Investigative Multi-Genre Research
What is a multi-genre research paper? It’s a collection of pieces written in a
variety of genres, informed by your research on a particular subject, which presents
one or more perspectives on a research question or topic. Each piece is self-
contained, making a point of its own, yet connected by theme or topic and
sometimes by language, images, and content. 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.
For this assignment you will choose a topic of that relates to the theme of COMING OF AGE. As
you saw in the movie Stand by Me, the concept of coming of age often deals with a loss of innocence. The
list I provide below will give you some ideas, but please don’t feel limited to these. In addition, the list
contains very broad topics—you will need to decide how these topics fit into the theme of coming of age,
and what you want to say about it. Selecting a topic you want to know more about and have a genuine
interest in will result in a stronger final product. You will research extensively and then communicate your
learning through a multi-genre research paper (think creative writing based in research) where you meld the
factual, emotional and imaginative.
This is intended to be a CREATIVE WRITING assignment, and will most likely look quite
different from other papers you’ve written. You will use research to develop a convincing narrative story
which is creative and informed by your research. Therefore, do not limit yourself to a traditional essay style.
Use a multi-genre (genre = type or form of writing, such as a poem, letter, story, diary entry, interview, etc.)
approach to incorporate multiple points of view that communicate information about your research topic.
You will need to consider:
How to organize your information and,
Which genres (see the attached genre list for ideas) will be best suited for your storyline.
Rather than writing from your perspective or a stiff, academic perspective on this topic, step into the shoes
of an individual(s) more intimately involved and/or invested in this topic. Due to the creative nature of this
paper, I cannot tell you how long your paper needs to be, but it should be substantial enough to
demonstrate to your reader that this is research-based writing.
Even though this is not a traditional essay, you still need to integrate research into your writing. All
the information used must be documented correctly. Since you are not an expert in the field and you
haven’t done any original research about the topic, you must give credit to those who have researched and
written on the topic. You can use parenthetical citations or footnotes (I will provide links on my website to
resources that can help you with this). A Works Cited Page in MLA format will also be required (feel free
to use EasyBib or Noodletools). Be sure to consciously distribute your research throughout your paper,
instead of using the same information in each genre!!
This paper should help you demonstrate all that you learned about the topic you researched in a
creative format that logically fits the subject being presented. Your paper must contain 3-4 genres (see the
list of genre ideas) examining the topic of your choice.
You must use at least three sources for your paper. Options for sources include:
Articles from professional journals
Other texts that relate to your topic
Note: Internet sources are not always legit. There is no screening for quality, so you must
gauge the quality yourself. I don‘t want you simply pasting material into the paper (that‘s
plagiarism), and please extend your research past the Wikipedia database. I want to see an
original piece of work from you!
Don’t be afraid to think “outside the box.” Experiment with your
Strategies, Tips, and Possibilities for Writing
Think of this as your personal note to your readers. Why did you decide to write about your topic?
What does it mean to you? What would you like the reader to know before he/she delves into your
work? Some people begin with a letter to the reader – ―Dear Reader…..‖
Openings, Beginnings, Lead Pieces of Writing
The first pieces should orient the reader, introduce a character or situation, and dramatize the central
tension. Sometimes writers open with a ―Defining Moment.‖
Identify the enduring moments in your topic. These are vivid memories never to be forgotten – they are
permanently imprinted on our minds.
Bring the people from your research to life as characters in your writing by incorporating their
personality traits, actions, and point of view.
Inanimate objects, concepts, ideas…these things can all hold crucial places in our lives. For example,
Holden Caulfield’s attachment to his red hunting hat in Catcher in the Rye was crucial to his identity.
Or try to imagine the Hippies without ―Peace‖ and ―Love.‖
Places shape us nationally, regionally, and locally. Multi-genre writers identify places of importance to
the topic and incorporate them.
