Genres, Voices, and Thoughts Research Projects with a Creative Twist Kerri Harris North Star of Texas Writing Project Teacher Consultant Keller ISD What is Multigenre Research? A student selects a topic. Research is conducted: collecting information, synthesizing it, and presenting it in a written format. Instead of one long expository piece of writing, the information is presented within a number of creative pieces – poetry, diary entries, lists, artwork, graphics, news articles, and recipes – imaginative writing based on real facts. Also, this type of writing does not begin with a working thesis. The underlying theme of the paper is merely suggested – like a common thread that runs through the whole piece of writing and keeps it all cohesive. A Teacher’s Guide to the Multigenre Research Project Melinda Putz, 2006 Seven Reasons for Choosing Multigenre Research Projects Over Traditional Research Projects Number 7: “The blending of research and creativity seems especially fitting for adolescents who have a need to express themselves in ways different from adults and yet have a need to show what they’ve learned.” -Margaret Moulton, teacher Number 6: “One of our top students told me that this was the best thing she had done all year and that she wouldn’t let me keep it.” -Ellen Goldfinch, librarian Number 5: “Each genre offers ways of seeing and understanding that others do not. The world is perceived through multiple genres. They shape our seeing.” -Tom Romano, author of Blending Genre, Altering Style: Writing Multigenre Papers Number 4: “Sometimes what we write needs to be answered. Sometimes the truth of one genre needs to be counterbalanced by the truth of another.” - Tom Romano Number 3: “I want more than exposure; I want immersion. I want students to travel the territory of a concept, to get to know its geography.” -Tom Romano Number 2: “Narrative knowing shows. We read a novel and leave the world. We read a poem and feel a sharp, emotional surge. We see a painting and meld into it.” -Tom Romano And the Number 1 reason why teachers should use the Multigenre Research Project as stated by Ellen Goldfinch … “Students find it fun to research, and teachers find it fascinating to read!” Bored with the quality of research papers your students have been turning in? Tired of reading papers that sound like a thesaurus threw up on the words that students plagiarized? Have you been using the same research assignment with your students for so long that the edges of your original copy yellowed cracked Well, have we gothave a deal for you! and It’s the handy,with age? dandy… Just look at what teachers and students are saying about our product! So try us out today and discover how, by using different genres to grammatically illustrate the facts on a topic, you too can help put some meat on the dusty bones of the traditional research paper. From the Kitchen of: Tom Yields: Romano Students and teachers who are no longer bored with research! Recipe: The Multigenre Research Paper This recipe was brought about by the boredom and confusion of students while they researched topics given to them by their teachers. When teachers noticed that all the papers left a bad taste in their mouths, they discovered that research papers needed a little spice! Ingredients: 1 self-chosen topic with special meaning 2–5 resources for topic 2–3 weeks of research time 6–10 genres related to topic (see attached Shopping List) 1 opener that introduces the reader to the paper 1 repetend to link crots together 1 page of end notes 1 Research Journal for experiments and metacognition Pinches of voice, organization, love for chosen topic, conventions, word choice, and fluency Procedure: 1. Toss around several ideas in your mind that would be fun to research. Once the topic rises to the top, rinse it off and peel away the layers of until you discover why you want to learn more about it. 2. Tap into as many resources as you can find that tell you more about the topic. 3. Carefully sift your resources together until you get just the right consistency of background and character to help you pick you genres. Serving Suggestion: Serve with lots of color, creativity, and passion. Before turning it in to a teacher or reading for a presentation, package it nicely in a theme wrapper that represents your topic. 4. Choose six to ten genres that you feel comfortable using. Have fun with your selections and don’t use more than one of each kind. This tends to over-power your creation with two much of one kind of flavor and will leave the reader with a lingering taste of monotony. 5. Lightly whisk in a repetend to unify your creation into something that any reader can follow and understand. The deeper the symbolism, the better the taste! 