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Writing Genres

Writing Genres

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Amy J. Devitt


Paperback (Other formats: E-book)
268 pages, 6 x 9, 11 illustrations

Rhetorical Philosophy & Theory


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About the Book

In Writing Genres, Amy J. Devitt examines genre from rhetorical, social, linguistic, professional, and historical perspectives and explores genre's educational uses, making this volume the most comprehensive view of genre theory today.

Writing Genres does not limit itself to literary genres or to ideas of genres as formal conventions but additionally provides a theoretical definition of genre as rhetorical, dynamic, and flexible, which allows scholars to examine the role of genres in academic, professional, and social communities.

Writing Genres demonstrates how genres function within their communities rhetorically and socially, how they develop out of their contexts historically, how genres relate to other types of norms and standards in language, and how genres nonetheless enable creativity. Devitt also advocates a critical genre pedagogy based on these ideas and provides a rationale for first-year writing classes grounded in teaching antecedent genres.



Amy J. Devitt is Chancellors Club Teaching Professor in the Department of English at the University of Kansas. She is the author of Standardizing Written English: Diffusion in the Case of Scotland, 1520-1659 and a coauthor of Scenes of Writing: Strategies for Composing with Genres.


Writing Genres presents an excellent, comprehensive discussion of contemporary genre theory as it has developed in the field of composition and writing over the past twenty years. The scholarship here is well informed and wide-ranging, drawing on historical linguistics and sociolinguistics, literary theory and history, composition studies, rhetorical studies, and cultural studies, and in its breadth it is excellent.”—Carolyn R. Miller, North Carolina State University