Real Questions Reading and Writing Genres

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-02-22
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's

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Real Questions: Reading and Writing Genres breaks open the concept of genre and shows students how it works in conversations that they care about. Drawing from a surprising variety of public and academic genres, including creative nonfiction, academic articles, blogs, Twitter posts, brochures, flyers, reviews, online multimodal texts, and public service ads, each chapter takes up a question at the heart of daily life and looks closely at ideas and genres that shape our responses to it. An in-depth introduction,along with carefully scaffolded questions and writing assignments, support students as they analyze writers’ choices and put their understanding of genre to work in their own writing — for real audiences and with real purpose. The print text is now integrated with e-Pages for Real Questions, designed to take advantage of what the Web can do.

Author Biography

Kathryn Evans is an associate professor of English at Bridgewater State University, where she is also director of the Writing Studio.

Table of Contents


What Is Genre and How Can It Help You?

What Band Names Can Teach Us about Genre

How Genres Make Reading and Writing Easier  

Strategies for Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing Critical Thinking

Active Reading

Engaged Writing

Writing to Prompt Active Reading

Writing Summaries

Sample Summary by Devin McGuire, "Summary of The Relationship Cure Excerpt" (STUDENT SUMMARY)

Writing Reflections

Sample Reflection by Sara Snider, "Lappe Reflection" (STUDENT ESSAY)

Writing Rhetorical Analyses

Sample Rhetorical Analysis by Kirsten Ridlen, "Is Brent Staples a Threat, or a Victim? A Rhetorical Analysis of ‘Black Men and Public Space’" (STUDENT ESSAY)

Writing Genres

Writing Arguments

Purpose and Audience

Organization, Focus, and Development

Effective Language


Sample Argument by David Cook, "The Good, the Bad, and the Technological: Technology and Its Impacts" (STUDENT ESSAY)

Writing Op-Eds and Letters to the Editor

Purpose and Audience

Organization, Focus, and Development

Effective Language


Sample Op-Ed by John Keane, "Facebook and the Fear of Missing Out" (STUDENT ESSAY)

Sample Letter to the Editor by John Moss, "Understanding Flaws Eases Discussion" (STUDENT ESSAY)

Writing Creative Nonfiction

Purpose and Audience

Organization, Focus, and Development

Effective Language


Sample Creative Nonfiction by Amy Peterson, "Fine Lines" (STUDENT ESSAY)

Writing Blogs

Purpose and Audience

Organization, Focus, and Development

Effective Language


Sample Blog Post by Zach Schonfeld, "New York Times on Drunk Fruit Flies, Wooly Bear Caterpillars, and Prof. Michael Singer" (BLOG POST)

Writing Brochures

Purpose and Audience

Organization, Focus, and Development

Effective Language


Sample Brochure by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois, "Maybe I Have a Friend with an Eating Disorder" (BROCHURE)

e-Pages Writing Presentations

Purpose and Audience

Organization, Focus, and Development

Effective Language


Sample Presentation by Jean Mervius, "Survivors Unite Speech" (STUDENT SPEECH)

Sample Presentation by Rikimaru Kataoka, "Survivors Unite Speech" (STUDENT SPEECH)  


1 How Can Our Relationships Change and Grow?

Case Study in Genre and Relationships: The Relationship Status Update

About the Readings

Andi Long, Patching Holes (CREATIVE NONFICTION)

Amy Sutherland, What Shamu Taught Me about a Happy Marriage (HUMOR COLUMN)

John Gottman and Joan DeClaire, From The Relationship Cure (SELF-HELP BOOK)

Deborah Tannen, From You’re Wearing That? Mothers and Daughters in Conversation (SELF-HELP BOOK)

Diane Davis, Cycle of Violence (BROCHURE)

Todd K. Shackelford, Aaron T. Goetz, David M. Buss, Harald A. Euler, and Sabine Hoier, When We Hurt the Ones We Love: Predicting Violence against Women from Men’s Mate Retention (SCHOLARLY RESEARCH REPORT)

e-Page The White House, 1 is 2 Many (PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT)

Visualizing Genre Bumper Stickers

Pulling It All Together  


2 When Should We Assume the Best (or Worst) about Others?

Case Study in Genre and Assumptions: Attribution Theory

About the Readings

Malcolm Gladwell, From Blink (POPULAR NONFICTION)

Brent Staples, Black Men and Public Space (CREATIVE NONFICTION)

Leslie A. Zebrowitz, Benjamin White, and Kristin Wieneke, Mere Exposure and Racial Prejudice: Exposure to Other-Race Faces Increases

Liking for Strangers of That Race (RESEARCH REPORT)

Studs Terkel, C. P. Ellis (ORAL HISTORY)

Amel S. Abdullah, Assuming the Best of Others (ADVICE ESSAY)

Sarah Adams, Be Cool to the Pizza Delivery Dude (RADIO ESSAY)

Julie Schwartz Gottman, An Abbreviated History and Overview of Gottman Method Couples Therapy (PROFESSIONAL RESOURCE)

Gavin de Becker, From The Gift of Fear (SELF-HELP BOOK)

e-Page Sheri White, Seeing Beyond Our Differences (RADIO ESSAY)

Visualizing Genre Public Service Announcements

Pulling It All Together  


3 What Is Happiness, and How Can We Find It?

How Can We Be Happy?