The purpose of a repetend is to create unity and coherence in a multi-genre paper. It also allows the
reader to hear the writer’s voice and acts as a string that carries them throughout the entire paper. Some
ideas for creating a repetend could be:
1. Include the same phrase, sentence, or passage in each genre, as a heading or within the text.
2. Include a description or design in each piece (written or illustrated), placed strategically for easy
3. Include a running commentary from you, the writer, following or preceding each genre piece.
Utilize the Rhetorical Toolbox
Look through the critical lens of historical/cultural analysis, to help guide
your research and interpretations. Consider the cultural values, gender roles,
time period and historical context of your topic.
―Composition accomplishes the cultural work of producing
autonomous individuals willing to adopt the language and
perspectives of others.‖ – Anne Ruggles Gere
Investigative Multi-Genre Research Paper Schedule
Wednesday, October 7th - Introduce Assignment
- Begin thinking about potential topics
Monday, October 12th _
P100W to begin working
- Begin researching – I want to know your topic
by the end of the hour
Tuesday, October 13th - Research day in P100W
- 3 sources due at end of the hour
- Begin working on MLA works cited page
Wednesday, October 14th - Writing day in P100W
Monday, October 19th - Writing day in P100W
- Peer workshop if you would like feedback on
any of your pieces.
Tuesday, October 20th - - Final work day in L100
- Opportunity to share final draft of papers in
- OR time to finish final draft if needed
- Investigative Muli-Genre Research
Paper due at the end of the hour!
**While I am providing you with these days of in-class work time, you will probably
have to do some work outside of class to successfully complete your project.***
Remember: Select the genres that will best showcase your understanding of the topic you have
researched. See me if you have any questions about using these genres in your paper!! Pick genres
that you understand—it‘s much more difficult to pick something you have never heard of and try to
make it work for your project.
Autobiography Newspaper article
Book review Photograph – must have written
Book jacket analysis/supplement
Business letter Play
Campaign speech Poem
Cartoon/comic strip Police report
Character sketch Postcard
Children‘s book Proposal
Classified ad Questionnaire
Collage (visual or word) Radio broadcast
Commercial Report card
Confession Research report
Contract Restaurant review
Diary Science fiction
Eulogy Short story
Essay – Informative/narrative/persuasive Song lyrics
Fairytale Technical manual
Flash-forward Top ten list
Friendly letter Vignette
Graffiti Video game
Interview – real or imagined Western
Map w/ legend
Possible Research Topics
YOU ARE NOT LIMITED TO THESE!!
Remember: You will need to decide how to approach the topic and what
you want to say about that topic. Think about how it relates to the
concept of ‗coming of age‘.
Teen pregnancy Sexual Assault/Harassment
Eating disorders Driving
Date rape Violence
Death of a loved one Sports
Sexual orientation Sexism
Foster care Adoption
Drugs/Alcohol Sweet sixteen/Quinceañera
Cliques Social networking (Internet)
Others??? See me for approval
Investigative Multi-Genre Paper Rubric
Advanced Proficient Adequate Basic
-Paper provides - Paper creatively - Attempts to - Research missing
a creative & presents research present research OR not creatively
engaging creatively presented
Content this event/myth
- Presents research - Presents research - Presents research - Presents research
in 4 or more genres in 3-4 genres that in 3 or less genres in 1 genre that is
that are effectively are effectively that are organized not fully developed
organized to organized to to present the
Genres present the content present the content content
- Cites more than 3 - Cites 3 reliable - Cites 2 reliable - Cites 1 reliable
reliable sources sources which sources which source or sources
which relate to the relate to the topic relate to the topic are not cited at all
- Sources are cited - Sources are cited - Sources are cited - Sources are cited
Parenthetical without any with very few with obvious incorrectly OR
mistakes using mistakes using mistakes using missing
MLA format MLA format MLA format
- Revision and - Revision and - Revision and - Revision and
Grammar & editing process is editing process has editing process
editing process has
obvious left only a few left more than a seems ineffective
- Paper is free of errors in grammar, few errors in - Errors in
15 points errors in grammar, mechanics or grammar, grammar,
mechanics or spelling mechanics or mechanics or
spelling spelling spelling are
Effective use of Failure to use the in-class work time effectively (doing other homework, playing
work time online, etc) will result in a loss of these ten points.