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The Multigenre Portfolio: Personal Superlatives

As a senior, you are most likely aware of what the term superlatives means. For instance, for the
yearbook, you will be asked to choose your class superlatives, or someone from your class that most
embodies a given description. Using this idea of superlatives, you will create a portfolio of personal
superlatives. You can either choose to write a response based on the list of superlatives or write a response
to a superlative of your own creation. Use your creativity to show me why this someone or something best
embodies the superlative, utilizing the creative writing skills we practiced with the contextual portfolio
from quarter 1.
However, we are going to add a new element to our creative writing tool kit. Each superlative in this
portfolio will be showcased using a different genre, to be determined from the class-generated
list. As you think of more genres, we will continue to add to our list!

Purpose: To use multiple genres of writing to tell your story in a unique and compelling way
Audience: Your teacher and anyone else with whom youd like to share your story. An opportunity to
share your pieces with the senior class will be available before the end of the year.
What it is: Using multiple genres of writing, this narrative is all about you. Its about conveying some
aspect of yourself or some memory or story about yourself through different genres in a collection of
multigenred vignettes.
A vignette is a self-contained piece of writing; it makes a point on its own. Your multiple genre portfolio
will have multiple vignettes written in different genres. Theres no set format for how you put together the
vignettes; its up to you. You decide how to present your story. Written messages come in a multitude of
forms: newspaper articles, poetry, prose, song lyrics, e-mails, postcards, business letters, blog entries, etc.
Any genre, any style of writing will work for each vignette. Its your job to use those forms and choose
those that will best convey your story. Ultimately you decide how many vignettes you need to tell your
story as well as how many per page. The layout is completely up to you. However, there needs to be
cohesiveness, a connection, a theme that ties all of the vignettes together to create a compelling multiple
genre narrative.
Remember, a good story has a heartbeat, a pulse, a purpose. It has a beginning, middle, and end that
develops and builds tension in order to propel your reader to the last page, to the last line, to the last word
of the story. So you need to ask yourself: What do I want to convey about myself? How will multiple
genres help me to do that?
What it isnt: Its not a collection of newspapers articles, photographs, diary entries, or letters gathered
about you. Its not someone elses writing, someone elses news report, diary entry or letter about you.
IT IS NOT A SCRAP BOOK!!
Its not using every single space on a page. Its not double spacing every line. Its not indenting every
paragraph. Its not even about thesis statements or topic sentences or five-paragraph structure...

Requirements
Opening Letter / Prologue / Preface
Your portfolio needs to begin with an address to your reader. This address can be written as a
letter, a prologue or a preface. The purpose is to TELL what you SHOW in the narrative. This is

your chance to set up what is to follow. Explain your SO WHAT, WHAT, and HOW. Tell your
readers what you want them to get out of your portfolio. What did you hope to accomplish?
What do you want them to realize or know about you once theyve read your narrative? What
genres did you use and why? What is your repetend/motif and how does it connect your pieces
together?
Genres
A genre is simply a type, a category or a class of writing. There are many different types of
writing. This narrative incorporates a variety of genres to tell your personal story.
1. You need to include a minimum of six (6) different genres in your portfolio. Any genre
is acceptable. We will discuss in class the variety of styles from which you may choose.
2. When choosing a genre to tell your story, consider the purpose of each genre. Consider
time period. Consider how the reader will receive the information via that genre. Song
lyrics are generally received differently than a news flash. Be thoughtful with your
selection. Song lyrics are generally received differently than a news flash. Be thoughtful
with your selection. Try out different genres for each moment, each scene in your
portfolio. See which works best. Experimentation is the key to making each genre work
in and of itself and as a collection for the whole narrative.
Repetend
A repetend is a motif or a recurring pattern that serves to link your vignettes together. Repetend
could be a repeated genre, idea, pattern, visual etc. You will be packaging your portfolio using
an image that represents your repetend, or pattern, between your superlatives.

You will be required to complete a total of six personal superlatives.


Here are some superlative options:
My favorite place to go out (to dinner, to see friends, etc.)
My favorite food or snack.
The best class I ever took.
If I were an actress or an actor I would have loved to play the part of _________in _________ because...
If I could choose any year to have been born, I would have chosen the year ___because...
If I were a born as an animal, I would have chosen to be a (an) __________
because
The thing that makes me happiest is...
The thing that makes me the saddest is...
The thing I wish other people would get about me is...

The one thing that really makes me stressed.


