Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Blending genre, altering style by Romano

Blending genre, altering style by Romano is a book that outlines, explains, and provides strategies for the multigenre paper. Romano shares student examples of multigenre writing, and he shares short assignments that students could try and include in their multigenre papers.

A weakness is that he doesn't give the reader much concrete information when it comes to assessment. There is a chapter at the end about assessment, but it wasn't that helpful. Especially when a teacher works in a tradition researcher-paper oriented school, it would be helpful to describe more about assessment or a firm rationale for why multigenre is better than a traditional research paper.

Even if teachers bought this book and didn't try a multigenre paper, they could use his ideas for individual assignments. Some of these individual assignments that I really like are the multi-voice poem, photograph poem, and his Count Basie activity (Ch. 1). I have tried his activities in class, and they were motivating to students and fun to use. I also felt like the multigenre papers were beneficial to students in really understanding the purpose of research. Katie wrote a multigenre paper about her parents' divorce, and she went to the Internet and researched her parents' divorce decree. In some ways, a multigenre paper is similar to an I-search in that they both are concerned with students choosing a topic that matters. When they find that topic, they will be much more motivated to do authentic and important research that matters to them.

He doesn't talk much about his transition from traditional papers to multigenre papers, although that might be something he addresses in Writing with Passion. A good book to pair with multigenre writing would be The Collected Works of Billy the Kid and Karen Hesse's Witness.

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