Book: Creativity and Discovery in the University Writing Class
Chapter: 3. Creating Identities in an Intertextual World
Even as we introduce them to and give them practice in standardized forms, students need to see these as tools to express ideas they want to express, to explore new thoughts, to develop unique perspectives and messages. We should treat genre as an opportunity space for expression. The genres we assign provide invitations to express new contents, represented in new ways, and pieced together in new kinds of coherence – all to foster new thought and cognitive development. So in assigning students to write in various genres we should be mindful of which ones might produce the most appropriate challenges to advance student thinking in our courses. Also, in assisting students to write in each genre we should not only help them to adhere to the proper form but to build those thoughts that will accept the invitation of the genre and take advantage of the opportunity the genre provides
to grow intellectually and expressively.