Skip to content

Choose Your Own Adventure

Choose Your Own Adventure published on

This is the post for January 15, the last class day.

We have lots of options at this point, so choose whatever you need from the information below.


  • You can complete whatever projects that you want to (only Project 4, OR Project 4 and Project 5).
  • All remaining projects must be submitted by 11:59 PM on Saturday, 1/16. 
  • You do NOT have to tell me which option you are choosing. I will just go by whatever you have turned in by 11:59 PM Saturday.
  • Please fill out the Student Perceptions of Teaching (SPOT) survey for this course. The feedback helps the department make important decisions about teaching methods, course content, and faculty promotion. Written comments help me decide what to keep or change the next time I teach the course.

If you are completing ONLY Project 4:

  • Just ignore the final exam assignment (Project 5).
  • Spend your remaining time refining your report for Project 4, which will be worth 35% of your course grade.
  • Submit your project by 11:59 PM on 1/16, following these instructions.
  • Check your course grade in Canvas after you receive an email from me that the grades have been submitted. Your grade in Canvas will be your grade in the course.

If you want to participate in the optional peer review for Project 4:

This peer review activity is completely optional and will not effect your grade in the course

If you are completing Project 4 AND Project 5:

  • Submit Project 4 by 11:59 PM on 1/16, following these instructions. Project 4 is worth 30% of your course grade.
  • Readings for Project 5
  • Work for Project 5
    • Read the Project 5: Course Completion Report assignment (the final exam, worth 5% of your course grade), and begin gathering data on your work in the course by rereading your posts in the Discussions and your projects to identify your best work.
    • Use the information in the textbook on progress and status reports as well as the self-assessment examples to help decide what information to include and how to present your performance.
    • Submit Project 5 by 11:59 PM on 1/16, following these instructions.
  • Watch for a message about your course grade. I will either send instructions on how to find your grade OR details on your grade using the messages system in Canvas (which the university has approved as a FERPA-compliant way to discuss grades).


Submission for Project 4

Submission for Project 4 published on

This is the post for January 14, 2016.

Work for January 14

  • Please read the email sent to the class regarding a change to the course, and complete the Course Change Preference Quiz by 6 PM Thursday, 1/14 (today). I will let you know of the class decision around 7 PM, assuming everyone completes the quiz on time.
  • (If you still need to) Provide peer review feedback to your classmate by noon, following the instructions.

  • Revise your draft based on the peer feedback you received, using the Canvas Documentation to find your peers’ feedback.

  • [QUIZ OUTCOME MAY CHANGE THIS TASK] Submit your revised draft by 11:59 PM, following these instructions. If you need an extension, take advantage of the Grace Period and submit your revised draft by 11:59 PM on January 16. Remember that there are no revisions or rewrites after your work is graded.

Resources for January 14


Submitting Project 4

Submitting Project 4 published on

Follow these steps to submit your work:

  1. Go to our course in Canvas.
  2. Choose Assignments from the left sidebar.
  3. Choose the "Genre Analysis Report" assignment.
  4. Click the big Submit Assignment button on the upper right. You’ll see this File Upload form:
  5. Click the Choose File button, and navigate to your file. It must be a *.doc, *.docx, or *.pdf file.
  6. Type your reflection comments in the Comments… box (indicated by the orange arrow). I read your comments before I read your project. These comments are worth 10 points of your grade. Don’t forget them! Include this information:
    • Tell me what documents you have attached.
    • Tell me what grade you aimed for (e.g., I aimed for a B+ by including headings and icons).
    • Tell me anything else you want me to know before I grade your project.
  7. Click the Submit Assignment button, and your work will be uploaded and turned in.


Peer Review for Project 4

Peer Review for Project 4 published on

By 6 PM on 01/13, post your rough draft:

  • Go to Discussions in Canvas.
  • Choose the "Peer Review for Project 4" discussion.
  • Post a reply to the Discussion (Canvas Documentation) that includes the following information in the body of the message:
    • Tell your readers what you are analyzing and why you chose it in one sentence.
    • Ask your readers to look at anything you are trying to improve. Let them know the kind of advice you need.
    • If relevant, explain anything else you want your readers to know.
  • Provide your rough drafts, using one or both of these options:
    • Attach any documents to the Discussion message. Be sure your file is a *.doc, *.docx, or *.pdf file.
    • Provide a link to your draft in the Discussion message (e.g., for a Google Doc).

By noon on 01/14, respond to two drafts:

  • Follow the Canvas Documentation to find the drafts you have been assigned. Note that peer review partners will be automatically assigned by 6:30 PM.
  • Write a response to each of the two drafts (Canvas Documentation) that includes the following information:
    • Consider your immediate impression of the document(s), and add a comment to tell your partner your first thoughts.
    • If you notice any spelling errors, punctuation errors, or typos, you can mention them in your comments, but focus more on the content than editing and proofreading.
    • Add comments on the content of the draft:
      • Comment on at least three things your classmate does well.
      • Comment on at least three things that your classmate could improve.

