dorothy Franklin no longer a Winchester. I know this means leaving home for the states. Home is now with John. I am sure that Sue will visit when it is time for babies. I hope I am making the right decision.

-Dot

 

Download an RTF draft & directions.  

 

 

 

Genre Specific Directions

A date is essential to this genre. Several diary entries spread throughout your paper with a variety of dates can communicate changes over time. The owner/author of the diary should be clear through the context of the diary entry and/or the signature at the conclusion of the entry.

 

 

Conventions Note

Each genre has its own rules/conventions which can be determined by following the genre-specific directions above and using the example.

 

Media Article: An Advertisement

 

 

Download an RTF draft & directions.  

 

Genre Specific Directions

 

The details or fine print of this genre can communicate as much about the topic and thesis as the body of this genre.

 

Conventions Note

Each genre has its own rules/conventions which can be determined by following the genre-specific directions above and using the example. 

 

Media Article: A Help-Wanted Ad

 

 

Download an RTF draft & directions.  

 

Genre Specific Directions

 

The details or fine print of this genre can communicate as much about the topic and thesis as the body of this genre.

 

Conventions Note

 

Each genre has its own rules/conventions which can be determined by following the genre-specific directions above and using the example.

 

 

Media Article: A Current-Event Style News Item

 

 

Download an RTF draft & directions.  

 

Genre Specific Directions

 

Refer to a current newspaper article for formatting and organization examples.

 

 

Conventions Note

 

Each genre has its own rules/conventions which can be determined by following the genre-specific directions above and using the example.

 

Media Article: Letter to the Editor

 

 

Download an RTF draft & directions.  

 

Genre Specific Directions

 

This fictional piece communicates the thesis and should closely mimic an actual letter to the editor. Refer to a newspaper for format and content examples.

 

Conventions Note

Each genre has its own rules/conventions which can be determined by following the genre-specific directions above and using the example.

 

Media Article: Horoscope

 

ARIES (March 21 – April 19)

Your job prospects are looking up now

that you have found a place to call home. 

Soon you will have that second job.

 

 

Download an RTF draft & directions.  

      

 

 

 

Genre Specific Directions

 

This is a fictional horoscope not an actual one. Refer to a newspaper for formatting and word choice examples. The content of this genre should clearly connect to a specific “character” in the paper.

 

Conventions Note

 

Each genre has its own rules/conventions which can be determined by following the genre-specific directions above and using the example.

 

 

Media Article: Book/Movie Review

 

MGM’s latest Blockbuster The Second Generation is the gripping tale of a second generation American family as they finally see their American dream realized. Told through the eyes of the family matriarch, Gram, deftly played by Bea Arthur, this story follows the Franklin family from their arrival in the U.S. in the late 1930s to the college graduation of their first grandchild in 1986. It took two generations for Gram to finally see her American dream realized. Film goers need not wait that long to see their hopes fulfilled with this film. It delivers from beginning to end.

 

Download an RTF draft & directions.  

 

Genre Specific Directions

 

This is not a review of an actual film or book. This genre refers to a fictional movie/book that acts as a metaphor and helps communicate the thesis of the paper. A title is optional.

 

Conventions Note

Each genre has its own rules/conventions which can be determined by following the genre-specific directions above and using the example.

Media Article: Recipe

 

Opportunity Cake

 

Ingredients:

1 Skilled Laborer                           free public schools

1 Willing and Strong Wife               free public library

1 job sufficient to pay rent             two children free of disease

 

Combine skilled laborer, wife and job in a melting pot. Slowly add in children, library and schools. Savor at your son’s graduation from medical school and your granddaughter’s inauguration as governor.

Serves Many Generations

 

 

 

Download an RTF draft & directions.  

      

 

Genre Specific Directions

 

This genre is a metaphor not an actual recipe. Keep that in mind.

 

 

Conventions Note

Each genre has its own rules/conventions which can be determined by following the genre-specific directions above and using the example.

