Exercise 11: activity system tentative choice and research plans


– Chapter 3 (Individual in Community) Introduction (pages 270-273) 

– Kain and Wardle: “Activity Theory: An Introduction for the Writing Classroom” (pages 395-405) 

– Marro: “The Genres of Chi Omega: An Activity Analysis” (pages 426-437)

– https://hwcdn.libsyn.com/p/4/6/8/468934db53466390/Mere_Rhetoric_-_Genres.mp3?c_id=10348334&cs_id=10348334&destination_id=175210&expiration=1603764824&hwt=da37de9d0dec59f08ea02a0ce74848b4

– Genre Theory: Click https://secure-hwcdn.libsyn.com/p/4/6/8/468934db53466390/Mere_Rhetoric_-_Genres.mp3?c_id=10348334&expiration=1495653960&hwt=52b0a5b81a198d3ada263f6f52a7b461 link to open resource.


It’s important to get started on your activity analysis project as soon as possible. Therefore, your first exercise for this unit is to choose, at least tentatively, an activity system to analyze. You might change you mind later if you realize that another system would work much better for your analysis, but having a tentative choice by the end of this first lesson should keep you from a panic in the final weeks of the unit. 

In addition to naming the activity system you plan to analyze, you will need to include a research plan. This means you need to include details such as the following in your report: 

– The name of your chosen activity system 

– The relevance of this system to you 

– Who in the system you plan to contact 

– What questions you intend to ask the various people you could interview 

– How you will arrange and conduct your interviews 

– How you will learn more about the system 

– How you will learn about the various genres used in your chosen activity system 

– How you will access or obtain real samples of texts used, and how much you plan to access 

Try to be specific (inasmuch as you can be with something you have yet to research). “I plan to talk to various people in the system,” for example, does not add anything significant or concrete to what the third bullet point already says. 

I recommend that you begin arranging interviews and gathering texts as soon as you can. It may not always be possible to arrange and conduct interviews on short notice, and you will want to give yourself plenty of time to sift through and analyze your collected data. 


A successful report will present a fairly clear plan of what you intend to do to begin gathering and analyzing data for your activity analysis by addressing most, if not all, of the items listed above. Vague, generic responses to the questions may lead to a decrease in your score for this assignment. 

Total possible score: 10 points

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