Breath of Clarity

Genre Switching Activity

The purposes associated with each of these genres have similarities and differences. The purpose of all of them is to transmit information that there was a car accident and nobody was injured. However, I aim to reach each audience in a different way based upon my various intentions in communication. For instance, the purpose of the email to the insurance company is to give all the details necessary to process a claim. I reached my audience by addressing the specific department within State Farm that would be responsible for processing the claim. Then, I formally focused on the facts of the situation considering that the State Farm representative is going to need that information to fill out the paperwork. I made it clear that I would continue communication with them when I received the pricing from the mechanic and asked them to confirm receiving my email because the purpose of my writing was to ultimately complete the claim. On the other hand, the purpose of my writing to the boss was to be a quality employee by communicating a sense of respect. I did so by apologetically opening the lines of communication about me missing the presentation, letting her know that I did not currently have the presentation materials with me, and suggesting that I conduct it at a future day and time. It was important for her to know that I was not injured so that I could communicate to her that I am absolutely equipped to be a quality employee in the future. The tone is quite serious and professional. The purpose of my text to the partner was to apologize for damaging the car in a heartfelt way. I let him know I was not injured for the purpose of being considerate that he would be worried about my safety. I was informal as I used the words hey, guy, stilllll and love you. The text’s content was significantly more emotional than the other genres which aligned well with the text’s purpose. It would have been difficult to make decisions about my writing without knowing the genre.

Considering the audience empowered me to make decisions based upon how to best reach them and, in turn, effectively achieve each respective purpose. Considering my genre helps me to focus on understanding the context in which the information is being received and, in turn, understand how I am expected to communicate. From there, I base the act of writing on the expectations. It helps me connect with the audience which is crucial for them to listen to me and understand my purpose.

Comment by Kyle Pesek:

Hello Mary,

I wanted to highlight your point that across these 3 scenarios, the knowledge and consideration of your audience enabled you to deliver a more effective piece of writing with specific information/impacts intended for each. For instance, navigating the hurdles of insurance bureaucracy in the fastest way possible is assured with how you handled scenario 1. However, the application of that same tactic to the second scenario might be interpreted as inappropriate in tone or be seen as too much of an irrelevant information drop if the manager is sustainably approaching the social side of the business by being more concerned with your physical well-being than specifically whether or not you are still a worthwhile asset to the company. The range in workplace cultures and expectations can differ drastically in how best to approach the 2nd scenario, so there is no singular, correct answer. The strategy of examining the issue from the opposition’s viewpoint can also prove to be key to finding common ground and capitalizing on the opportunity that they provide to forge paradigm shifts toward new understandings. Thank you for these genre writing insights!