 

Media Article: Advice Column

 

Dear Lady Liberty,

The American dream involves much more work than I ever anticipated. While I never really believed the streets were paved with gold, I had held out hope that there would be room for more dreamers than just the strong, the male and the white. What’s a young immigrant girl to do?

Signed,

No Longer Canadian

 

Dear No Longer Canadian,

There’s a reason why it’s called a “dream”. It’s not always based in reality but in what you might make a reality. You’ve taken the first step in the dream – you’ve crossed the border and started your life here. It’s up to your children to take the next step. Raise them to value education and respect women. They’ll raise children to do the same and by the time this second generation comes of age the dream should be a reality. What can I say?  These things take time.

-Lady Liberty

 

 

Download an RTF draft & directions.  

 

 

Genre Specific Directions

The name of the person offering advice as well as the name of the person asking for advice communicates meaning and depth along with the context of the correspondence.

 

Conventions Note

 

Each genre has its own rules/conventions which can be determined by following the genre-specific directions above and using the example.

 

Media Article: Comic Strip

 

Like all of these multi-genre pieces, the comic strip you create should communicate your thesis. Here's a link to my favorite comic strip -Zits .

 

 

Download an RTF draft & directions.  

 

 

 

Genre Specific Directions

 

Images and captions/dialog communicate theme in this genre.

 

 

Conventions Note

Each genre has its own rules/conventions which can be determined by following the genre-specific directions above and using the example.

 

List: To-Do List

 

Tuesday

1.   Vote in primary

2. Drop off books at library

3.  Bake cookies for school bake-sale

 

Download an RTF draft & directions.  

 

 

Genre Specific Directions

 

Top-Ten Lists communicate priorities as well as theme. The genre must have a title and the most significant item should be number one.

 

 

Conventions Note

Each genre has its own rules/conventions which can be determined by following the genre-specific directions above and using the example.

 

List: Shopping List

 

Marketing List

1.       Stew Meat

2.     Potatoes

3.     Laundry Soap

4.     Darning Thread

  Don’t forget Ration Book

 

 

 

Download an RTF draft & directions.  

 

 

Genre Specific Directions

The items on a shopping list indicate the intentions and priorities of a specific “character”. Make clear which “character” belongs to this list through the careful placement of other genres.

 

Conventions Note

Each genre has its own rules/conventions which can be determined by following the genre-specific directions above and using the example.

 

List: Top-Ten List

 

Top Ten Reasons for Moving to the USA

10. Plenty of Jobs

9. Plenty of churches to choose from

8. Opportunity to Own a Home

7.  Free Public Library

6.  Public Parks

5. Public Museums

4. Public Schools

3.  Public Universities

2. Public Transportation

1. Opportunity

 

 

Download an RTF draft & directions.  

      

 

 

Genre Specific Directions

 

Top-Ten Lists communicate priorities as well as theme. The genre must have a title and the most significant item should be number one.

 

 

 

Conventions Note

Each genre has its own rules/conventions which can be determined by following the genre-specific directions above and using the example.

 

List: List of Rules

 

Rules of The American Dream

  1. Always insist to family and friends that this new world is much better than the old – unless you’re talking about food, sunsets or Christmas.
  2. Never go back on your promise to support and defend the constitution of the USA.
  3.  Remind your children daily of the sacrifices you made so that they could get an education and do even better.
  4. Confuse your grandchildren with stories of "down home".

 

Download an RTF draft & directions.  

 

 

Genre Specific Directions

 

These fictional rules communicate a code of ethics or set of values and in doing so help communicate the thesis.

 

Conventions Note

Each genre has its own rules/conventions which can be determined by following the genre-specific directions above and using the example.

 

Playwriting: Character Sketch

 

Dorothy

40 years old. Strong willed and quick witted. Mother of three – two girls and one boy. The loss of her son at the age of one year has visibly hardened her and made her less openly affectionate. A handsome woman, she stopped attends church at least once a week and belongs to  the Temperance League. She stopped attending the village school-house in third grade and tries to hide the fact that she can’t read all that well – unless it’s a Bible or a hymnal. She often dresses in a house-coat and sensible shoes – unless she is dressed in her Sunday Best for church or a special occasion.

