Multigenre Research Paper: Increasing Interest, Motivation, and Functionality in Research

Summary Points:

  • Teachers AND students hate research papers; they’re dull, uninspiring, boring, and are usually unrelated to students lives
  • Changing the format can increase student interest and effort. Things like having students research unsolved murder cases, adding graphs and visuals to papers, writing news articles about the topic are a few options to change up the regular style of research writing.
  • Multigenre Project = students research a topic but instead of the traditional paper they write about the subject through a variety of different genres including birth certificates, news articles, poems, letters, wanted ads, and journal entries.
  • This format doesn’t necessarily provide a smooth flow of information or lead to the proving of a thesis; it does require that students think about the topic and interpret it from the subject’s point of view or from their time period.
  • This type of project requires students to be creative and use knowledge about many types of writing, organization, and formats
  • It includes a bibliography but no in-text citations.
  • End notes provide an explanation of each genre, the source for materials, and how/why the genre was inspired or chosen.
  • Most of the endnotes showed more knowledge than the actual genre writing.
  • Students were able to explain how and why they wrote what they did; most research projects do not allow room for students to discuss their thought processes and inspirations.

Thinking Questions:

  1. How will students react to this assignment? Will they view it as more work or an opportunity to learn something and present knowledge in a new, hopefully more interesting, way.
  2. How will this type of project be graded? What’s the most important thing? How will I quantify the knowledge they gained?
  3. Will this actually prepare students for researching and research writing they will be required to do in their college work or future?

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