The Multi-genre Research Project English II Pre-AP “[Multi-genre papers] recognize that there are many ways to see the world, many ways to show others what we see.” ~Tom Romano, teacher, author, and “founder” of the multi-genre paper Purpose: The multi-genre paper asks students to see, understand, interpret, synthesize, and know their subject through multiple genres rather than a traditional or linear research-based paper. In employing genres as both a lens and a rhetorical tool, the multi-genre research paper asks students to be explicitly creative and scholarly, to pay close attention to matters of style as well as matters of research. In handling research in this way, students build a ―rhetorical repertoire‖ and learn how to better recognize that their thinking is conditioned by the genres they write in and the strength of the message depends on the best choice of genre for their purpose. What is a multi-genre paper? 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 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. Okay, this is completely different from anything I have done before—what do I do? As you research, you’ll need to consider your audience and what genre would be the most effective in communicating your message to that audience. What genre will ―speak‖ to the people you most want to reach? And why? You’ll need to be fully engaged in your research—don’t approach it as a scavenger hunt in which you collect information and spit it back out in an ―academic‖ paper. This is NOT that drill. This goes beyond the academic paper in a variety of ways. You will be demonstrating all that you’ve learned so far this year, all of the tools and writing techniques you’ve studied, all of the questions we have explored about humanity, and synthesizing it all into a new and wonderful whole—something completely unique that only you can do! Choosing a Researchable Topic: A strong topic will be one that deals with humanity in a thoughtful and insightful way. This, of course, is huge and wide open. You will need to refer to the Essential Questions Handout for help. Your topic should connect to one or more of the essential questions listed, but can only be answerable by you and the research you collect, analyze, synthesize, and present in writing. Questions to ask about your topic: 1. Am I truly interested in this topic? You must be invested and it must show in your final product. If you don’t find your topic interesting, your audience won’t either. 2. Do I have access to enough information on this topic? You will have the resources in our school library to start with, but beyond that you have access to the internet – it’s unlimited. CAUTION: You must choose your sources wisely. We’ll talk more about this in class. 3. Is the subject limited enough in focus? Is there a specific theme/idea/concept/answer in which to research and end up with a clear message to present. 4. Is there a substantial human element to the topic? This must be meaningful for you and your audience and the human element is the key. Limiting the topic: You will begin with a general idea and move to the specific. Here is an example of how you move from general to specific: General Subject → Specific Subject → Focus or Special Interest Holocaust Concentration Camps How concentration camps affected people’s lives. ↓ People sent to Auschwitz often lost family members, lost faith in God, and lost a sense of self. *Start with the essential question(s) you want to find an answer for and then go through the above cycle to narrow your focus. Remember the camera lens example: We don’t want to deal with the entire landscape in the photo; we want to zoom in on one pivotal element in the landscape. → ↓ Auschwitz Genre Ideas: The genres you can use are just about limitless. You can write and relay important messages in so many ways it’s mind boggling! But BEWARE! This should not be a haphazard collage of disjointed elements; you must connect the genres and what they represent with a central, significant theme (a thesis). Your creative efforts MUST be informed by solid research, including research about the genres themselves. When you choose a genre ask yourself, ―Why am I choosing it? What do I want to show through this genre?‖ Your purpose must be clear and each genre should express a different piece of the whole puzzle, not repeat the same thing in a variety of ways. Here is a starting point: You must have FIVE genres for this project and ONE MUST come from group 6—that is the only requirement in regard to genre choice. (You may come up with others!) Group 1: Print Media Newspaper Article Obituary Editorial Letter to the Editor Advice Column Magazine Article Recipe Application-job, school, etc. Wanted Poster Headlines/Front Page Dictionary of specific language Mission Statement Group 4: Informational Interview Timeline Directions Campaign Speech Assignment Sheet Resume Encyclopedia Entry Memo Lab Report Calendar/Agenda Membership Cards Will Police Report Pro/con List Group 2: Visual with Words Poster Invitation Ad Travel Brochure Greeting Card Cartoon Bumper Sticker Business Cards Invitation Response to Art Neighborhood Flyers PowerPoint Group 5: Creative Writing Diary Entry Song Poem—many variations! Short Story Personal Narrative Conversation Pledge Top Ten List Travel Journal Report Card Telegram Prayers/Meditations Eulogy Letter Group 3: Visual Display Picture/Photograph Graph/Chart Map Certificate-award, death, degree Storyboard Postcard Menu PowerPoint Scrapbook Page Magazine Cover Mandala Group 6: Structured Critical Analysis Report Descriptive Writing Persuasive Essay Manifesto Contract Using Repetend: Repetend is something added to your mulit-genre project that repeats or continues. The purpose of repetend is to create unity among the various genre pieces and to give the writer an editorial voice that the reader can easily relate to. Since multi-genre papers are unique and non-linear, they require a lot of work from a reader. You, as a conscientious writer, do not want to let your reader get confused as they move from genre to genre. If you provide your reader with reoccurring images or phrases, or a running commentary or even a narrative or story, you will create unity that will help your reader better understand your central theme. This is much like weaving your thesis throughout a traditional essay. ☼You must find some way to incorporate repetend in your project. Ways to incorporate repetend: 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 and meaningfully for easy recognition include a running commentary from you, the writer, following or preceding each genre piece create a character and follow his/her reactions to pieces create a character involved somehow in each piece of writing—an ongoing story create a