Importance

Genre knowledge is important to composition because a successful writer needs to have the ability to write different types of genres, depending on the audience. A successful writer needs to be able to adapt their writing to the task at hand. For example, writing a creative piece is very different than writing a research paper. It is crucial for a writer to be able to understand different characteristics of different genres and apply them to their writing. When teachers assign writing tasks, it is important for the teacher to keep in mind that the genre of the chosen writing tasks needs to be relevant to writing that the students are going to need to do in the real world. Teachers should assign material in which students are “reading and writing texts that people outside of school read and write such as recipes, greeting cards, stories, and poems” (Purcell- Gates, p. 1). In other words, it is important for the teacher to choose relevant genres for students, but also introduce them to a wide variety of texts. Genre knowledge is important to comprehension because understanding the similar themes throughout different genres will help the reader understand the author’s purpose of the text and the writing style used in the text. In addition, genre knowledge will help readers decide on a reading strategy to use in certain texts.