Genre Defense



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Genre Defense
This past September I took a trip to San Francisco and visited the famous US prison, Alcatraz. I was fascinated with what I saw and learned on our tour. I thought this would be a great multigenre topic that would lend itself to many different genre opportunities. Alcatraz was a topic that I wanted to learn more about, which I think is important when selecting a topic to research. It made me excited to get started on my multigenre writing assignment.

In thinking about the genres that I should use, I first thought about Alcatraz as a whole. After I did some research I chose genres that captured different aspects of Alcatraz. Together I am hoping that these genres will create a unified picture of Alcatraz. Here are the genres that I used and my defense on using them:


1. Welcome Letter

I wanted my first genre to pull in the reader and give them a clear vision of the Alcatraz prison. I thought a letter to a new inmate would be a good way to introduce the audience to the Alcatraz way of life.


2. Time Line

Most people think of Alcatraz as just being a famous prison. However, Alcatraz has a history much more broad than that. I thought a time line would be a concrete way to share important dates representing the history of Alcatraz.


3. Alcatraz Poem

Alcatraz is such a cold, dark, mysterious place and I wanted to capture that through a poem. A poem is a great way to set the mood or tone of your surroundings. In writing this poem, I tried to use a lot of sensory details to capture the essence of Alcatraz.


4. True/False Quiz

There are a lot of myths about Alcatraz. I wanted to try to separate the myths from the facts and thought a true/false quiz would be a good genre to use. The questions I created were based on information that I found surprising or interesting.


5. Journal Entry of a Prisoner

I want the reader to have a sense of what a typical day was like for an Alcatraz prisoner. Journal entries can reveal a lot about a person’s thoughts and their life. I thought a journal entry would be a good format to share a prisoner’s typical day.

6. Trading Cards on famous Alcatraz prisoners

Alcatraz is famous for housing some of the most notorious prisoners of our past. Al Capone, George Kelly, and Robert Stroud were 3 well-known convicts that stayed at Alcatraz. I thought trading cards would be an appropriate way to share some basic information on these 3 men.


7. Newspaper Article

The escape attempts of Alcatraz received much attention. The famous “Escape of Alcatraz” in 1962 was especially scrutinized because the men were never found. A newspaper article would be a good genre to describe the details of this cunning escape.


8. Movie Poster

Alcatraz has always been a fascinating place. People are intrigued by this mysterious prison. The subject of Alcatraz has made its way to the big screen in several movies. The “Escape to Alcatraz” starring Clint Eastwood is probably the most famous. I wanted to do a movie poster to represent the attention that this prison brought.


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