Genre Convention to Study a Discourse Community: Annotated Bibliography

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Annotated Bibliography: Sources for Research

Genre, as defined by Bazerman (2003) is a “Recognizable, self-reinforcing forms of communication” this mean that there is a feature that everyone can recognize and choose the appropriate ways to response to that situation. This is not the case for teachers that teach high school students about genre based on Whitney, Ridgeman & Masquelier (2011). They mentioned in their article that, “Genre has often been taught as long lists of characteristics that teachers should make explicit for students” (p.526). This mean that high school teachers often teach genre in a method that making genre as a distinct property and they should make it very clear for student what genre of a particular thing should be. The authors agree to the method but also disagree with it by saying to teach students what genre is to make them understand a genre in society’s structure. So, Bazerman and these authors have the same common view of how should be interpret.

Genre exist in everywhere you go and many situations that you’re in and see in every music, movies, games, research, etc. Many researchers have study genre from its definitions to genre convention of specific things such as movie or game trailer, TED Talks, research paper, or difference commercial brands. For example, in Samayoa (2017) research on genre convention of TED Talks, she provided many things that the group that work on recording the show and the presenter have to follow to achieve a successful TED Talk like, presenter have to follow the structure of the argument that the show is trying to argument but also being creative with the presenter answer to be able to produce a diverse and creative TED Talks that still follow the same format. From her research, she can use genre convention to study a discourse community that she has no idea of how it should work and show us that genre is an effective tool to understand a discourse community. Similar to this idea is Devitt, Bawarshi & Reiff (2003) as they said that “genres analysis gives access to the workings of discourse communities in a way that renders the idea of a discourse community a more tangible, helpful concept for teachers, students, and researchers” (p. 550). As I can see from all these researches, I don’t see any research or topic about Doritos’ commercial specifically and its components that made up the genre that the commercial present. Consider there was researches that study about components in advertisement such as humor in advertisement and creativity. In the two article “Level of Creativity and Attitudes toward an Advertisement” by Kim, B. H., & Yu, J. (2015) and “Humor in Advertisement Enhances Product Likin by mere Association” by Strick, M., van Baaren, R.B., Holland, R. W., & van Knippenberg, A. (2009). These two articles discussed about the component of their interested have effect in an ad that similar in my opinion because humor does require a high level of creativity. These two articles also produced the same result as humor and creativity have a positive effect on the customer. However, I think a successful advertisement cannot just rely on the two components that I mentioned above, there is more things that made up an attractive advertisement and it can be discover using genre. So, in this research, I will study Doritos’ commercial and answer my question of how Doritos use genre in an entertainment advertisement.

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Primary Source

Andersen, R. (2014, November 17). Doritos Time Machine – Crash the Super Bowl 2014 WINNER OFFICIAL [Video file]. Retrieved from

This commercial is about a man walking around the street with his bag of Doritos and he saw a child named Jimmy playing with his ‘time machine’ beside his dog. The kid offered the man to get into the machine to go to the future and to do so, he must donate his Doritos chips into the machine which is where the kid took his chips and eat it with his dog. After the kids do some sound effect and motion that show the man that he’s travelling through time. Suddenly, a man which wear the exact outfit as Jimmy come out and kick the kid out of his garden. The man walked out after a dead silent and saw the man, but he thought it was Jimmy when he is old and thought that he’s in the future. I collected this information because it related to the other videos that I found and can compare them together. The things that present in this commercial that I learned from is they use kid in the video to add a little cuteness in the commercial, the first thing that appear in the scene is a man and obviously his Doritos chips so the audience can know what is this commercial trying to sell, I also notice the setting they were in in the video and its, a typically middle class neighborhood, front yard, and inside the ‘Doritos’ time machine’.

This is similar to the 2008 Super Bowl commercial because both is aiming toward a set of audience that they trying to target which is kids and man that watch football. They also have a lot of future to help them achieve their goal in term of deliver the commercial to many kids and adult who watch football as possible. These components can be humor, theme, creativity and originality of their commercial. These factors can have the great impact of attitude toward the brand as well. These commercials help me to understand how the company use genre to help them achieve the purpose of getting as many views as possible.

