White Papers on CHAT and Genre

This page offers links to a variety of documents design to assist instructors in developing a genre studies and cultural-historical activity theory pedagogy for writing instruction.  Some of these documents are designed primarily for instructors to use as they work to better understand and incorporate terms and concepts we use in the program. Others are at least partially designed for students (as handouts) to help them understand or practice important concepts.

Investigating Genres

Originally designed as a handout of the college of business workshop (summer 2012), this handout has been revised to for a general 101/145 audience.  It discusses the basic principles of doing writing research into genres and offers some guides for how to go about doing this research.  Download Investigating Genres Handout

Cultural Historical Activity Theory

This white paper offers a basic overview of CHAT as we use it in the writing program.  It’s not meant to be a scholarly overview of the theory or research in this area. Instead, it’s designed to help instructors and students discuss what these theories mean (in a practical way) to the study and practice of writing in different environments. Download CHAT_overview

Using Genre Studies to Develop Alternative Teaching Genres

This document began as a talk at the Genre 2012 Conference, which took place at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario.   This version of the talk argues that it’s critical for instructors in our “genre/CHAT” program to do their own “genre investigations” of the basic genres that shape and control classroom activity. Download Teachers Rethinking Teaching Genres