6. After finishing the above steps, scatter in the end Traditional Genres Wills Requisitions Email messages Letters Bumper stickers Definitions Campaign speeches Magazine articles Fairy tales Birth announcements Memos Catalogs Newscasts Magazine covers Questionnaires Notes to or from the Obituaries teacher driver’s license Advertisements Book jackets Song lyrics Greeting cards Postcards TV commercials Class notes Telegrams Radio shows Leases Schedules Shopping lists Contracts Tickets Timelines Parodies Editorials News releases Police reports Prayers Medical records Brochures Bulletins Manifestos Diaries Laboratory notes Surveys Invitations Pamphlets Resumes Fiction Tattoos Family trees Encyclopedia entries Dedications Epitaphs Crossword puzzles Poems Cartoons/comic strips Daily schedules Menus Advice columns Diplomas Eulogies In his book, Blending Genre, Altering Style: Writing Multigenre Papers, Tom Romano defines a multigenre paper as a paper that, “…arises from research, experience, and imagination. A multigenre paper is composed of many genres and subgenres, each piece self-contained, making a point of its own, yet connected by theme or topic and sometimes by language, images, and content. In addition to many genres, a multigenre Traditional Genres Wills Requisitions Email messages Letters Bumper stickers Definitions Campaign speeches Magazine articles Fairy tales Birth announcements Memos Catalogs Newscasts Magazine covers Questionnaires Notes to or from the Obituaries teacher driver’s license Advertisements Book jackets Song lyrics Greeting cards Postcards TV commercials Class notes Telegrams Radio shows Leases Schedules Shopping lists Contracts Tickets Timelines Parodies Editorials News releases Police reports Prayers Medical records Brochures Bulletins Manifestos Diaries Laboratory notes Surveys Invitations Pamphlets Resumes Fiction Tattoos Family trees Encyclopedia entries Dedications Epitaphs Crossword puzzles Poems Cartoons/comic strips Daily schedules Menus Advice columns Diplomas Eulogies So… How Do I Teach Voice? Jerry Seinfeld Anthony Browne Doreen Cronin Patricia MacLachlan Jackie French Animal Diaries Pick your favorite animal, but don’t tell anyone what you picked. Since writing with voice helps to bring out the emotion of the author, write a diary entry in your animal’s voice about an event that made him/her: Angry Shocked Confused Jealous Disappointed Ecstatic Isolated/Lonely Cherished What are Thoughtshots and How Do I Teach Them to My Students? Flashback Thoughtshot: She remembered the day he came through the door the first time. He was only a little boy then… Flash-Ahead Thoughtshot: She thought about her options. She could go there and pretend it never happened. She could tell him everything. She could buy a plane ticket to Bermuda with the money… Internal Monologue or Dialogue: There was no way she could do it. She knew that, but still her feet kept moving, one step after another. She thought about why she was doing this but there was no way she Look at the pictures on the next slides. Pretend you are one of the people in the picture. What was the person thinking at the moment the picture was taken? What kinds of thoughts were running through the minds of the individuals? Was there something off-camera that we can’t see? What are the opinions of the people in the picture about the other people in the picture? Write down the thoughtshot (2-3 sentences) that could have occurred for Put ‘em All Together and What Do You Get? A Diary of the Alamo by Jim Bowie A Diary of My Greatest Victory by Santa Anna The Goliad Gazzette with headliners such as: Massacre Mania, Interview with Coleto, and The Battle Blues Texas ABC Books: Every letter of the alphabet representing something about Texas with a requirement for at least a certain amount of voices, thoughtshots, and genres. A Day In The Life Of a Karankawa Indian The Top Ten Greatest Inventions: Each section has to include the voice of the inventor and the descriptions are presented in different genres. Math Doesn’t Suck: A User’s Guide for Surviving 7th Grade Algebra TEKS Grade 7 Writing Writing/purposes. The student writes for a variety of audiences and purposes and in a variety of forms. 15A-H Writing/evaluation. The student evaluates his/her own writing and the writings of others. 19A-I Writing/inquiry/research. The student uses writing as a tool for learning and research. 20A-G Viewing/representing/interpretation. The student understands and interprets visual images, messages, and meanings. 22A-C Bibliography Goldfinch, Ellen (2003).A match made in heaven: The multigenre project marries imagination and research skills. Library Media Connection. 21, 26-28. Moulton, Margaret R. (1999).The multigenre paper: Increasing interest, motivation, and functionality in research. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy. 42, 528-539. Putz, Melinda (2006). A teacher's guide to the multigenre research project: Everything you need to get started. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Romano, Tom (2000). Blending genre, altering style: Writing multigenre papers . Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.