My idea of a perfect day is
The sports moment I would most want to be a part of
My favorite dream
One of my scariest dreams...
People misunderstand me when..
If I were a superhero, I would be ________ and would try to...
The noise I least enjoy.
The concert I would most want to attend.
A secret I wish I had never told.
My favorite outfit.
My best friend is _____ because.
My favorite flavor of ice cream is
The best song ever.
The best gift I have ever received
The best gift I have ever given
The place most likely to give me the creeps
My friends would describe me as...
If I had $5,000 in my hands, I would...
I really should stop...
The most beautiful thing in nature to me is
I have the most fun when I .
The best advice Ive received...

Each superlative must be fluent and articulate, and must clearly demonstrate how the superlative is represented in
your response. You choose how to respond to these superlatives depending on the genre in which you choose to
express yourself. Be creative with this, but remember that however you complete these superlatives, you must follow
the rules of the genre!

THE INTERVIEWS - on one page of your Google Site


11 year old

9 year old

5 year old

26 year old

timeline
journal
keynote
poplet

riddles
jokes
calendar
postcards

map
rules
uniforms
t-shirts

post-its
to do list
dress code
forums

graphic novel
research teaser
sports game program

dancing
teachers
parents
friends
games (board and
directions)

activity book
board game
pictures
audio book
ipad app
cereal box
placemat (kids' menu)

59 year old

63 year old

30ish year olds...

30ish yr olds, contd

resume
menu
driving directions
contract
lease
text messages
commercials
TV scroll (news on the
bottom)
food content labels
(expiration dates &
nutritional facts)

emails
power point
presentations
e newsletters
newspapers
magazines
insurance applications
spreadsheets
financial statements
subpoenas
lawsuits
invitations
invoices
complaint letters
thank you notes

Surgeon General Warning


emails between characters
Zagat
Amazon
Yelp
Best of NY
"This I believe..."
resume (for characters)
horoscope
dating profile
google search story

wikipedia entry (factual


or satirical)
CD liner notes
songs
poems
art manifestos
identity portraits
student generated
sparknotes
Facebook page
Instagram
New yorker cartoon
captions
About Face: Portraits of
Activism

ADD YOURS

ADD YOURS

ADD YOURS

Need even more possible genres?


advertisement
arrest warrant
billboard
book/movie review

fable
friendly letter
greeting card
haiku

personal narrative
persuasive essay
picture book story
post card

bumper sticker
how-to-article
business letter
infomercial
cartoon
interview transcript
college application essay
job application
commercial script
job manual
cover letter
journal entry
declaration of war
legend
deed
letter of complaint
description
letter of recommendation
dialogue
love letter
EXTENDED dictionary entries memo
directions
menu
editorial
monologue
e-mail
news article
epitaph
news feature article
eulogy
newscaster script
eviction notice
nursery rhymes
extended metaphor
obituary

prayer
preface or forward
product evaluation
product jingles
psychological profile
public announcement
receipt
recipe
rejection letter
resume
scene from a TV show
screenplay
script of a phone call
text message
sermon
sonnet
speech
travel log

YOUR GOAL
Investigate new genres:
Read- what does it say
Analyze- how is it said
Emulate- what did this writer do that I can do?
For example: What makes a good Op Ed? What does it do? What does it NOT do?

Be thoughtful:
It is not just WHAT is said, but HOW it is said.
Each piece should be created in a particular genre for a PURPOSE.
The genre should ADD to the meaning of the piece.
Step 1: Brainstorm list of responses to superlatives
Step 2: After brainstorming superlative ideas...
You have a list of possible superlatives. Look back over your brainstorm and think about your purpose.
What genres you could use to express this purpose?
How can you turn that topic into a multigenred piece? Or expand the central idea into a
multigenre project?
Brainstorm a short list of genre possibilities, then choose one to try.
Questions to think about when choosing a genre:
What is the idea (the topic)?
What is it about this idea that I am trying to communicate?
Which genre will add meaning to the purpose of communicating this information?
As you complete the portfolio, you will need to complete the following tables:
Title of Piece

Genre

Purpose

After completing the portfolio, you will need to package it using a linked image. Therefore, you
will need to find a repetend to your portfolio using a coordinated image with links.
Example:
Package

Explanation

Picture of an actual heart

A literal interpretation of the 'real love' I am trying


to communicate in my writing. It is not pretty, or
commercialized or uniform, but it is real and it
keeps us alive.