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The Multi-genre Research Project. Stephanie Noll 512-245-8026. What is a multi-genre research project?. Objectives: Students will: Select a topic that is of interest to them Analyze online databases to identify applicable and credible research

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the multi genre research project

The Multi-genre Research Project

Stephanie Noll


what is a multi genre research project
What is a multi-genre research project?


Students will:

  • Select a topic that is of interest to them
  • Analyze online databases to identify applicable and credible research
  • Decide what genres they will use to represent their understanding of their topic
why i included a multi genre research project in english 1320
Why I included a multi-genre research project in English 1320:
  • Course expectations
  • Past challenges I experienced with a traditional research project:
  • Student engagement/relevance
  • Plagiarism
  • Uninspired final products=boring grading
  • Wanted to take a risk
introducing the assignment also known as i ll never do that again
Introducing the assignment…also known as “I’ll never do that again.”

Lessons learned:

  • Provide a shorter, simplified assignment sheet
  • Allocate more time for project
  • Show several examples
  • Break the project into chunks
step 1 select a question
Step 1: Select a question
  • Why did the United States institute a draft for the Vietnam War?
  • Did the United States have the “right” to wage war on the Vietnamese?
  • Why did so many people protest the Vietnam War?
  • How has PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) impacted the lives of Vietnam War vets?
  • What are similarities and differences between soldiers fighting in the Vietnam War and those fighting in the current war in Iraq?
  • How did guerilla warfare impact the Vietnam War?
  • What was the drug culture like among soldiers who fought in Vietnam?
  • What role did women play in the Vietnam War?
  • How did the terrain of Vietnam affect the war?
  • How did the Southern Vietnamese treat the US soldiers?
  • What were the medical facilities like for the soldiers in Vietnam?
  • What did it mean to be a conscientious objector of the Vietnam War?
step 2 write a mini essay
Step 2: Write a mini-essay

Select a story/chapter from The Things They Carried that relates to the question you want to answer. Use textual evidence to demonstrate how the story relates to the overall thesis of your project.

step 3 research
Step 3: Research
  • You will need to access Texas State’s online catalog.
  • Go to
  • Under the “About Texas State” heading, click “Library.”
  • You can then search under “Catalog,”(you would search by subject, most likely), “Database,”(some good ones to try are NewsbankRetrospective, InfoTrac, Ebsco, Thomas Gale, LexisNexis) “Periodical List,” (US News and World Report, Newsweek, Harper’s, The New Yorker) or “eBooks”
  • Use a Boolean search to narrow your topic (look at pages 629-632 in the Scott-Foresman Handbook for more info)
  • Use the “Ask a Librarian” feature for help
  • You may also consult internet news sources such as National Public Radio (>) or New York Times ( DO NOT USE GOOGLE OR YAHOO SEARCHES TO DO RESEARCH.
step 4 select a visual genre
Step 4: Select a visual genre
  • Poster
  • Advertisement
  • Travel Brochure
  • Greeting Card
  • Cartoon
  • Film
  • Visual Display
  • Picture/photograph
  • Map
  • Graph
step 4 select a written genre
Step 4: Select a written genre


Survey Newspaper Article

Timeline Obituary


Song Letter to the Editor

Poem Advice Column

Short story Magazine Article

One-act play


Diary entry

the final product
The final product

Part 1: Introductory paragraph

Part 2: The Things They Carried essay

Part 3: The visual piece

Part 4: The creative piece

Part 5: An annotated bibliography

what is one thing you liked about this project
What is one thing you liked about this project?

“I liked having so much freedom to choose how I wanted to represent my research.”

“I really like how this project coincided with our reading of The Things They Carried.”

“I liked all of the different topics to choose from and the versatility of the project.”

“One of the main things I liked about the project was that I got to learn lots of new information about Vietnam itself and the drug culture that occurred there.”

“I liked making my visual piece because it was fun and it looks good.”

“I liked that the project was well-structured but still gave you room to do what you wanted.”

“I really liked how we could be creative and that it wasn’t just like every other paper.”

what is one challenge you faced
What is one challenge you faced?

“I found it difficult to keep my topic centered around one idea.”

“At first I found it difficult to research the project using the online databases, but the more I played with it, the easier it became.”

“I didn’t like the fact that we didn’t quote the research. It made it feel not as important.”

“I found it difficult to write The Things They Carried essay. I wasn’t sure what to write so it was challenging.”

“I found that the research was the hardest part. It was hard to get started because I am so used to using Google.”

“I didn’t like the annotated bibliography. It was hard! But probably just because it was something new to me.”

advice for me
Advice for me?

“Give us more time.”

“I needed more explanation in the beginning.”

“Have an example of the project as a whole, because it seemed overwhelming and confusing at the beginning.”

“I think that you should be more specific with the 250-word essay.”