Mutt genre

Genres that share superficial conventions with other genres but have been taken out of their original context, resulting in obscured audiences and purposes. "[M]utt genres . . . mimic genres that mediate activities in other activity systems, but within the FYC [first-year composition] system their purposes and audiences are vague or even contradictory. They are quite different from and serve very different purposes in FYC than they do in other disciplinary activity systems" (Wardle, 2009, p. 774).


Wardle, E. (2009). 'Mutt genres' and the goal of FYC: Can we help students write the genres of the university? College Composition and Communication 60 (4), 765-789.


Wardle (2009) mentions typical academic assignments in first-year composition courses, such as personal narrative, argument paper, reflection, rhetorical analysis.

Original Use: 

Wardle (2009) originated the term, attributing it to one of her graduate research assistants.

Contributed by: 

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

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