After noon on 01/14, revise your draft:

  • Use the Canvas Documentation to find your peers’ feedback.
  • Revise your draft based on the peer feedback you received.


Peer Review for Project 4

Peer Review for Project 4 published on

This is the post for January 13, 2016.

Readings for January 13

For this week, please review the following as needed:

Work for January 13

By 6 PM today
Post your draft, following the instructions  on the course website.

By noon on 01/08
Give feedback to the two classmates who are assigned to you, following the instructions on the course website.

After noon on 01/08
Revise your draft based on the peer feedback you received, using the Canvas Documentation to find your peers’ feedback.


Project 4 Overview

Project 4 Overview published on

This is the post for Monday, January 11, 2016.

Readings for January 11

Work for January 11

  • Choose your focus for Project 4, following the advice in Step One of the assignment. Consider the various kinds of writing you can examine in your report, and choose one that you have not yet written in your career but that you want to know how to write.

  • Write your proposal, following the instructions on the Genre Analysis Proposal page. If you need an extension, take advantage of the 1-day grace period for daily work. The proposal is an important part of the process, since it makes sure that you’re on the right track before you dive into writing the actual report, which is worth 30% of your course grade.

  • Begin your research for the project, and be sure to keep track of your sources for your bibliography. This is a large project, so I encourage you to work steadily over the next few days, rather than waiting until the last minute.


Genre Analysis Proposal

Genre Analysis Proposal published on No Comments on Genre Analysis Proposal

After you spend some time thinking about the kind of writing you want to learn about in more detail, you will write a short, informal proposal that tells me what you propose to study. I will review and approve your proposal (or suggest some changes). Here are the details on what you need to do.

When Is the Proposal Due?

You will post your proposal in Assignments sections of Canvas by 11:59 PM Monday, January 11. Your proposal is worth 10 points of your overall grade for Project 4.

What Do You Write?

Write a short proposal in memo format that explains the genre (or kind) of writing that you will focus on for your report. Aim for 1.5–2 pages in length. You can return to Chapter 11 of Markel for additional help. Address the following points in your proposal:

  1. Background/Introduction
    Give some background on your genre, your experiences with it to date, what you already know, etc. Then explain your motivations for exploring this particular kind of writing by clearly stating, "I would like to study this genre for the following reasons: . . . ." (fill in the reasons).

  2. Areas to be Studied
    What are the key points you will explore/research? What are some questions you will ask and try to answer with this project? What do you intend to do with this project?

  3. Methods of Research
    What is your research strategy? What, exactly, are you planning to do to try to find answers to your questions?

  4. Qualifications
    What makes you qualified to do this research? What skills do you bring to the project that will help you deal with this topic effectively?

  5. Request for Approval
    Ask for approval; ask for guidance, articulate your biggest concerns at this point; ask for suggestions about next right steps; provide contact information.

What Happens After You Turn In Your Proposal?

I will read all the proposals and give you feedback on your plan ASAP. Keep working on your project as if you have approval.


Project 4: Genre Analysis Report

Project 4: Genre Analysis Report published on

Worth 30% of your course grade

  • Proposal: Worth 10 points
  • Genre Analysis Report: 90 points

Calendar IconImportant Dates and Deliverables

  • Jan 11: Informal Proposal due by 11:59 PM (1-day grace period)
  • Jan 13: Rough Drafts for Peer Feedback, due by 6 PM
  • Jan 14: Feedback due to two classmates by noon
  • Jan 15: Project 4 due by 11:59 PM
  • Jan 16: Grace period ends at 11:59 PM


Hand-drawn briefcase iconbecome an independent writer who who no longer needs a writing instructor to tell you how to compose a genre of writing Recycling iconthink about audience and purpose as you practice the kind of research you will need to do during your career

Hand-drawn File Folders with Magnifying Glass (Search)The Project Assignment

You will learn everything there is to know about a kind of writing you will do in your career. You will find online resources, interview people in the field, and analyze examples. You’ll publish your findings in an analytical report that explains how the genre works. You will write a short proposal and a progress report, in addition to the final report.

Step-by-Step Details

#1 in a maroon circleStep 1: Propose a genre to explore for your project. Return to the table you created for Project 2, or think about the writing you do or will do in your field. Choose a kind of writing that you have not previously done. Ideally, you should choose a kind of writing that you genuinely want to know more about or that you know will be critical to success in your field.

You will research the kind of writing you choose, focusing on the particular kind of writing for the next month. You will turn in a proposal for your project on Monday, January 11.

#2 in an orange circleStep 2: Set your goals for the project.
As has been the case for all the projects in this class, you have the opportunity to aim for the grade you want to earn on this project. The options below outline what you need to do for the grade you want to receive.

No one, in my experience, aims for a D, so I have not included any details for below-average work. If you really want a D, just put in minimal effort and do sloppy work.

