Genre Descriptions

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Remember, all genres are to be created by you. They are to be original works.

advice columns Like the ones you find in magazines or newspapers, an advice column features a letter from a reader who needs advice or help and a response from the columnist whose expertise allows him or her to sincerely give this help. You should consult a real column in a newspaper to see how you could format yours.
book jacket This description of the book is found on the cover. It may hint at the exciting parts of the plot or begin to describe a character. A book jacket is also art that incorporates a design that represents the book. The author's name and the title are also on the book jacket. Look at the covers of books for real life examples.
campaign speech Politicians who are running for office give speeches that they hope will get them elected. These speeches usually include the person's views on important issues as well as statements that they hope will help voters understand what kind of people they are.
map w/ legend Your map should be hand made to represent the "geography" of your concept. Make a legend to help the reader understand your map. Look at a highway map for an example, but also, try to find old maps to see their artistry. You can model your map after either kind. University of Georgia Libraries: Hargrett's rare map collection.
diary A personal diary is a daily journal, a recording of the significant moments of the day. It begins with the date. Some diary writers begin, "Dear Diary," but that's not a rule. Since a diary is meant to be personal, it often reveals feelings and thoughts that people tend to keep private. You should include diary entries for several days. This genre is a good way to show a process over time.
 interview When trying to figure out appropriate questions to ask an interviewee follow this guideline.  First, get the facts.  Next, ask your interviewee to clarify what has been said.  (What do you mean by...?)  Then the interviewer is supposed to verify information given, provide any follow-up questions, and provide closure to the discussion.
 menu Your menu might not include a Friday night fish fry.  Instead, a menu that you write for your multi-genre web might include a pamphlet of various choices your topic has to offer, followed by a description and a price guide based on importance.  For example, if your topic was a famous person in history, each menu item might be listed as people and events that were critical to that person's development.  The price listed next to it might be ranked according its affect it had on the development of the individual.
travel poster A travel poster can use graphics, photos, or drawings to reveal a certain place in the world relevant to your topic.  Make sure you use the space on you poster/web site effectively.  Capture the viewers attention and keep it.  Your travel poster should reveal the essence of the destination and what it has to offer.  Keep the design simple yet inclusive of all necessary information.  Achieve unity in the design by the use of balance and repetition.  Examples.
personal commentary Most personal commentaries fall into one of three styles: an amusing commentary, a description of an event whose consequences are emotionally charged or easy to relate to, and finally, a personal point of view about something serious. The common elements that personal commentaries share are that they reveal something about the author and they have a single, central theme.
Informative essays Informative essays explain a process, an event, or a concept.  It is writing characterized by inclusion of sufficient details, reasons, or examples to allow the reader to fully understand the process, event, or concept.  For help with this form of writing click here.
photo with description Use a digital or print photo (then scan it). The image must be generic and one that you took. It cannot be of you. The description can be a caption that tells who, what, when, where, why and how, and of course, supports your main theme. Also, you could write a short poem to accompany the photograph.
job application Click here to get a .pdf version of a city of Madison employment application. You would use this one as a model. Create your own application and fill in the blanks to fit your purpose.
quiz You've taken many quizzes, so you know how they look. Make yours a multiple choice quiz with at least ten questions. Then, at the bottom of the page, put a key to the answers and any explanations you need. Quizzes are great places to put facts.
advertisement Create a one page advertisement like you'd see in a magazine. You want to get your reader's attention, demonstrate the need for what you are selling, and show how your product/service will satisfy that need. Study professional ads to see how these goals are accomplished and use those examples as your models.
CD cover Create the art work for the front. Include the name of the band and the title of the CD. Then, on another "square," include your list of song titles. CDs generally have between 10-13 songs. Finally, include the lyrics to one song or liner notes. Liner notes are notes about the making of the CD, the experiences of the band, or other informative details that would be of interest to the listener. See a real CD or album for a model of how yours might look.
greeting card A typical greeting card has a specific purpose: wishing someone a happy birthday or anniversary or expressing a feeling about another occasion. There is a sender and a receiver. Also, the card itself has a cover with an illustration or picture, maybe even a cartoon and an inside with the main message or the punch line to a joke begun on the cover. See several real cards to get a sense of how you could design your card. Be sure you also include a little note to your sender to make the card personal.
