You will remember that the 13 types of student writing that the BAWE research has identified are often referred to as Genres or Genre Families. They are related to five Primary Purposes as explained earlier.

Primary Purpose

Genre Family

1. Demonstrating Knowledge and Understanding.

Explanations; Exercises

2. Building Research Skills.

Literature Surveys, Methodology Recounts, Research Reports

3. Developing Powers of Independent Reasoning.

Essays;  Critiques

4. Writing for Oneself and Others.

Event Recounts; Public Engagement

5. Preparing for Professional Practice.

Case Studies; Design Specifications; Problem Questions; Proposals


Specific Purpose

When you are writing it is important to know which Genre Family you need to use and you must make it clear to your reader. When students write about the purpose of the assignment, they explain the Specific Purpose, in relation to the assignment task. A sentence or two about the Specific Purpose of the assignment is often found in the introduction section, or in the first paragraph.

In Tasks 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, you will be asked to identify the Genre Families of some assignments by looking at the writers’ Specific Purposes.


The purpose of these exercises is to familiarise you with the five Primary Purposes of academic writing and the 13 Genre Families associated with these purposes. This will help you to select the most appropriate Genre Family for your writing task.

Further sections of this site will help you to write these texts, but the present purpose is simply to familiarise you with these Genre Families.

Task 1

Match the statement of purpose (in grey) with the Genre Family (in blue).

Exercise

Task 2

Match the statement of purpose (in grey) with the Genre Family (in blue).

Exercise

Task 3

Match the statement of purpose (in grey) with the Genre Family (in blue).

Exercise

Task 4

Match the statement of purpose (in grey) with the Genre Family (in blue).

Exercise

Task 5

Match the statement of purpose (in grey) with the Genre Family (in blue).

Exercise

Comments

Yes, it does.

Thank you so much.

Under Task 3:

How can 'essay' be the answer for the first 'specific purpose'?
When we learnt in the previous section that critique is the one that analyses one's work and an essay is the one that links evidence and arguments(which matches the second specific purpose).

Kindly explain.

Thanks

Hello abisht_123,

Critique are described as follows:

The purpose of a Critique is to develop and demonstrate your understanding of the object of study, and your ability to evaluate its significance from the point of view of your discipline.

and further, from the listening section on critiques:

...a critique, or an evaluation, requires you to take an object of study – it might be a book or a film, or a piece of equipment – and then to describe it, but also to evaluate it, to say what its strengths and weaknesses are. But from the perspective of your discipline.

 

Essays are defined as follows:

The purpose of an Essay is to demonstrate or develop the ability to construct a coherent argument and employ critical thinking skills.

and further, from the listening section about essays:

...you have to argue a point of view. You have to look at the evidence and make an argument based on the evidence. And usually you have to answer a very specific question that the lecturer will have given you.

 

The key point here is that a critique has balance: it evaluates arguments and evidence from both sides, looking at strengths and weaknesses. An essay forms a coherent argument on a specific question. I think when you keep that distinction in mind the reason for the answers in the task becomes clear.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team