cartoon strip at the top or bottom of each genre that comments on the ideas presented etc. Get the idea? Your Multi-genre Project will include: Title Page An Opening/Preface/Forward/Introduction that will greet the readers, introduce the subject, and provide any other information you think the readers should know. Table of Contents Five different genres from different categories. (If you have an idea that is not listed see me for approval please). Epilogue Rationale Cards Works Cited Page Okay, take a deep breath…the good news is you get to do this with a partner and it will take us most of the six weeks to accomplish this task (among others, of course), so relax and enjoy the experience!! The Elements of the Multi-genre Project Section 1. Title Page Description This cover page includes the following information : title (not label) your full name the date (due date) teacher & course name graphics, borders, creative stuff Helpful Hints 2. Table of Contents This page will help your reader Example: Table of Contents navigate your project. Each genre is listed with its title following. Each title is significant and meaningful on its own. What kind of information might I include in the preface? This preface, forward, or introduction will greet readers and give a bit of background information about your project. You'll need to introduce the subject and anything you think the reader should know about you and/or your project before they read it. how you came up with your idea why you chose your topic why your topic is important an introduction to a main character a description of a crucial setting or central activity a theme that will be carried through your genres what you learned about your topic and/or genres. 3. Opening/Preface 3. Body Your body consists of five base pieces from five different genres. The body of your multi-genre You must have one entry from the project is composed of the various structured category (group 6). pieces you create to help your reader understand your subject. To unify the separate pieces, use Some of the pieces will be written, some type of repetend or unifying some visual, and some a device—imagery, theme, etc. combination. Ways to incorporate repetend in your multi-genre 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 create a character and follow his/her reactions to pieces create a character involved somehow in each piece of writing--an ongoing little story create a cartoon strip at the top or bottom of each genre page that comments on the ideas presented 4. Epilogue Some aspects you might include: how writing about this topic has changed your perspective on your topic what you learned overall how you felt about using the multi-genre medium to write rather than just writing a traditional story/essay what you hope your audience learns from your multi-genre web what you feel you accomplished from this project overall any information that would help clarify anything you wrote This is your conclusion. It should have its own page. 5. Rationale Cards Rationale Card Genre_______________________ What does this genre tell us about your You will provide your rationale for choosing each genre and which topic? source(s) you used to develop each What is your rationale for selecting this genre. genre to present this information specifically? Source(s) Used: 6. Works Cited You must have six (minimum) sources from a variety of information types. MLA Style This list of your sources includes a brief description of the source and Works Cited Help its value to your project One more Works Cited Help You must cite at least 6 sources. That may mean you use more than 6 in your research, but decide to only use information from some of them in your project. The 6 sources that you cite must be used in some way in your final project. Your resources may be found in a variety of places. My advice would be to start in the library, either here at school or in our public library. The librarian is a great resource for help, so make sure to bring your questions to him/her. From there you can go to the computer, browsing through online journals and article indexes. Once you have a good idea of your topic, the Internet will be a great tool for focused researching. Try to use both primary and secondary sources. Primary sources are created at the time period you are researching. They include letters, newspaper articles, diary entries, etc. Secondary sources are sources created after the fact that reflect on the event or time period. They often analyze the primary sources. Sample Works Cited Page Refer to your MLA handbook purchased at the beginning of the year. Against my better instincts: Citationmachine.net "Everything you need to know to succeed." Your Multi-genre Web. 2002. 7 Jan 2007 <http://www.sheboyganfalls.k12wi.us/cyberenglish9/multi_genre.htm>. Procedures Checklist 1. Brainstorm topics. Settle on a few that interest you and do a little researching. Pick one topic that you’ll find ample resources for. 2. Fill out the ―Research Plan‖ worksheet and submit it to me for approval. 3. Perform your research. Check the library, computer, and Internet for sources. You might want to also research by going to museums, conducting interviews, or finding other hidden treasures. 4. Throughout the researching process make sure to keep notes, ideas, questions, and reflections in your research log. Remember to keep a running bibliography of any sources you use. 5. Some class time will be dedicated to showing examples of multi-genre works so that you have an idea of what your project can look like. Study these examples and draw inspiration. 6. Organize your sources in some way meaningful to you (write an outline, draw a web or map, etc.) and formulate ideas for your project. Play around with different genres and see which ones work for the information you have. 7. Conference with your peers in class to get suggestions, ideas, and critiques. Conference with me. 8. Do whatever necessary to make your project the best possible. You may choose to change some of your genres to something more suitable. Decide on an overall theme or structure to tie your project together. Make sure you have a Title Page, a Table of Contents, an Introduction, an Epilogue, Rationale Cards and a Works Cited page with appropriate citation of sources. 9. With finished drafts in hand (―finished‖ in the sense that it includes every required component), conference with your peers and myself. 10. Revise and proofread. Present your project with pride. Research Plan (Based on Tom Romano’s Multi-genre Research Design) 1. What is your topic? Explain. 2. Describe what you know about your topic. 3. Tell what you want to learn about. 4. Describe your plan for collecting information about your topic. 5. Provide a preliminary bibliography.