IFLS 306 genre analysis feedback
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Here is some general feedback on the genre analysis assignments, mainly on the drafts.
|The following are some common errors or areas needing revisions in the essays (don't worry - these are rather typical).|
|Overall focus||If your field is fairly broad, then you should primarily focus on your subfield. It is okay to discuss or compare other subfields, but it's best if this is secondary, and if you focus is clearly on one subfield.
|Focus & content||If you talk about the structure, style, citation systems, or such, then it is not helpful if your essay just says "we do it like so..." without explaining why. Discussion of such points will be more interesting if they are connected to more global issues, like the nature of the field, or the research methods, which explain why writers do such things. Thus, for most of you papers, it will be important to discuss and connect some or all of the following:
|Connecting and grounding ideas||The writing patterns and structures you are describing are not arbitrary inventions. They follow from and are shaped by the needs of scholars / researchers in the field - the type of logical argumentation, how ideas are developed and supported, the types of research methods, and the core theories or concepts of the field. It will be helpful for your (potential) readers if you explain why writers do as they do, based on these kinds of factors. Ultimately, these relate to th nature of the field itself - the paradigm. So it will be helpful to talk not just about text features, but how they relate to the nature of the field and the nature of the research.|
|Contents||Avoid focusing too much on very minor details; focus on what would be newsworthy and important to your readers. Assume that they have some basic familiarity with the field, so avoid overly general, familiar, or common information.|
|Gratuitous use of extended quotes, or graphics / tables copied from your sources||Any direct quotes, tables, charts, or graphics reproduced from a source should not just be inserted into the essay for filler. They should be accompanied by a sufficient explanation of their significance and/or what they illustrate about academic papers in your field, in a way that justifies their inclusion in your paper. Otherwise, it just looks like padding or filler.
|Examples needed||Generally, your papers will benefit from citing more examples to illustrate your points.
|Specific focus||Your paper may be too broad. It may be helpful to focus on a subfield rather than a whole field.|
|Research methods||* If your field uses a mixture of qualitative, quantitative, and/or theoretical methods, explain when, why, and where particular methods are chosen, and how the research method shapes the writing.
|Argumentation||It is not very informative to simply say that logical arguments are needed or used for a writer's points. You need to say more about what kind of logical arguments are used, how they are developed, and how they are supported -- e.g., what kinds of evidence, support, data, or such.|
|Defining your field||It is better to primarily discuss your field of study rather than your KU department. Also, the name of the field is usually not capitalized (e.g., linguistics, psychology, engineering), unless you are talking about a major program or department (e.g., Department of Psychology); so 'linguistics' = the field of study, 'Linguistics' = the name of a major program or a department.|
|Tone and style||Your assignment is a descriptive analysis, so watch out for the following.