Posted by: waldropcv | June 18, 2010

The Multigenre Paper Reflection

While reading this article, I was very skeptical about whether I would use the multigenre paper in my class.  I am not one who is stuck in the old ways of doing things, but I did not really understand how this would take the place of the classic research paper; though the first paragraph with all the negative comments about research papers did have me second guessing the research paper.  But I still wasn’t convinced until I read this, “The standard five-paragraph essay and documented research paper are oriented toward academicians (is that even a word?) only.  Real life writing seems to be made up more of letters, memos, invoices, maps (etc…)”.  99% of the students I am going to be teaching (I was in 11th grade when I had to write a research paper, and that is the grade I plan on teaching) are not going to be going into fields where they will need to write the type of research paper we are all used to.

The research paper I wrote in 11th grade was about the profession I was planning on going into at that time (which just so happened to be a high school teacher).  It was a little more interesting than a standard research paper in that we were to conduct an interview with someone in the profession we were writing on, I interviewed one of my favorite high school teachers.  So that was fun, albeit somewhat awkward.  But after reading and thinking about this, I wish I had been given the opportunity to write the multigenre paper.  Plus, I think it would be much more interesting to read as a teacher, if I have to read two classrooms worth of research papers as boring as mine was, I might go crazy.

Would you use this type of research paper in your classroom?  Would you have liked to write this instead of whatever kind of research paper you wrote in high school?

Do you think this could be a problem for students going to college, as they are expected to know how to write an academic paper?  Would that be reason enough to not do the multigenre paper?

Does the teacher need to teach all of these different genres (41 were used in the author’s class) to the students before they embark on this paper?  That would seem like a lot of time used to do all of that, however if it is not done the students may be limited in the forms they would write.



  1. Chris,

    The reality of teaching is that we will be expected to go pretty much by the book, for our first teaching experiences. This means sticking pretty close to the state standards and blueprints. We will be under supervision of other teachers and will probably use a lot of their lesson plans.

    Lesson plans should be tried, revised and improved upon over time. With successes and wisdom gained, then we will be more apt to try some of this new material.

    I’m seeing a return to what I experienced in the 50s and 60s, with new names and a bit more technology. Vocabulary, reading and writing are not new. People have just stopped concentrating on them because machines and technology do them.

    Every lesson plan that I would use would have emphasis on vocabulary. There would be reading, oral and written reports. These are basic. The rest is largely entertainment or ways to keep students involved.


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