The letter A, in white with black outlineComplete the B-level project and then use unique strategies and details that are clever, original, creative, and/or imaginative. Your report should include well-chosen graphics or visual elements that increase its effectiveness. It should have no errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, mechanics, linking, and formatting. The letter B, in white with black outlineComplete the C-level project and then use design elements (like headings, layout, etc.) to highlight key information and make the report easy to read and visually appealing. Your report should have no more than two or three minor errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, mechanics, linking, and/or formatting.

The letter C, in white with black outlineWrite an analytical report that discusses the purpose and audience for a particular kind of writing used in your field. The report will discuss all aspects of the genre and will include at least 3 examples. See additional details below in Step 3. Your report should be complete, well-written, and include no more than 5 spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors.

Bomb icon (indicating a warning)Warning! No grade is guaranteed.
Make sure your work is error-free, fully-developed, and ready to share with the intended audiences. Any work that is incomplete or that contains multiple errors will not earn an A or an A-.

For instance, say the writer aimed for a B and used design elements to make the report visually appealing, but the finished text was full of typos. It was obvious the writer didn’t proofread at all. The project earns a C rather than a B.

#3 in a maroon circleStep 3: Write your analytical report.
Research and write your analytical report in your word processor. With examples and relevant formatting, your report will likely be close to 20 pages long, though there is not a minimum or maximum page length. Write as much as you need to.

Review the example genre analysis reports to see the kind of layout and design that are appropriate for your project.

The research for your report can include the following:

  • a literature review and evaluation of online resources (to learn what have other researchers already studied and said about the particular genre in question),
  • interviews with people who actually write and read these documents to learn about their experiences with it,
  • a site inspection (examining the actual physical work environment or conditions researchers already studied and said about the particular genre in question), experiences with it, that affect the process of this particular genre is typically composed).

You will analyze and explain the rhetorical situation for your particular genre—that is, you will identify and explain the problem that creates the need for this particular form of written communication, the purpose and occasion that calls this kind of writing into being, or the work that needs to be done and to which this text responds.

You will analyze the audience or users of this particular genre of written communication, including their knowledge, experience, and work environments, their motivations for working with the genre in question, how they perceive and use the text in question, and what they do with it.

You will outline the constraints at work on the writers and the readers of these documents, including computing environments, documents, facts, and workplace objects, but also less tangible factors such as relations, beliefs, attitudes, traditions, images, interests, and motives that are in play in their organizations or workplaces.

You will include a bibliography that provides documentation for all of the resources you have consulted. You may use whatever bibliographical format you are most familiar with. Here are some tools if you are unsure what to use:

You will obtain at least three examples of the particular genre in question and analyze them to extract the generic conventions, characteristics, features, and strategies that distinguish this genre. If the examples are extremely long, a link to the example online is acceptable.

You will post your draft for peer review by 6 PM on January 13, and post feedback to your two assigned classmates by noon on January 14. Use the advice you receive from your readers to revise your report before the due date.

#4 in an orange circleStep 4: Submit your work in Canvas.
When you are finished with the project, you will upload your file(s) and/or links in the Assignment tool on Canvas. Details on how to submit your work will be included in the post on January 15.

You will use the Comment section for reflection on your project. In this section you will tell me the following:

  • the grade that you have aimed for.
  • how well you reached your goals.
  • any other information I need to know to understand the work you did on your project.

Be sure that you follow the instructions, include the relevant information, and proofread your comments. If you skip adding the Comment, you lower your grade on the project. Remember that there are no rewrites or revisions after work is graded.


Genre Analysis Examples

Genre Analysis Examples published on

As you begin work on your Genre Analysis Project, you can use these examples to guide your work.

Limited Access

I am limiting access to these examples since they were written by students in previous classes I taught. You will have to log into Google Drive, using your VT.EDU email address to access these files:


All of these examples are used with the permission of the students who wrote them. I have removed the names of the students and replaced them with the students’ major or field. You will put your name on your reports.

Future Examples

I am hoping to use some of your reports as examples for classes in the future. I will ask for your permission during the last week of class.


Working on Your Job Apps

Working on Your Job Apps published on

This is the post for January 6, 2016.

Readings for January 6

I’ve gathered some resources that will help you with whatever you proposed. Read the information that pertains to what you have proposed.

Work for January 6

  • Continue working on Project 3. Assume your proposal will be accepted. Watch for a reply to your proposal by Thursday morning at the latest. Be sure to check the comments. If you need to make any adjustments to your plans, I will tell you about it there.

  • Be ready to post a draft version of Project 3 for peer review by 6 PM on Thursday. Peer review feedback is due by noon on Friday. The final version of your project is due by 11:59 PM on Friday.

  • If you have any questions about the assignments, email me and I will reply asap. This afternoon, I’ll be visiting mom in the hospital again, but I will reply from my phone if you have an urgent question.


Primary Sidebar