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Tevis Tucker

Ms. Wolcott
Outline of Genre Analysis Paper

Intro: Have you ever thought about why some texts are arranged the way they are?
My definition of genre: Instead of defining genre as a "category", Devitt states that "we
must shift our thinking about genre from a formal classification system to a rhetorical and

essentially semiotic social construct" (Devitt 573).

Why my discourse community: I am undecided and work part time as a server, so I

decided to focus on the restaurant industry.

Whats my genre: The menu.
Why was the menu created: To answer the repeated rhetorical situation of Hey, what do

you guys have here?

Its purpose: To list what food they serve and give you their prices. To sell you their

product. To make the dining experience easy for you.

My example texts that I analyzed: Menus from Chipotle, 4Rivers, Jimmy Johns, Lazy

Moon, and Burger 21.

Why those restaurants: Variety of chain/non-chain, variety of food type, all very similar
restaurant types as far as how they get you their food and interact with you (no servers
and to-go oriented), all located on University Blvd, all lunch/dinner only

establishments, etc.
Formatting things all menus had in common: all tell you what kind of food their
restaurant serves and lists specific foods they offer, all have prices, all have their website
listed, all on some form of a singular rectangular piece of paper with text on both sides,
all have their company name and logo present, all are in English, all have no actual
pictures of their food, all have a variety of text sizes and bolded/non-bolded words, all

have clear categories and some form of a line to separate sections, all have at least some
form of dish description or ingredients for at least one dish, all utilize columns, and all

start with their most common food type/dish/category.

Deep analysis of why these things are found in all menus: How does this help the
discourse community achieve its goal? How does this solve the repeated rhetorical

Differences among formatting: many that will be listed in the final draft.
Deep analysis: Why does this menu you have it, but the other doesnt? How does the

feature help accomplish the restaurants personal goals?

Further questions: How important is the genre of the menu to the restaurant industry?
Who is invited to participate with this text, and who is not? What literacies do people
reading in this genre need to possess? Who gets to speak here (who are the authors AND

who has authority)? What subject matter is left out of these texts?
Closing thoughts: Menus all follow a general format that will help solve the repeated
rhetorical situation, but the variety among menus is what makes each restaurant unique,
and is equally as important to achieving goals in their discourse community.

Obviously my final draft wont be brief bullet points, but this is the core information.