Monday, December 9, 2013

The Unfamiliar Genre Project Has Its First Run at Mount Angel Seminary

This semester one of Mount Angel Seminary's journalism students, Daniel Miller from the Diocese of Boise, focused a large portion of his work on the Unfamiliar Genre Project and produced a detailed photo essay of one of his classmates.

Daniel created a blog to share his project, which includes a research journal, notes and drafts, genre samples, an annotated bibliography, and the final centerpiece of a photo essay of his own.  His essay focuses on the shoeshine business of Greg Snyder, one of his fellow seminarians from the Archdiocese of Seattle.  He also offered a presentation on his project to his journalism classmates on the final day of classes.

Through the Unfamiliar Genre Project, students learn to explore and research the conventions of new genre and thus how to tackle new territory in their studies.  In the context of Daniel's work in the journalism class, it gave a student who already had experience in journalism the opportunity to expand his journalism skills.

The Unfamiliar Genre Project was developed by Cathy Fleischer and Sarah Andrew-Vaughn, authors of Writing Outside Your Comfort Zone: Helping Students Navigate Unfamiliar Genres.  Fleischer and Andrew-Vaughn also discuss their work in a episode for the radio program hosted by the National Writing Project.

Because of the success of Daniel Miller's project, Sister Hilda Kleiman, O.S.B, the instructor for Mount Angel Seminary's journalism students, is now considering how to use project with other journalism and writing students in the future.

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