Complicating Genre Choices in Writing Intensive Courses



Staudt, Emily R C

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Though genre theory has been central to discussions in writing scholarship for 30 years, it is not as central in other academic fields. This thesis studies genre theory, genre awareness, and professors’ curricular choices via interviews with WI faculty and an analysis of WI course syllabi and writing assignments. Overall data reveals that professors are asking students to write primarily for an audience of their professors and that writing is used primarily to measure their students’ understanding of course content, though some faculty do focus on genre and rhetorical awareness to a lesser degree. These findings suggest that classroom practices don’t align with composition and genre scholarship, nor with the values professors espouse themselves. This thesis recommends WAC administrators explore genre with faculty in conversations and Professional Development, in order to make genre knowledge explicit. It also recommends genre analysis that recognizes writing as a dynamic social act of negotiation and recommends genre analysis as a way forward in the classroom.



Writing Across the Curriculum, Genre Theory, Composition, Audience, Rhetoric, Writing intensive