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Learning Goal: I’m working on a english writing question and need support to help me learn.
The Accident: A Genre Activity
The overall rhetorical situation is as follows:
Earlier today you were in a car accident while driving your grandmother’s car on your way to take your Chemistry midterm. Luckily you were not hurt, nor were any others, but your vehicle and another have significant damage and are headed to the repair shop. Since you were texting your friend while driving instead of paying attention, you ran through a red light, so the accident was your fault. Police responded to the scene and your insurance company has been notified. Your grandmother’s car was towed away to get repaired.
You need to write Scenarios 1 through 5 (write a letter, an email, a text message, a journal entry, a forum post, and the first paragraph of a psychology essay) and then write the full reflection at the bottom.
Scenario #1: write an email
Because of the car accident, you are missing your Chemistry midterm. Your professor is old and ornery, and you are pretty sure she said “if you miss the midterm or final, your grade is zero – no make-ups” at the beginning of the semester. You are stressed out! By the time the police clear the accident scene, the mid-term is over and you are headed home. Write an email to your Chemistry professor, explaining what happened and appealing to her for another chance to take the mid-term or to make it up somehow. Write the email, considering the audience and the situation as well as the following:
What content should be included? What details are relevant? Or too much?
What style of language should you use for this email?
What else is appropriate?
Scenario #2: write a text message
Write a text message to a friend – you are finished at the accident scene and need a ride. Write a txt msg explaining what you need, why, and from where to where. Some questions to consider:
What content should be included for this genre? (What info/details are relevant in a text message?)
What is the style of the language used in a text message to a friend?
What format is it written in? How could I tell by looking at it that it is a text message?
Scenario # 3: write a journal entry
You are now writing about the accident in the diary/journal you keep to record your thoughts every night before you go to bed. You have had a rough day, and you’re trying to make sense of things before going to sleep. Write the journal entry. Some questions to consider:
What content should be included for this genre? What details are relevant?
What is the style of the language used? Who is the audience?
What format is it written in? How is it obviously a journal entry?
Scenario #4: write a forum post
You are doing some online research about car accidents a few weeks after your accident happened because it had a big impact on you even though you were unhurt. You stumble across a forum where people share their stories about how car accidents have impacted their lives. There is an open forum for anyone who wants to post an entry to do so. You read about some horrific accidents that left people with permanent damage or loss. You are struck by the fact that your car accident, while inconvenient and a bit scary, was nothing as bad as it might have been. You decide to tell your story. Write the opening lines of a forum post detailing your experience and explaining its impact on you. Some questions to consider:
What content would you include in this genre? Why?
What is the style of the language used? What format is it written in?
What are the conventions of a forum post?
Who is the audience?
Scenario #5: write the beginning of an essay
You are assigned an essay for your Psychology class on the topic of human behavior and what makes people change learned habits. You decide to use your personal experience with texting and driving to set the stage for your essay; because even though it left you with a greater appreciation for life, you still text while driving, so it occurs to you that you didn’t learn the lesson. Write the first paragraph of introduction to this Psychology essay. Some questions to consider:
What genre are you writing in and what are its conventions?
Who is the audience and what are its expectations?
What details are relevant to this introduction?
What does this part of the essay need to do? How will you achieve that goal?
Reflection on Rhetorical Situation and Genre: write a reflection
Reflect on the experience of writing in different genres for each rhetorical situation. Write a reflection answering the questions below:
How did you know what was appropriate for each genre?
For each scenario, how did your audience impact what and how you chose to say?
Compare any two scenarios and discuss the significant differences in rhetorical situation (discuss purpose, audience, intended outcome, and appropriateness of writing style for each).
How does your understanding of genre, audience, and rhetorical situation influence the choices you make in writing?
What 5 elements from this exercise can you apply to a writing assignment you are currently working on in any other class? In other words, what did you learn by doing this that you can now transfer to another writing situation?