 

 

 

Download an RTF draft & directions.  

 

Genre Specific Directions

 

This is an identification of a character like one might find on the first page of a play.

 

 

Conventions Note

Each genre has its own rules/conventions which can be determined by following the genre-specific directions above and using the example.

 

Playwriting: Dialog for Two Voices

 

Why are you leaving sis?

John says he’ll marry me and I love him.

John just wants someone to keep house for him in the states. If he loved you he wouldn’t take you away from home.

He loves me and I love him. I’m going. I’m going.

Who will be there when you have babies?

I don’t know.

Who will be there if you get sick? John’s a man. He can’t help out the way a sister can.

I’m going.

I don’t know what’s so wrong about staying here on the farm.

I’m going. Promise to write?  The mail still works you know.

I’ll write.

So will I.

 

 

Download an RTF draft & directions.  

 

 

Genre Specific Directions

 

This is a recording of only dialog with very minor indications of speaker identity.

 

Conventions Note

Each genre has its own rules/conventions which can be determined by following the genre-specific directions above and using the example.

Playwrighting: Dramatic Dialog

 

LIZZIE: Why didn’t you go to college?

 

MA: (defensively) We couldn’t afford it. [crosses to window overlooking street] Grandpa had lost his job and I needed to help out.

 

LIZZIE: So, if you had had the chance to go to college, what would you have become?

 

MA: A teacher. I always wanted to be a teacher.

 

[Lizzie rolls eyes at hearing this.]

 

LIZZIE: So why not go to college now?

 

MA: It’s too late for me.

 

 

Download an RTF draft & directions.  

      

 

 

Genre Specific Directions

 

Dramatic dialog is dialog as it would appear in a script of a play.

 

Conventions Note

Each genre has its own rules/conventions which can be determined by following the genre-specific directions above and using the example.

 

Spreadsheet/Equation: Checkbook Entry

 

 

Date

Check

Description

Debit

Credit

Bal.

12/5

123

Mortgage Payment

$82.00

 

$5.00

12/9

 

Paycheck

 

$30.00

$35.00

12/15

124

Doctor – Helen’s Medication

$20.00

 

$15.00

12/19

125

Food – 2 Weeks

$15.00

 

$0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Download an RTF draft & directions.  

 

 

Genre Specific Directions

 

A careful look at a checkbook can reveal the socio-economic status and values of a “character”.

 

Conventions Note

Each genre has its own rules/conventions which can be determined by following the genre-specific directions above and using the example.

 

Spreadsheet/Equation: If/Then Problem

 

IF you want something more than cows, fields of hay and the Bay of Fundy THEN you move to a place that you hope will offer more.

  

 

Download an RTF draft & directions.  

 

 

Genre Specific Directions

 

This genre reveals cause and effect in a manner which is similar to a math problem.

 

 

Conventions Note

Each genre has its own rules/conventions which can be determined by following the genre-specific directions above and using the example.

 

Poetry: Poem for Two Voices

      

        Canadian                                             American

There’s not much difference       There’s not much difference

       Between us                                   Between us

 What I call bacon                          

                                                        I call ham

 There’s not much difference       There’s not much difference

        Between us                                   Between us

I say a-gayn

                                                          I say agen

There’s not much difference       There’s not much difference

        Between us                                   Between us

                                              Unless you consider your future

 

 

 Download an RTF draft & directions.  

 

 

 

Genre Specific Directions

 

A poem for two voices is formatted in a manner that indicates the two separate voices with two columns. Words on the same line should be spoken at the same time by two voices.

 

Conventions Note

 Each genre has its own rules/conventions which can be determined by following the genre-specific directions above and using the example.

 

Poetry: Free Verse

 

I made it

Grampa

Made it.

 

Kindergarten, first grade

Second

Third, fourth and fifth

Six, Seventh, Eighth

Freshman, Sophomore and Junior years

Senior year and college.

