English 112 Key Concepts & Questions for Review
Chapter 1 (genre)
1. What is genre (how does Giltrow define it?) and how is it related to cultural situations?
Genre has been reconceptualized as involving situation and form, and thus requires a type
of communication, but also the situation that the communication serves (traditionally
defined in terms of form and used for categorization).
Genres help us hear/distinguish/recognize cultural situations (occasions in our culture)
2. How do cultural situations imprint language?
Recognizing cultural situations (and the ways people typically respond to them) has
allowed the situations to leave its mark on English, pressing into the general shape of
language features (word patterns, sentence construction) that distinguish certain ones into
3. Identify 3 examples of cultural situations that have specific kinds of writing associated
with them. What are the features of these genres?
Ex 1: Texting emoticons, abbreviations and acronyms
Ex 2: For Sale advertisements incomplete sentnces, abbreviations, adjectives, etc
Ex 3: Academic writing signposts, only necessary adjectives, uncommon jargon
4. What are the salient (distinguishing) features of the research genres? Identify as many
characteristics as you can think of, and describe their purpose. (Flip through Academic
Reading if you need to find some examples).
Research genres use writing that is concise and clear (as opposed to vague or wordy), is
logical, uses signposts for direction, and uses terminology related to (and often only
found in) the specific subject or field of concern.
Chapter 3 (citation/states of knowledge)
1. What is citation? Is it unique to scholarly writing? Identify several ways in which an
academic paper might cite a source.
Citation is ―the customary practice of attributing words, phrases, or statements to another
speaker,‖ and it is used in both scholarly and nonscholarly writing, as well as everyday
conversations and situations. Citation in scholarly discourse differs from that of other
contexts as it uses reporting expressions, super-/sub- scripts, footnotes, dates, and the
repetition of words and ideas of others.
2. What are reporting expressions?
Reporting expressions are statements/phrases/expressions that report sources of
information (the writer‘s name, the title of work, the dat of publication, the reporting
verb). Can be in the form of double reporting, which accounts for the source‘s
summarizing activity (reports information used by their source).
3. Why do scholars use citation?
Scholars use citation to clarify the existing state of knowledge surrounding the subject in
question, as developed by other academics in the field, as well as to set out the
knowledge deficit that they wish to fulfill by expanding further on this subject.
4. Define state of knowledge and knowledge deficit.
State of knowledge is the writer‘s estimate of the limits of established knowledge of a
specific subject (as well as the conditions this knowledge was produced under, and the
positions from which statements issue)
Knowledge Deficit is the gap in established knowledge surrounding a subject: what
hasn‘t been covered, what needs to be said, any errors in what is said to be true. This is
what justifies the present research project.
Chapter 4 (summaries)
1. What is a summary? A summary is a compression (with or without rearrangement) of what another speaker
has said or written.
2. What are some of the characteristics of a summary?
A summary compiles the gist of the work in question, and arranges the material to be
compiled in terms of levels of generality and details (abstract and concrete references).
3. How do reporting expressions help to identify a summarizer's position?
Reporting expressions allow the characterization of the action of the original (as an
explanation, argument, an analysis, observations, or a review), which shows the
summarizer‘s position in relation to the writer whose ideas they are representing.
4. What is reporting reporting? (Sometimes called double reporting). What is its value to
Double reporting is the citing or others‘ citations, or reporting information used by their
source, or the account for the source‘s summarizing activity.
In scholarly discourse, double reporting defines the summarizer‘s position, and traces the
history of a statement (through various pieces of writing).
Chapter 5 (summaries cont'd)
1. Pretend you are explaining to a student who hasn't yet taken English 112 how to
summarize a passage that remains at "high levels of generalities" (i.e. consists mostly of
abstractions). (Remember to define abstraction).
An abstraction is an idea or concept, and a high-level passage uses many of these
abstractions, with little to no smaller details or examples. In order to summarize a piece
with mostly ‗high levels of generalities‘ in a way that easier to understand, providing said
lower-level examples will help readers measure their understanding of the passage (by
showing the summarizer‘s position and perspective on the material summarized.
2. Explain how to summarize a passage that contains mostly lower-level details.
In order to summarize a lower-level passage, one should provide abstractions to group the
many details and examples, to organize into a more concise way. This also will show the
summarizer‘s position (his/her perspective on the material being summarized).
3. What is narrative, and why can it be especially difficult to summarize?
A narrative is a sequence of events organized chronologically into a story.
Narratives can be especially difficult to summarize because they tend not to contain
‗levels of generality‘ which explain the conditions in the story.
Chapter 6 (orchestrating voices)
1. What is meant by the phrase orchestrating voices?
Arranging by way of direct or indirect reported speech, a dialogue of two or more
speakers/voices (often of other research publication)
2. What special arrangements do you need to make to introduce non-scholarly voices into
an academic paper?
To introduce the new arrival of non-scholarly voices into an academic paper, it can be
useful to include explanations of who their intended audience(s) was/were or the parts
that they overlooked (eg. ―While x‘s claims overlook the uncertainty of evidence in this
area, they do represent/speak to widley held interest in/concerns about..‖)
Chapter 7 (definitions)
1. Why are definitions important characteristics of research papers? What work do they do?
Definitions are an important characteristics of research papers since they bring important
terms into focus for readers who need clarification. They negotiate the space between
academic writers and their main readers (other researchers/scholars). 2. Why do we need to go further than a dictionary when defining a term for an academic
Since dictionaries only describe uses of words rather than establish definitions, and also
are more general, it is necessary to provide examples. No dictionary can report all the
possible communities of speakers and the tacit/implied agreements amonst them ―as to
the appropriate use of certain words‖
3. What is an appositive (apposition)? List the mechanical techniques for introducing an
An apposition/appositive is a short expression that explains and/or summarizes something
that may be unfamiliar to the reader(s). Appositives are a relatively unobtrusive way of
activating an abstraction or specialized term, as they quickly enrich established
understandings or improve uncertain ones.
To introduce an appositive, a colon, comma, parentheses, or footnotes can be used.
4. Define formal definition. How would you develop a formal definition? (Select one of the
abstractions we've looked at to date as an example).
Formal definitions are those that consist of a single sentence in which the term being
defined is the subject, and provides a distinguishing characteristic of the term.
To develop a formal definition, provide the term to be defined, the general class which it
belongs to, and a distinctive feature that distinguishes it from others of its type.
5. Define sustained definition. Again, what techniques could you use to develop a sustained
definition? (Select one of the abstractions we've looked at to date as an example).
Sustained defintions expand formal definitions by locating the phenomenon amongst
other, related phenomena in the world.
6. Giltrow describes knowledge as "the product of social activities" (85). This is reflected in
the ways abstractions are developed and used in different disciplines. Briefly explain the
social profile of abstractions, as this subject is discussed in the textbook.
―Different groups engages in different kinds of research-and-writing activities (or
different discourse communities) develop, through their association and communal
purposes, different techniques for making and representing knowledge.‖
Chapters 9 & 10: Scholarly Styles
1. What is genre violation and how is it connected to common sense and uncommon sense?
Genre violation is the misapplication of the norms, expectations, or needs regarding
communication in one situation to those of another situation. It can occur in writing or in
The more precise and highly defined a genre‘s features/situations are, the more
distinctive the language will be, and the more inscrutable to people unfamiliar with those
situations. Genre violation occurs when those with only common sense misinterpret
academic writing which references uncommon sense.
2. Why does scholarly expression often use big noun phrases?
In order keep scholarly writing concise, noun phrases are used, since they