ClearBroadcasting (2008, February 4). Funny Super Bowl Commercial 2008 – Doritos: “Mouse Trap” [Video file]. Retrieved from

This is a thirty seconds commercial video and it was about a man that trying to lure a mouse with a bag of Doritos. He cut one corner of the chip and put it on in the mouse trap then sit on a chair and silently wait for the mouse to come out. When he about to eat a handful of Doritos chip, a man wearing a mouse costume slammed through the tiny hole where the mouse live and jumped onto the man and start his beating. I collected it because it has a similar component to other related sources that I found. Some future that I recognize in this commercial are the commercial use a middle age man to take the role of the trapper, a little of violent that I think aim towards kids to make them laugh and the video also include some form of animal (event it’s not real) in the commercial. I also notice futures that are in this commercial such as, classical music as a music theme, and very dark background because it take place in a small and dark room which make it have a little of mystery into it and the part where the human mouse jump out is a jump scare and funny at the same time.

This relate to the 2014 Super Bowl Doritos commercial because these two commercials have the same time length, they both present a bag of Doritos, a middle age man that both a subject to the humor, and an animal in the commercial. So, I can tell that most the two commercial is aiming toward a specific audience and it is children and man between the age of 18 to 26. This commercial help me learn that there is a specific audience that the commercial is aiming at.

Flowers, V. (2013, February 3). 2013 SuperBowl XLVII Doritos Goat 4 Sale Commercial [Video file]. Retrieved from

This commercial is about the man and his goat that he bought it from an injured guy that he met when walking with the Doritos bag in his hand. Both the goat and its owner shared a common thing of eating Doritos every time but one day, the owner is frustrated with the sound that the goat made when chewing those chips and after many days pass, he decided to hide all the Doritos chips from the goat. The goat after finding out that all the chips are gone, turned into mad animal and start breaking everything in the house and break into the owner’s room where he is eating his chips and writing a “GOAT FOR SALE” board. The goat starts closing the door and that is the end of the video. I collected this video because I notice that they used animal in there commercial very often like other commercial they made in the pass like the one that related to this video that I will talk about below. Some futures that I’ve noticed in this video are, animal, middle aged man, bright theme, a lot of bags of Doritos, and a ridiculous reaction from the animal and it action that made the video a humor commercial.

I think this is the most similar to the break room ostrich Super Bowl 2013 commercial because both share many similar things like humor at the end of each video, an animals, middle aged man, relationship between human and animal like friends and co-worker, in both videos, they also use a lot of Doritos bags to highlight the main product that they trying sell and white theme to compliment their products. This help me informed that the company use a specific type of theme and color to complement their product’s color to give it more attention.

FUGO Studios (2013, November 21). Breakroom Ostrich – Doritos Crash the Super Bowl [Video file]. Retrieved from

The first observation that I have on this video is this is a thirty seconds video. It starts with a boss having two of his employees with him in the room. The boss starts to talk about how upset he is because someone had eaten all the Doritos inside the breakroom and make a big mess. Then he told the two employees, which is a person and an ostrich that the boss narrowed down to those two. After he said that, the ad shows the moment when the human was in the break room and eating Doritos and got caught by the ostrich. They make eye contact then the ostrich slowly backed away. Then, we back to the boss’s room and the person that ate the Doritos said, “Obviously it was the ostrich, right?” then, the ostrich has a long gasp and that was the end of the advertisement. I collected it because it relates with other videos that I found above in term of theme work. I noticed how they use animal with their human like reaction in the video to add humor into the ad.

I think this video is structure the same as the other three videos like time length, which mostly about thirty seconds for all of them but I think the format and story line that this source is most similar to the other source is the Super bowl 2013 Doritos’ commercial. The similar future in these two videos is a lot of Doritos’ chips, a man, an animal that will be the main character in the commercial and some funny action from the animal near the end of the commercial. These two commercials help me learn how the company (Doritos) use genre to deliver humor and persuasion to the audience and affect their attitude toward the product.

