Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Curriculum & Instruction

First Advisor

Michael J. Maune

Committee Chair

Michael J. Maune

Committee Member 1

Christian Knoeller

Committee Member 2

Luciana de Oliveira


The Common Core State Standards (CCSS), published in 2010 and adopted by the majority of U.S. states, established a set of expectations for student writing in K-12 education. In describing these expectations, the CCSS used three general “text type” classifications: Narrative, Informative/Explanatory, and Argumentative. While the CCSS outlines the general expectations for students writing in these text types, the linguistic and genre expectations were not fully expressed. This study examines 34 student exemplar texts provided in an appendix to the CCSS in order to determine the genre and linguistic expectations for student writing in K-12 education. Using a genre typology and linguistic framework from the Sydney-based Systemic Functional Linguistics (Martin & Rose, 2008; Rose & Martin, 2012), this analysis provides detailed functional explanations of the kinds of genres students are expected to write in and the kinds of language students might use in those genres in order to fulfill the CCSS. The results of the anal y sis shows a series of attested genres organized around six genre families, with a clear developmental trajectory in the Story family , but less clear developmental trajectories in t he Chronicles, Reports, Explanations, Procedural, Response, and Argument families. One notable finding is the presence of a genre unique to U.S. K -12 education: Tex t Comparison, which is in the Response family. The implications of this study for curriculum and instruction include addressing the genre gaps in the attested developmental trajectory for, mainly, content area writing, such as History and Science. A model of genre-based instruction for K-12 writing education is proposed.