Case Study in Happiness: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

About the Readings

Mary Beth Ellis, The Waltz (CREATIVE NONFICTION)

Mary Pipher, June, from Reviving Ophelia (CASE STUDY)

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, From Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (GENERAL AUDIENCE RESEARCH SUMMARY)

Gretchen Rubin, Act the Way You Want to Feel, from The Happiness Project (BLOG POST)

John Ratey, MD, Depression: Move Your Mood, from Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain (RESEARCH SYNTHESIS)

Martin Seligman, PhD, Positive Feeling and Positive Character, from Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment (SELF-HELP BOOK)

Barbara Ehrenreich, Positive Psychology: The Science of Happiness, from Bright-Sided: How Positive Thinking Is Undermining America (CRITIQUE)

Arthur Brooks, Inequality and (Un)Happiness in America, from Gross National Happiness: Why Happiness Matters for America—and How We Can Get More of It (PUBLIC POLICY ARGUMENT)  

Linked Readings

University of Leicester Produces the First Ever World Map of Happiness (PRESS RELEASE)

Marina Kamenev, Rating Countries for the Happiness Factor (ONLINE NEWS ARTICLE)


Visualizing Genre: Greeting Cards

Pulling It All Together 


4 When Is Eating a Social Issue?

Case Study: Economic Impact of Past Labeling Reforms, from Food Labeling Chaos: The Case for Reform

About the Readings

Flavius Stan, The Night of Oranges (CREATIVE NONFICTION)

Michael Pollan, The Food Movement, Rising (REVIEW ESSAY)

Anna Lappé, Cafeteria Consciousness (MAGAZINE FEATURE)

Sandra Steingraber, PhD, The Organic Manifesto (MANIFESTO)

Rebecca Clarren, Is Your Eco-Label Lying? (MAGAZINE INFOGRAPHIC)

Bonnie Liebman, In Your Face: How the Food Industry Drives Us to Eat (NEWSLETTER INTERVIEW)

David A. Kessler, MD, From The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite (RESEARCHED ARGUMENT)

Jonathan Safran Foer, Hiding/Seeking, from Eating Animals (MULTI-GENRE TRADE BOOK)

Wikipedia, Factory Farming (WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE)  

Linked Readings

Michael Fitzpatrick, The Vegetarian Delusion (OP-ED)

Claire Miller, Eating Vegetarian, and Making a Difference (LETTER TO THE EDITOR)

e-Page Philip Wollen, Animals Should Be Off the Menu (SPEECH)

Visualizing Genre: Food Packaging

Pulling It All Together  

5 How Is Social Media Affecting Our Relationship with the World around Us?

Case Study: Twitter, The Chronicle of Higher Education

About the Readings

Johann Hari, How to Survive the Age of Distraction (OP-ED) 

Linked Readings

Nicholas Carr, Is Google Making Us Stupid? (MAGAZINE FEATURE)

Trent Batson, Response to Nicholas Carr’s "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" (CRITIQUE)

Sherry Turkle, From Alone Together (RESEARCHED ARGUMENT)

Linda Stone, Beyond Simple Multi-Tasking: Continuous Partial Attention and Diagnosis: Email Apnea (BLOG POSTS)  

Linked Readings

Gwenn Schurgin O’Keeffe, MD, Kathleen Clarke-Pearson, MD, and Council on Communications and Media, Clinical Report: The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents, and Families (LITERATURE REVIEW)

John Grohol, PsyD, Pediatrics Gets It Wrong about "Facebook Depression" (BLOGGED CRITIQUE)  

Linked Readings

Jenna Johnson, Fighting a Social Media Addiction (BLOGGED COLUMN)

Pamela Rutledge, PhD, Social Media Addiction: Engage Brain before Believing (BLOGGED CRITIQUE)

International Center for Media and the Public Agenda, A Day without Media (WEB-PUBLISHED RESEARCH REPORT)

e-Page Wall Street Journal, The Measured Life: What’s Your Klout Score? (VIDEO REPORT)

Visualizing Genre: Web Pages

Pulling It All Together





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