Secondary Sources

Bazerman, C. (2003). Speech Acts, Genres, and Activity Systems: How Texts Organize Activity and People. In C. Bazerman & P. Prior (Eds.) What Writing Does and How It Does It: An Introduction to Analyzing Texts and Textual Practices (pp.312-319). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

In this article, Bazerman (2003) provided the concept and analytical tools to see the work that texts do in living life. The analytical approach in this article is based on these concepts such as, social facts, speech acts, genres, genres systems and activity systems. These concepts are very important because they offer a suggestion of how a person can use text to make new existence of knowledge, relation and meaning. In the article, the author talks about how text can made up reality or facts for people who live in what they expected and in the framework of relation and activity they’ve establish by fitting together in an organized way of life. A good text is the text that create a social fact for its readers, and social fact consisted of social action that being done by language, or speech act. These acts carried form, order and therefore it is classified as genres. All these things combined into genre sets that merge into genre systems as a part of it.

Based on the what the article have informed, I see the relation it has with another article of Whitney, Ridgeman & Masquelier (2011). Both articles talk about genre, in term of defining definition and how it can help to recognize and understand the meaning in society using genre. In Bazerman article, he talks about a football game, you recognize the crowd is cheering on your team and you followed it because you recognize that the thing you should do when you come to a sport event and you suppose to pick one team that you want to support whether because that team is your favorite team or because it’s the team from the school that you go to. Like the article of Whitney, Ridgeman & Masquelier on their interpretation on genre, they talk about how genre is a map to the recurring situation that happened before if you know analyze them. The authors also point out that teacher used to teach students about genre as a characteristic or a fixed structure that the students need to follow which minimized their ideas in their writing. Both these articles help me learn that genre is the tool to help people to find the right way to response base on the recurring situation.

Devitt, A. J., Bawarshi, A., & Reiff, M. J. (2003). Materiality and Genre in the Study of Discourse Communities. College English, 65(5), 541-58. Doi: 10.2307/3594252

In the article “Materiality and Genre in the Study of Discourse Community written by Devitt, Bawarshi & Reiff (2003). These authors are trying to explain using the idea of genre to study a discourse community. The 3 essays demonstrate how the use of genre theory can gain some “insight into teaching, research, and social interaction” (p.542). Their main argument was “material entities” such as studying “academic, professional, or public communities” help us to improve “the idea of a discourse community by giving discipline and focus to the study of the unities of language and society” (p.542). In Devitt’s essay, she points out that there is a separation of members and non-members because there is a language barrier that nonmember got confused when the member of that community use such as in the jury where the author performs her study. While she tries to rewrite another jury instruction specific to nonmember, she also realized that such professional language shield the community and values of its member. Bawarshi argue in her essay that “genres analysis gives access to the workings of discourse communities in a way that renders the idea of a discourse community a more tangible, helpful concept for teachers, students, and researchers” (p. 550). Reiff essay argues about how ethnographic study can make you create a community while you’re learn in a community.

This article is relating to the article that wrote by Samayoa (2017). Both articles focus on using genre to analyze a discourse community of interested. Samayoa study TED Talks which is the community where people come up and share their founding and present it to everyone. She is studying a discourse community where she will have to know the genre convention to have a successful TED Talks and study the thing that usually being discussed in this form. Similar to this, Devitt, Bawashi and Reiff (2003) is focus in the similar idea of using a genre theory to study a discourse community using material entities. These two articles help me understand whether genre convention or materiality and genre can help gain insight to a community that people might not know well enough.

Kim, B. H., & Yu, J. (2015). Level of Creativity and Attitudes toward an Advertisement. Creativity Research Journal, 27(2), 133-138. Doi: 10.1080/10400419.2015.1030302

This article is about how creativity affect consumer decision to buy products. Kim & Yu (2015) conducted a “3*3 experimental method” to answer one out of three of there research question which is “Were there interaction effects of audience members’ roles and advertising creativity levels on attitudes toward the advertised brand?” , “Were there interaction effects caused by individuals’ role as consumers, advertisers, or ad agency professionals and creativity levels inherent in advertisements on attitudes toward the advertisements used in this study?” and “Were there interaction effects based on roles of audience members and advertising creativity levels on attitudes toward the advertised product?” (p.135). The result is different creativity level does cost a significant effect on customer attitude toward the ad as the level of creativity increases and the responded was favorable towards the advertisement. Creativity level has the most influence toward the attitude of the audience. Finally, the last result the third question was they cant measure the interaction effects because of the difference levels of creativity and diverse roles of each individual attitude toward the ad..