post card A post card must have three parts. On the front is the picture and a greeting, such as "Hello from Ontario," or "Wish you were skiing with us." On the back are the address and stamp to the right and the message to the left. People generally write in small print on postcards to let them say everything they want to say or they may write brief ideas. Be sure that each word in your message counts or means something.
grocery list We can tell a lot about people, sometimes, by what they buy at the store. For example, someone who never buys any fresh fruits or vegetables may not be eating healthy, well balanced meals. This list can also extend beyond the grocery store to a different store or a list of things to do. Your list should reflect some aspect of a person's preferences or habits. You should include a title at the top, such as "groceries," or "camping supplies," or "what to pack." You must have at least 20 items on your list.
recipe A recipe includes a list of ingredients, directions for mixing, combining, preparing, baking or cooking and serving. To create a recipe for something non food, such as peace or health or a good marriage, think of the essential ingredients. What does it take to be healthy or what are the things a couple must have for a good marriage? List these ingredients. Then show how these ingredients are used or managed. The recipe should be written in typical recipe form. See samples of recipes from magazines or cookbooks for examples. You must create your own, original recipe.
memory A memory is similar to a monologue in that it is the reflection of one speaker. To write a memory is to single out an important event from the past and recall its details (who, what, when, and where) and to write also about why the memory is important. How did the event change the person (speaker, narrator) or why does it still come to mind? Why was this event important? Memories are written in first person point of view and should be full of details that make the event seem true to life. Your reader should be able to visualize the event, almost as if he or she were there.
collage Create a collage of images that represent the key ideas you are representing. The collage can include words and phrases to reinforce ideas. You must also include a short paragraph explaining the significance of the images in your collage. Do not create your collage in Word. Use a photo editing program like PhotoShop Elements. Some students have had success with Paint. You can create a collage on paper (8 1/2 x 11) and scan it.
graph/chart Create a graph or chart in Excel or on paper. Make sure that the graph or chart is complete with details, numbers, percents, etc. The graph or chart should be able to be read without additional explanation. See other charts or graphs in textbooks, newspapers, or magazines to use as examples. Add a paragraph explaining the data, if you need it.
one act play A one act play introduces characters in a conflict that is resolved in one act. Before writing your own, read a one act play to give you an idea of how to proceed. The play must be written using the typical conventions of a play or drama.
announcement We hear announcements each day in school. There are also announcements in church or before a meeting. Announcements alert people to important events that are coming up. Create an announcement that gives critical information about an upcoming event: who, what, when, where, why, and how. Top the announcement with an attention-getting label, such as "Attention all athletes," or "important information for all drivers."
ransom note A ransom note is written from a kidnapper who demands money or something else of value before he will release his captive. Things like addictions or obsessions or fears can hold people hostage, too. It would be interesting to write from the point of view of such a kidnapper. Be careful that you play with ideas here and don't get carried away. Kidnapping is violent and illegal.
song/ballad Write lyrics to a song or ballad (a song that tells a story). You should have several verses. Think of the main ideas you want the song to express. Remember that songs are to be sung, so think of that as you compose. If you're really adventurous, record your song and make your genre an audio file. Look at the structures of some of your favorite songs to use for examples.
descriptive paragraph When we read a descriptive paragraph, its like we are there. The imagery allows us to see, smell, hear, taste, and feel our surroundings.
eyewitness account When important events happen, someone is generally there to see it happen. An eyewitness is asked to give details about exactly what happened, when it happened and how it happened. The eyewitness would provide specific, concrete details like colors, sizes, distances, times, etc. that make the account as factual as possible. While not everyone sees an event in the exact same way, eyewitness accounts help us put the event into perspective. The account could be prompted by a reporter's or a police officer's questions.
illustration An illustration is a drawing that illustrates a concept or an idea. It is often accompanied by labels or margin notes to explain aspects of the drawing. An illustration is often done in ink on white paper and is detailed. Think of how a scientist illustrates the process of cell reproduction or how a naturalist illustrates the stages maples trees go through during the four seasons.
Photo gallery/album If you have several pictures, you can create a photo gallery or a photo album where you describe each picture.

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