 

College,

I made it to college

Grampa.

 

I made it.

 

Just like you said.

 

 

 

Download an RTF draft & directions.  

      

 

Genre Specific Directions

In free verse, the poet is not bound by form, rhyming scheme or rhythm. This is what makes it free.

 

Conventions Note

Each genre has its own rules/conventions which can be determined by following the genre-specific directions above and using the example.

 

Poetry: Found Poem

 

 

Found Poem

The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

 

I’m Glad

BEAUTIFUL

Fool

BEAUTIFUL

She’s a girl

BEAUTIFUL

The best thing a girl can be

BEAUTIFUL

Fool

 

 

 Download an RTF draft & directions.  

 

Genre Specific Directions

 

A found poem is a poem created using words from an outside source. All words contained in the poem are from this outside source; however, words may be repeated and the original order altered. This type of poem is always titled as a found poem along with a credit for the source of the words.

 

Conventions Note

Each genre has its own rules/conventions which can be determined by following the genre-specific directions above and using the example.

 

Poetry: Haiku

 

Fog coming in fast

Closing hiding everyone

Anonymous fog

 

 

Download an RTF draft & directions.  

 

Genre Specific Directions

 

This poetry form is a three line poem in which the first line has five syllables, followed by seven syllables in the second line and five syllables in the third and final line. Traditionally, the haiku is focused on nature. For purposes of the multi-genre paper, your haiku need not be focused exclusively on nature.

 

Conventions Note

 

Each genre has its own rules/conventions which can be determined by following the genre-specific directions above and using the example.

 

 

Poetry: Limerick

 

Edward Lear was one of the most notable American limericists. Click here to link to a listing of his limericks and avoid the pain of reading one of my own.

 

Download an RTF draft & directions.  

 

 

Genre Specific Directions

 

This poetry form was originally a four line construction but is more commonly found as a five line construction. In the five line construction, the first, second and fifth lines end in a rhyme and the third and fourth lines rhyme. The rhythm of each line must always follow the conventional limerick rhythm.

 

Conventions Note

Each genre has its own rules/conventions which can be determined by following the genre-specific directions above and using the example.

 

 

Poetry: Photograph Poem

 

 

Download an RTF draft & directions.  

 

Genre Specific Directions

 

In this poetry form, the text is “stream of consciousness” in nature and serves to add dimension to the picture as the picture adds dimension to the text.

 

Conventions Note

Each genre has its own rules/conventions which can be determined by following the genre-specific directions above and using the example.

 

 

Poetry: Prose Poem

 

keep moving ahead -don’t look directly in their eyes- maybe they’ll let you fade into the brick and concrete of this alley; there’s not time to curse yourself for choosing to take this shortcut to school…just keep moving…look angry…maybe they’ll fear you more than you fear them…focus on the bakery around the corner and on the big chocolate chip cookies still warm on the tray…almost there...when suddenly, the alley is done and the bright sunlight of the sidewalk and shops on Salem Street  lead you directly to the bakery; door swings, bell jingles and you plunk down your fifty cents for a cookie…warm and as big as two hands.

 

Download an RTF draft & directions.  

 

 

 

Genre Specific Directions

 

This form mimics the format of prose but reads more like a poem. It can have a title if you so choose.

 

Conventions Note

Each genre has its own rules/conventions which can be determined by following the genre-specific directions above and using the example.

 

Poetry: Concrete Poetry

 

The Curtis School has six concrete steps

cool steps that come alive in the summer when the

school bells don’t ring and deep, cool couches shaded by the

elms, pines and sugar maples. Calling to children to come and rest

here a while. Sit down and lean back, read, chew gum, wait for a friend or

just relax and watch the leaves turn dark green as the warm sun slowly drifts west 

 

 

Download an RTF draft & directions.  

 

Genre Specific Directions

In this form of poetry, the form must reflect the content – thematically or symbolically.

Click here to see examples of concrete poetry.

Conventions Note

 Each genre has its own rules/conventions which can be determined by                      following the genre-specific directions above and using the example.