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What Is Genre Analysis? A Step-by-Step Detailed Guide

by Alex Hales

Genre analysis is an important part of qualitative research. It is one of the first steps that you will take in your qualitative research, and it helps you understand the data that you have collected. In this article, we will discuss what is genre analysis, how to conduct this analysis and the importance of doing so in qualitative research.

What Is Genre Analysis?

It is a qualitative research technique that helps you to understand the underlying structure of your data. It helps you to understand how the data can be interpreted, and it allows you to see how it relates to your research questions.

You may have seen or heard genre analysis is referred to as “data analysis”, but this is not correct terminology. This technique does not analyze all of your data – it analyses only those parts of your collection that are relevant to answering your research question(s) (i.e., “genres”). There are three types of genre analysis:

  • Thematic: It focuses on the representation of themes or ideas in the novel.
  • Structural: It focuses on the way that those elements are structured within a given story; for instance, how is it divided into chapters? Are they presented in chronological order? How long are each chapter’s descriptions?
  • Historical: This type looks at changes over time and what these changes mean for readers today.

What Are the Purpose and Goals of a Genre Analysis?

A genre analysis is a text-based approach to understanding how a particular piece of writing fits into a larger category. It can be used to describe both fictional genres, like detective fiction and romance novels, and nonfiction genres like biographies or travel writing. The purpose of this analysis technique is to identify the characteristics of a particular genre.

The goals of a genre analysis are:

  • Understanding the structure and content of your chosen texts (what does each part do? How does it relate to other parts? What kind of information does it give you?)
  • Understanding how that structure and content are used in the text (how does it help tell this story?)
  • Understanding how the genre has changed over time (how does this text relate to other texts that have come before it?).

What is the importance of genre analysis in qualitative research?

The importance of this technique in qualitative research is that it helps you to understand the research questions, the method used, findings, and limitations. It can also be used to draw inferences about how the study might relate to other studies in its field.

It is important to note that the choice of a qualitative method does not necessarily mean that you need to conduct qualitative research. There are situations where it is more appropriate to use quantitative methods instead.

How to conduct a genre analysis?

If you’ve been asked to conduct a genre analysis, it’s important to understand the steps involved. We’ll outline the steps below and offer some tips for how to effectively conduct your analysis.

Understand the genre:

Before you can identify the key features of a genre, it’s important that you first know what type of text has been assigned to you. If possible, ask someone who has already read similar texts in this specific genre before so that they can tell you how they were written. This will help guide your thoughts about what kind of literary elements are associated with it as well as provide examples of what kinds of stylistic choices might be used within this particular sub-genre.

Identify key features:

Once understanding the essence or form of your text type has been established through research, spend time reading several different pieces from within this area so that commonalities between them become evident. As soon as patterns begin emerging among these texts—whether they’re dialogue styles or plots—write down all these observations alongside their descriptions; these notes will come in handy later on when deciding which components are most relevant towards creating its overall “feel.”


Now that we’ve identified our text type along with some key components based upon comparisons between other examples within our chosen field (and maybe even outside), we need some way of determining whether our interpretations were accurate enough so far—and where else we might need improvement! Try writing down everything negative about each novel before moving onto its positives–this gives us an idea where there may still be room for improvement without getting caught up too much on things like plotlines or characters’ personalities because those elements aren’t necessarily essential right now; instead focus on seeing whether any traits could use tweaking given recent findings regarding other works that fall under similar categories.

How to conclude your genre analysis dissertation writing

Your conclusion should be a summary of your findings. You can use this section to make a brief statement that synthesizes the main points of your study, such as: “This research has shown that [x].” This is where you summarize your results and conclude whether or not they support your hypothesis. If you’ve conducted your analysis but unable to summarize and interpret your findings properly then you can lose marks in your dissertation. To avoid these circumstances, you can consider getting help from dissertation writing services.

You should also include a brief statement about what is to be done next in terms of further research or application. For example: “Further studies are needed to determine if these results hold in other cultures, with other types of people, etc.”

Finally, end on a high note! Your conclusion should end by summarizing what you have found out throughout your analysis and investigation so far; this will help readers see why it was important for them to read through all those pages!


In conclusion, we can say that genre analysis is a very important part of qualitative research. It helps to understand the nature of a text and analyze it in depth. The purpose of conducting a genre analysis is to understand the type of text being analyzed along with its rhetorical features for example rhetorical devices used by authors such as metaphors, similes etc. The goals of conducting this analysis are many and varied such as analyzing structure/stylistic features like tone/immediacy level etc., exploring audience appeal or identifying possible reasons why people read certain genres over others (e.g., adventure novels).

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