Understanding Rhetoric, Understanding Genre: A Rhetorical Genre Studies Approached Writing Course

  • Sara Austin


In this chapter, Austin foregrounds the concept of genre in the college writing classroom, expanding her scope beyond the traditional rhetoric of argument and persuasion central to most first-year writing courses. In doing so, she mobilizes an invitational rhetoric tradition, which Sonja J. Foss, and Cindy L. Griffin define as “an invitation to understanding as a means to create a relationship rooted in equality, immanent value, and self-determination… [It] constitutes an invitation to the audience to enter the rhetor’s world and see it as the rhetor does” (5). Austin highlights this focus on genre and form with Elizabeth Losh and Jonathan Alexander’s Understanding Rhetoric: A Graphic Guide to Writing, a graphic novel-format composition textbook, used in conjunction with The Bedford Guide to Genres, a combination that works to emphasize the wealth of possibilities and student agency engaged in choosing their form, critically considering genre, and embracing the combination of text, image, and multimodality possible within our contemporary academic writing context.

Works Cited

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sara Austin
    • 1
  1. 1.Bowling Green State UniversityBowling GreenUSA

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