Genre Explained!

Do you have questions about genre-based writing instruction? We have answers! 40 of them!

Genre Explained is a new book of frequently-asked questions (and answers!) about genre-based teaching. Together with my amazing co-authors, Chris Tardy (University of Arizona) and Ann Johns (San Diego State University), we provide a guide for teachers who are new to genre, those who are genre curious, and experienced genre teachers who want to share the pedagogy with colleagues and administrators.

Available now from the University of Michigan Press. Use code UMS23 for a 30% discount just for reading my blog!

Also available for Kindle and as an ebook. Available soon from and Eurospan (EU).

Here are a sampling of the questions we answer:

  • What are genres?
  • What are the differences between genre and text?
  • Is the 5-paragraph essay a genre? (spoiler alert! no)
  • What is genre-based instruction
  • What does grammar mean in genre-based writing?
  • What does a genre-based curriculum look like?
  • What is an effective genre-based assignment?
  • Is genre-based instruction only for advanced-level students?
  • Do I need to be an expert in the genres I’m teaching?
  • How do I encourage colleagues to adopt genre-based instruction?
  • How do I explain genre to an administrator?

and many more!

We wrote Genre Explained for practicing teachers of ESL, EAP, and mainstream writing; teacher educators; teaching assistants in writing/composition programs; and graduate courses. It’s a short, accessible, and affordable book organized as questions and answers that you can dip into as you teach. We hope you find it useful!

Webinars, workshops, professional development, and plenary talks can be arranged with one or more us! Contact me to make inquiries.

Author: Nigel Caplan

Nigel Caplan, Ph.D., is an associate professor at the University of Delaware English Language Institution, as well as a textbook author, consultant, and speaker. Nigel holds a PhD from the University of Delaware, a master's in TESOL from the University of Pennsylvania, and a bachelor's degree from Cambridge University. He is currently director of Project DELITE, a federal grant providing ESL certification to Delaware teachers. He also brews beer.

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