Guidelines for Discourse/Genre Analysis Frame your purposes and questions to lim

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Guidelines for Discourse/Genre Analysis
Frame your purposes and questions to limit your focus
Define your collection of texts and collect samples
Study the situation of the genre (the collection of texts)
Setting: In what context or medium does the genre appear? With what other genres does it interact?
Subject: What topics are common to this genre?
Participants: Who writes and reads texts in this genre? What roles do writers and readers perform? What attributes must writers and readers possess? Under what circumstances do they write and read the genre (e.g., in teams, in waiting rooms, on a computer, in a rush, etc.)?
Exigencies: When is the genre used? What purposes does the genre fulfil for the people who use it? What is its accepted social function?
Identify and Describe Patterns in the Genre’s Features
What content is typically included or excluded? How is the content treated? What sorts of examples are used? What counts as evidence (personal testimony, facts, etc.)?
What rhetorical appeals are used? What appeals to logos, pathos, and ethos appear?
In what format are texts of this genre presented? What layout or appearance is common? How long is a typical text in this genre?
What types of sentences do texts in the genre typically use? How long are they? Are they simple or complex, passive or active? Are the sentences varied? Do they share a certain style?
What diction is most common? What types of words are most frequent? Is a type of jargon used? Is slang used? How would you describe a typical writer’s tone?
Analyse what these Patterns Reveal about the Situation and Scene
What do these patterns reveal about the genre, its situation, and the people who use it?
What do participants have to know or believe to understand or appreciate the genre?
Who is invited into the genre, and who is excluded?
What roles for writers and readers does it encourage or discourage?
What can you learn about the actions being performed through the genre by observing its language patterns?
How is the subject of the genre treated? What content is considered most important? What content (topics or details) is ignored?
What values, beliefs, goals, and assumptions are revealed through the genre’s patterns?
What actions does the genre enable? What actions does the genre constrain?
Assignment: Perform a genre/discourse analysis of the genre of obituaries, using the example obituaries. Use the questions above to guide your analysis. Please write approximately 450-600 words.

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