Purpose: To use a mix of academic, trade, and popular sources to create a
coherent “argument” about your topic and to use critical thinking skills
and methods of inquiry to find appropriate research to support your
argument. Refer to chapters about research in Norton.
Audience: Your paper should be geared toward an academic audience.
Genre: You will be able to choose three of the five genres. You must use
one genre of exposition and one visual.
Stance: Your stance is one that is informed, formal, and one that is making
Media/Design: You will be able to manipulate media and design to suite
your purpose and genre. The guidelines apply to a typed paper (page
length); however, you may choose to do a multi-media paper which would
either be in the form of a web-page or a Power Point presentation. The
text in these choices should be equivalent to ten double spaced pages. The
multi-media project would also have academic exposition as well as
What is a multi-genre essay?
It’s a collection of pieces written in a variety of genres, informed by
your research on a particular subject, that presents one or (more likely)
more perspectives on a research question or topic. A multi-genre paper is
personal, creative, and can’t be copied from some other source. It involves
you, as a writer, making conscious decisions about what information is
important and how it should be presented to the reader.
Why use more than one genre?
There are ideas and perspectives that cannot be achieved through a linear
expository paper. Consequently, when one uses more than one genre, more of
the research found can be shared.
A multigenre project is a compilation of research on a given topic
presented in a way that is specific to the writer. We will talk about a
number of different genres and we will look at examples of multigenre
papers. These papers also mix academic writing and less formal writing
together giving you a way to bridge yourself into “academic-ease.”
The Assignment Process:
1) Pick a topic that interests you. Narrow it down and create a guiding
Example:Topic: Harlem Renaissance
Research question: How did the writer’s of the Harlem
Renaissance shape the movement?
2) Start researching your topic. You want to find information that
highlights what you think you want to say or that gives you a starting
point. You may choose to do a project that is informative (i.e. states the
facts, but is trying to answer some sort of research question) or you may
choose to do a project that is persuasive in nature (i.e. it is still
researched, but it has a more obvious bias). An example of the first
choice is like the one given above. An example of the second choice would
be to research an issue that is sided and to focus on one side of the
3) Begin to put your research into different genres. Your topic will lend
itself to specific genres. For example, if I were to write about the
writers of the Harlem Renaissance, I might use poetry or another creative
genre to present some of the information about the writers.
. Page length: 10 pages, not including title page, Table of Contents or
Works Cited page.
. Number of genres: at least five different genres, one must be
expository prose (at least 3 pages) and one must be visual.
. The paper must have a repetend (defined below).
. The paper must have ten sources, four of which must be scholarly.
. The paper must have a title page and the title should be a significant
clue about what the paper is about; there is no page number on this
. The paper must have a Table of Contents where genres are listed with
their corresponding pages.
. The paper must have a Preface of at least 150 words that clues the
reader in to what you are going to be presenting. A preface is
similar to an abstract. Essentially the preface summarizes your paper
briefly to allow the reader to begin reading with more clarity.
. The paper must have a Works Cited page and the sources must be cited
in MLA format including in text citations.
. The paper must have page numbers in the upper right hand corner. On
page one, there is a number one. On the following pages, including
the Works Cited page, there is name and page number.
Form Review of the minimum requirements:
Page 1: Title Page
Page 2: Table of Contents
Page 3: Preface
Pages 4-13: Multigenre project (Your first section should be
exposition in which yourthesis is revealed. However, this section
does not have to be the entire three pages atonce.)
Page 14: Works Cited Page
Repetend: The purpose of a repetend is to create unity and coherence in a
multigenre piece. It also allows the reader to hear the writer’s voice and
have a string that carries through the entire piece. Using a repetend is
like using a thesis to tie a traditional research paper together.
Ideas for creating a repetend (you may think of something different):
. include the same phrase, sentence, or passage in each genre page as a
heading or somewhere else in the text
. include a description or design in each piece (written or graphic),
placed strategically for easy recognition
. include a running commentary from you, the writer, following or
preceding each genre piece (taken from previously cited web page)
If you feel the most comfortable using expository prose, you may use this
as your repetend.
Expository Prose: This genre is the typical form that essays are written
in. At least one of your sections must take on this form. Exposition
typically has a beginning, middle, and an end and it should carry an
Genre Review: You should have at least five genres.
1) One of the genres has to be exposition and it needs to be at least
three pages long.
2) One of the genres, and no more than two, must be visual.
3) You should have at least one genre from the sub genre list and one
genre, not includingexposition, from the major genre list.
