Awareness Versus Production: Probing Students' Antecedent Genre Knowledge

TitleAwareness Versus Production: Probing Students' Antecedent Genre Knowledge
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsArtemeva, Natasha, and Janna Fox
JournalJournal of Business & Technical Communication
Keywordsantecedent genre, engineering communication, genre, genre competence, prior genre knowledge, rhetoric, targeted instruction

This article explores the role of students’ prior, or antecedent, genreknowledge in relation to their developing disciplinary genre competence
by drawing on an illustrative example of an engineering genre-competence
assessment. The initial outcomes of this diagnostic assessment suggest that
students’ ability to successfully identify and characterize rhetorical and textual
features of a genre does not guarantee their successful writing performance
in the genre. Although previous active participation in genre
production (writing) seems to have a defining influence on students’ ability
to write in the genre, such participation appears to be a necessary but insufficient
precondition for genre-competence development. The authors discuss
the usefulness of probing student antecedent genre knowledge early in communication
courses as a potential source for macrolevel curriculum decisions
and microlevel pedagogical adjustments in course design, and they
propose directions for future research.