Genre Transformation

It was a beautiful day in April, a day where I came to the college of my choice to choose the classes I would be taking the next year. There was a lot of talk about math courses, and sciences, and all of it was just running through my mind. However, what stood out the most to me was the selection of English and Composition courses. The sight of these classes made me cringe. Writing to me was just a chore, something I did to get a passing grade in my high school English class. The only things that came to my mind when I thought of writing were grammatical mistakes and how I was never able to earn a grade higher than a “C” on an English paper. Should I pick English 121? Or English 120? I thought about it thoroughly, and made my final decision.

In order to do this, I determined what conventions make up a newspaper article and then used this information to transform this genre.

The decision I made takes me to where I am now, and I have not had a single regret. English 120 it was, and this course has taken writing for me to a different level. I now have the ability to look at different forms of writing or media and think of them in a deeper manner, and I am able to show this through a project I have done in my English 120 class. We were assigned to read a children’s book, and transform this book into a newspaper article and then into a Facebook page. I had the book Ms. Blanche, The Spotless Cow. She was ridiculed by other cows, and all she wanted was to have spots. Throughout numerous attempts to give her spots, she eventually meets a bull, and has a wonderful baby calf with spots.

When I decided to make Ms. Blanche’s (the main character) story into a newspaper article, I had to change the context of the story while keeping the same general plot and idea. Changing the context of Ms. Blanche’s story meant to change the way her story was told, but keeping the plot and events the same. In order to do this, I determined what conventions make up a newspaper article and then used this information to transform this genre. Since this was a newspaper article, I had to determine which details about Ms.Blanche’s story may be more important than others. In the children’s book, the majority of the pages were filled with details about Ms. Blanche being ridiculed and teased, but in the newspaper article, I decided it would be best to focus more on the birth of her baby calf. With other events happening in the book, I decided it was best to leave it out of the article completely, and place “blurbs” or advertisements in the bottom column, like they would be placed in a real newspaper.

When it came to creating Ms. Blanche’s Facebook page, determining what elements make a Facebook page, and taking the context from the children’s book, this second transformation evolved the story it into something completely different. I used aspects of Ms. Blanche’s personal life that were exposed during the book, and made it into a personal profile. Since Ms. Blanche was introduced to the bull and later had a baby calf, I was able to determine that Ms. Blanche was in a relationship with “The Bull.” Also, I listed that she was employed at Father Goodfellow’s farm, because that is where she lived. This may seem like a simple and mindless process, but I have learned that this takes place almost everywhere.

I have learned English 120 was the right choice for me. It has not only made me a more confident writer, but it has also taught me lessons that relate to writing is it practiced in and beyond the university.

Genre transformation: children's story and newspaper.

Genre transformation: children's story and Facebook.


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