What is genre analysis?

time to complete: 5 minutes

Before we explain genre analysis, it is important to understand what genre is. Genre refers to categories of texts that share the same features: they are organised and worded in a similar way for the same audience and with the same purpose. Poems, news articles and lab reports are all different genres of writing. Genres are not limited to written texts.

For example, horror films are a genre. Horror novels belong to the same genre as horror films because they share similar organization and language, the same audience and have the same purpose…to scare you.

An essay on a horror film, however, is a different genre because it has a different audience (academic) and a different purpose (to educate/inform) than the film or novel.

So genre analysis is the ability to identify a genre’s defining organization, language, intended audience and purpose.

Task: complete the following true or false task to check that you’ve understood the key concepts of this section.