Because I Like It: Thoughts on Genre and D’Agata’s The Lost Origins of the Essay

A very informative and insightful post. Enjoy.

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

Scott Russell Morris Scott Russell Morris

By Scott Russell Morris

This semester in my introductory creative writing class, I am trying something new. I am not dividing the class units into genres, but instead, looking at “The Basics of Good Writing in Any Form” (as Miller and Paola’s excellent chapter in Tell It Slant says it.) Each class period, we’ll read about qualities of good writing, and then the students will choose structures and forms based on what best meets their projects’ needs. Though we’re only two weeks into the semester as I write this, I hope that a more fluid discussion structure will help students see the possibilities in their writing rather than the rules of certain genres.

I chose this format because my own feelings on genre’s boundaries have been slowly eroding, even quicker these last few weeks. The difference between a poem and an essay? I can’t really tell you anymore…

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