ABOUT – Genres and Purposes for New Media Writing

Here’s a brief overview of the features relevant to some of the most common genres used in new media writing. To learn more about the approaches to new media writing that work well for each genre, see the Overview of Common Approaches page in the About New Media Writing category.


  • Purpose: to bring clarity to an issue by analyzing it through the lens of a relevant theory; to explain an issue by breaking it down to its component parts
  • Support: a theoretical perspective; an issue or “text” to analyze (“texts” include any message we read or watch, including multimedia)

Dramatized Stories

  • Purpose: to engage audiences on an emotional and sensory level; to illustrate the impact certain ideas have on people’s lives and behaviors; emphasis on “showing”
  • Support for Storytelling: dramatizes personal experience through characters, dialogue, plot, setting, and other conventions of fiction, comics, and film


  • Purpose: to inform, explain, raise awareness, classify, clarify, describe, etc.
  • Support: information from reliable sources of research (journalism, academic, other educational resources, etc.)

Personal Narrative

  • Purpose: to convey insights from personal experience in a way that engages audiences on an emotional level; to illustrate the impact certain ideas have on people’s lives and behaviors; a mix of “telling” and “showing”
  • Support for Personal Narrative: reflections from personal experience, with memories and examples recalled in the form of short dramatized “scenes” (with characters, dialogue, etc.)


  • Purpose: to put forward your own perspective or point of view, in hopes of encouraging others to see the value of your position
  • Support: examples from personal experience and observations; evidence from sources the audience would find reliable; analysis and explanation