Writing Genres

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In Writing Genres, Amy J. Devitt examines genre from rhetorical, social, linguistic, professional, and historical perspectives and explores genre's educational uses, making this volume the most comprehensive view of genre theory today.

Writing Genres does not limit itself to literary genres or to ideas of genres as formal conventions but additionally provides a theoretical definition of genre as rhetorical, dynamic, and flexible, which allows scholars to examine the role of genres in academic, professional, and social communities.

Writing Genres demonstrates how genres function within their communities rhetorically and socially, how they develop out of their contexts historically, how genres relate to other types of norms and standards in language, and how genres nonetheless enable creativity. Devitt also advocates a critical genre pedagogy based on these ideas and provides a rationale for first-year writing classes grounded in teaching antecedent genres.


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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Writing Genres presents an excellent, comprehensive discussion of contemporary genre theory as it has developed in the field of composition and writing over the past twenty years. The scholarship here is well informed and wide-ranging, drawing on historical linguistics and sociolinguistics, literary theory and history, composition studies, rhetorical studies, and cultural studies, and in its breadth it is excellent.”—Carolyn R. Miller, North Carolina State University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780809328697
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
  • Publication date: 8/14/2008
  • Series: Rhetorical Philosophy & Theory Series
  • Edition description: reissue
  • Pages: 268
  • Sales rank: 1,333,904
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Amy J. Devitt is Chancellors Club Teaching Professor in the Department of English at the University of Kansas. She is the author of Standardizing Written English: Diffusion in the Case of Scotland, 1520-1659 and a coauthor of Scenes of Writing: Strategies for Composing with Genres.

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Table of Contents

1 A Theory of Genre 1
2 An Analysis of Genres in Social Settings 33
3 A Study of Genres in Context, a Theoretical Intermezzo 66
4 A History of Genres and Genres in History 88
5 Creative Boundaries: An Argument for Genre as Standard, Genre as Muse 137
6 A Comparison of Literary and Rhetorical Genres 163
7 A Proposal for Teaching Genre Awareness and Antecedent Genres 191
8 A Conclusion 214
Notes 223
References 229
Index 237
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