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Riegel 1

Sarah Riegel
Professor Jan Rieman
UWRT 1103
September 8, 2014, 2014
Reading response to Navigating Genres
1. Please print this article and annotate by hand. How different is this from reading on-line?

Reading a paper copy, as opposed to an electronic version, increased my focus on the


article. It helped me be more present with the text. Adding to this, annotating the text by
hand allowed me to interact more with the article and expand on my own responses
elicited by Dirks writing. I also feel I better remember what was discussed in the article.
2. How does this article work? What rhetorical moves is the author making? Write a
rough outline of what Kirk is doing here and why. For example: Kirk begins the essay
with a joke about country music songs. This helps introduce the idea of genre
Dirk introduces the definition of genre with a joke about country music, which also
establishes the informal tone he uses throughout the piece to appear relatable. He then
explains his own process for choosing certain rhetorical devices in response to a new
genre. He does this to give a personal example and build on the coach role he is
attempting to assume. He gives information cited from other authors writing to establish
creditability and provide additional support for his arguments. Dirk then brings attention
to everyday uses of genre, such as differences in movies and Facebook updates, to show
writing is not formulaic, and to transform his article into a relevant tool. Dirk continues to
couple creditable quotes with interactive examples to maintain creditability, keep his
audience engaged, and provide evidence to support his claims. He uses humor with his

[Document title]

ransom letter example to reel in his audience further. He mentions established rules of
writing so he can demonstrate the flexibility and concreteness of genres. Finally, he
leaves his audience with a few main guidelines. Dirk does this to better ensure his
audience will remember the key points of the article.
3. Share three quotes from this article that helped you understand the concept of genre and
note why they were helpful to you. What did you learn from them? (Include the quotes
here, with quotation marks and note the page number in parentheses afterwards. Like
this: I connected with this idea that genres develop, then, because they respond
appropriately to situations that writers encounter repeatedly (252).
Before reading that genres develop, then, because they respond appropriately to
situations that writers encounter repeatedly (252), I had not considered the development
of a genre as dependent on learning from past experience, even if not personal, with a
particular situation. The notion that people do not label a particular story as a joke solely
because of formal features but rather because of their perception of the rhetorical action
that is occurring (253) made me realize how I interact with different genres in an
informal, everyday way. It also helped me understand that a genre is based more on its
purpose than its form. I found helpful the idea that every genre they acquire, then,
expands their genre repertoire and simultaneously shapes how they might view new
situations (259). This allowed me to expand on the thought that learned genres help us
understand how to react to a new, similar circumstance or even acquire new genres.
4. Dirk writes this about how genres evolve: something new happens that requires a
response, someone must create that first response. Then when that situation happens
again, another person uses the first response as a basis for the second, and eventually
everyone who encounters this situation is basing his/her response on the previous ones,
resulting in the creation of a new genre (252). Write about three types of writing that
have developed in the last five years where you imagine a new genre has been created.
Snapchat was created in 2011, and has since gained many users of this pictures-based
social media. Now people are communicating simultaneously through a picture, or video,
and a small caption. The combination of the two has to be concise enough to be
understandable in ten seconds or less. This is a new genre. Although it has been said
before that a picture is worth a thousand words, when has one had to explain a picture
or video in just a few words? Another new genre has been established by the increasing
popularity of memes, fast-spreading captioned pictures on the internet. Similar in form to
Snapchat, memes are purposefully created to be humorous enough to be spread rapidly
across the web. In 2010, Instagram was created. Instagram is a social media cite to post
pictures or videos with or without captions. This has developed another new genre
because these posts share a loosely similar form and the purpose of increasing ones
popularity. Instagram posts are tailored to prompt likes from followers or to recruit new
followers.