Rhetorical genre theory and academic literacy

  • Anthony Paré McGill University
Keywords: genre, rhetorical situation, exigence, audience, agency, academic literacy, doctoral writing.


New theories of genre have looked beyond repetition in textual features to consider the social conditions that produce and result from standardised discourse. These theories seek to understand patterns in the production, distribution, and interpretation of certain texts. One such approach, rhetorical genre theory, views standardised texts as one element in larger patterns of social action—that is, as part of collectively organized strategies to get something done. From this perspective, it is possible to see that the situations to which generic texts respond, and the consequences they produce, are likewise regulated and regularized. This article takes a look at academic literacy through a rhetorical genre lens. In particular, it considers the doctoral thesis and asks what consequences result from the typified rhetorical action associated with that text.
How to Cite
ParéA. (2014). Rhetorical genre theory and academic literacy. Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 8(1), A83-A94. Retrieved from https://journal.aall.org.au/index.php/jall/article/view/313