What is a multi-genre project?
“A multi-genre paper arises from research, experience, and imagination. It is not an uninterrupted, expository monolog nor a seamless narrative. A multi-genre paper is composed of many genres and sub-genres, each piece self-contained, making a point of its own, yet connected to other pieces by theme and content and sometimes by repeated languages, images, and genres. A multi-genre paper may also contain many voices, not just the author’s. The craft then–the challenge for the writer–is to make such a paper hang together as one unified whole.”
Why should you and your students write a multi-genre project?
“Expository writing monopolizes thinking in education. As students move through school they writer fewer and fewer poems, metaphors, images, stories, and narratives. Exposition becomes their sole writing diet: reports of various kinds, summaries, essay exams, traditional research papers.”
“I oppose such exclusivity. Writing is a big mural world, not a snapshot. Writing is book reviews, email messages, notebook entries, news stories, love notes, commentaries, technical instructions, poems of many kinds, so many sub-genres that assembling a comprehensive list of them will almost certainly be incomplete. I don’t want students–kindergarten through postgraduate school–to become Johnny-One-Genres, which is what I was until I got to college.”
Have you tried a multi-genre project? Tell us about your experience and any tips you have gleamed.