Macro genre

In Systemic Functional Linguistics, "texts which combine more fundamental elemental genres such as recounts, narratives, explanations, and so on" (Hyland, 2002, p. 123). Macro genre stands in for the idea of "complex" or "secondary" genres that might involve other multiple embedded genres. The SFL approach avoids the difficulty of talking about "complex" or combined genres as separate from other genre types by only recognizing a limited set of genres as such. This small set of acknowledged genres, such as the recount, are then combined to create all other text types as macro genres.


Hyland, K. (2002). Genre: Language, context, and literacy. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 22, 113-135.


Linguists classify classroom curriculum as a macro genre for all of the fundamental genres that it includes, including (generally): curriculum teaching, curriculum initiation, curriculum collaboration, and curriculum closure (Muntigl, 2004).

Other Notable Uses: 

Martin, J. R. (1997). Analyzing genre: Functional parameters. In F. Christie & J.R. Martin (Eds.), Genre and institutions: Social processes in the workplace and school. Open Linguistics Series, ed. R.F. Fawcett. London: Continuum. 3-39.

Muntigl, P. (2004). Narrative counselling: Social and linguistic processes of change. London: John Benjamins.


Original Use: 

Martin, J.R. (1995). Text and Clause: Fractal Resonance. Text 15 (1), 5-42.

Contributed by: 

Emerging Genres class, N.C. State University, Spring 2010

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