I think it relates to the article by Strick, Baaren, Holland and Knippenberg (2009). Because both articles talk about advertisement and they both performed an experience to prove the factor will have effect on the customer reaction toward the presented product. Although these two are study difference things but their components is related as humor required a good level of creativity.

Samayoa, P. (2017). The Extent of Influence that Genre Conventions Have on TED Talks.

This paper is about study TED Talks genre convention and its characteristic, how it work from the past until now as an individual and a team to give out an answer to a rhetorical situation that TED asked? and figure out how does TED Talk presenter can modify their answer to produce a different video that still alike with the other TED Talk typical response. Samayoa (2017) answer to these two questions was TED Talk are arranged as a presentation that provide a unique and creative experience for every presenter. Two focuses that she told in her article that have different genre conventions is “collective TED Talk movement or on the individual formulation of a TED Talk” (p.48). TED Talk that take perspective from the individual as a boundaries and tight set of genre conventions that have to be followed to be able to generate a successful show. So, genre conventions require the presenter to be special in their way of presenting but also ask them to follow a pattern when they get into a specific topic that is in the scope of the TED Talks.

This article is related to Devitt, Bawarshi and Reiff article. Because both articles are basically focus on a specific discourse community and analyze it using genre. For Samayoa, she chooses TED Talks to have a better understanding from the community in term of how they oriented the talk show, what rules do they have to follow, how genre convention have the effect on the show and many components that goes with it. This is similar to Devitt, Bawarshi and Reiff article because they also trying to understand a discourse community through genre theory from academic, research and communication to dig deeper into their discourse. This helps me understand whether genre convention or materiality and genre can help gain insight to a community that people want or need to study.

Strick, M., van Baaren, R.B., Holland, R. W., & van Knippenberg, A. (2009). Humor in Advertisement Enhances Product Likin by mere Association. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 15(1), 35-45. Doi: 10.1037/a0014812

This article written by Strick, Barren, Holland & van Knippenberg (2009) talks about how humor in advertisement, how its effects consumer’s attitude toward the product and observe the relation between humor with product choice. The result from three experiences show that there was a improve in evaluation of product that goes with humor. These evaluation proof that there is a relationship between humor and product choice. However, products that have humor feature tend to be less recognize than the control products because humor and product evaluation with product choice tend to be “dissociated from the accessibility of the product in memory” (p.35).

This article relates to the other article of Kim & Ju (2015). Both articles talk about how one key element have the affect on the costumer attitude toward the product. For example, with Kim & Yu article, they talk about how creativity in an advertisement can improve attitude of customer in a positive way as the level of creativity increases. Similar to the article that I’ve summarize above, they (the authors) also talk about how one element have an impact on the customer on their attitude toward the product, but the different in here is that they study humor instead of creativity like the other, but I think these two are mostly similar as humor mostly require creativity into it to make that humor factor. These two articles provided me how humor and creativity affect the attitude of customer toward the product through ads.

Whitney, A. E., Ridgeman, M., & Masquelier, G. (2011). Beyond “Is This OK?”: High School Writers Building Understandings of Genre. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 54(7), 525-533. Doi: 10.1598/jaal.54.7.6

This article is about the three authors who have experienced teach English at high school noticed that students have the habit of first try writing in a genre, where they write a paper with the lack of research about the topic or the type of article that they never read before. Which result in misleading their paper to another direction that instructors don’t want them to be. The authors then, decided they wanted to help students build their skills of being flexible in their writing, and adaptive in many forms of papers that they will encounter in society. In the first part of their article, the authors talk start with understanding genre as how it is not just teaching students about how genre is a set of characteristics that but understand genres in their social functions and be flexible with it. Later on, in the essay is their process of teaching a group of high school students how to use genre as a tool to help them become a more sufficient writer and analyzer.

I think this article is best match with Bazerman article. I can see that both articles talk about genre and its value. They both agree on the deeper definition of genre which is based on social contexts and situation that each person faced in their discourse community. These articles helped me learned about genre definition not just as fixed characteristics that people usually follow but more about the adaption of a particular situation and how you response to it using genre.

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Genre Convention to Study a Discourse Community: Annotated Bibliography. (2022, August 12). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 30, 2024, from
“Genre Convention to Study a Discourse Community: Annotated Bibliography.” Edubirdie, 12 Aug. 2022,
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