For an oral presentation, I have to explain how two texts conform to or challenge the conventions of particular genres or modes. Do you have any suggestions of two texts I could compare?

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rmhope eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would suggest choosing two works of poetry as your texts because poems will be more manageable in terms of length and because some types of poems have definite rules they must follow to fall into a specific category of poetry. First, you could use the sonnet as one "genre or mode." A sonnet is a 14-line poem written in iambic pentameter with a specific rhyme scheme (see the link below for more details about the structure of a sonnet). You can then take any number of sonnets, such as William Wordsworth's "The World Is Too Much with Us" or Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Sonnet 43 ("How Do I Love Thee?") and prove they meet the criteria. Alternatively, you can take a poem that somewhat follows a sonnet format and argue that it is not a true sonnet. For this I would suggest "next to of course god america i" by e. e. cummings or "Dulce et Decorum Est" by Wilfred Owen. 

My second suggestion is to take a modernist poem, such as William Carlos Williams' "The Red Wheelbarrow" or "Song of Myself" by Walt Whitman, and argue it is (or is not) poetry. For this you would have to define what poetry is (see reference below). For example, you could argue that, since "Song of Myself" is not condensed language, does not follow any rhythm other than the rhythm of everyday speech, and could easily be written in paragraph form and not really lose anything, it should not be considered poetry.

Any of these texts should allow you to present a convincing oral report on whether the work fits into its genre or mode.