4) When possible, you should cite your sources in the text (i.e.
exposition, newspaper article, etc.). If you write a poem or some other
creative genre, you will cite yoursource(s) directly underneath it.
Remember that you are taking your research, internalizing it, and
representing it in a specific genre. If you use a poem, it will represent
your research in some way. The poem is your original work – not from your
I took the one less traveled by
and it has made all the difference.
Genre List: This list is not all inclusive. There are hundreds of other
genres. If you think of one not on the list, check with me first before
you use it.
Fiction (short story)
Nonfiction (report writing, academic writing)
Poetry (free verse or structured)
Drama (short play, dialogue with characters, monologue)
clinical lab report
collage (visual or word)
descriptive paragraph: or a specific description of some sort
diary or journal entry
grocery list or list of some other sort
interview: real or imagined; however you must say which it is
scientific lab report
stream of consciousness
song/ballad (the lyrics)
cartoon or comic strip
map w/ legend
Purpose: The research paper meets a clearly defined purpose (e.g. to
persuade, inform). The purpose is compelling because it goes beyond simply
completing the assignment.
Audience: The research paper is addressed clearly to an academic audience
and a sub-audience can be found – a peer group who needs to be informed
about the topic, a group who might have a stake in the topic, etc.
Persona: The writer’s prose establishes a consistent and appropriate
relationship with readers – one that is formal, informed, and/or concerned.
Development: The writer develops three to five main claims which are
supported adequately via research. The argument concedes when necessary
and the argument includes the writer’s academic voice to carry the reader
from point to point.
Organization: The research paper has a clear thesis which maps the rest of
the paper. The main points follow in a logical order. The introduction
acts to entice the reader to move forward and the conclusion answers, “so
Research: The writer has used academic and reliable sources which relate to
the topic. They are integrated into the paper to help strengthen the
writer’s voice. The sources are cited correctly in MLA format.
Style: The prose is engaging, clear, and coherent. Word choice is
appropriate and academic, and sentences generally flow from one to another.
Transitions between paragraphs are effective.
Readability: The prose is free of distracting errors in grammar, mechanics,
Revision: Substantial revision has taken place in between all drafts.
The research paper meets a clearly defined purpose (e.g. to persuade,
inform). But the purpose is less compelling because it is geared primarily
toward completing the assignment.
The research paper is addressed to an academic audience sometimes and
addressed to a secondary audience sometimes. There are places where
audience is unclear.
The writer’s prose establishes a relationship that is usually consistent,
but that may shift inappropriately at one or two points.
For the most part, the writer develops three to five main points although
some may lack backing. In some places, the writer fails to include his or
her own voice to help transition between points.
The research paper has a thesis, but it does not direct the paper in all
parts. A few elements appear in places that weaken the writer’s purpose,
or unnecessary repetition may detract from a reader’s sense of coherence.
The writer has used one academic source and a few reliable sources which
relate to the topic. They are integrated into the paper, but in some parts
they do not help strengthen the writer’s argument. The sources are cited
correctly most of the time in MLA format.
The prose is generally clear and coherent. Word choice is generally
appropriate, but a few inappropriate words weaken the prose. A few sets of
sentences may be choppy, disrupting flow.
Although the prose is free of sentence-level errors (e.g. comma splices,
fused sentences, fragments) it may contain a few obvious mechanical or
A good amount of revision has been done between one set of drafts (i.e.
from draft one to draft two, but not from draft two to draft three).
The research paper meets no clearly defined purpose, or it may switch
purposes unexpectedly. The writer seems only to have submitted something
to complete the assignment.
The research paper has no clearly defined audience. The prose may imply
inappropriate shifts in audience.
The writer’s prose establishes a relationship that is often inconsistent,
that shifts inappropriately at more than a few points.
The writer generally fails to develop three to five main points. The
research given does not support the argument. There is no writer’s voice
to carry the reader from point to point.
The research paper is organized in a manner generally inappropriate for a
logical argument. The thesis does not guide the paper. Unnecessary
repetition detracts from a reader’s sense of coherence.
The writer has used no academic sources and many unreliable sources. The
sources may not relate to the topic. The sources are not integrated with
the writer’s voice and they do not help strengthen the argument. In many
places the sources are not cited correctly in MLA format.
The prose is unclear in more than a couple of places. It may also be
choppy in more than a few places.
The prose contains distracting sentence-level errors. It may also contain
more than a few obvious mechanical or spelling errors.
No apparent revision has taken place.