A discourse is any coherent succession of sentences, spoken or written. A fl uent language user can readily recognize a well-constructed discourse, a badly constructed discourse, and a random collection of sentences, but may not be able to pinpoint the reasons they are good, bad, or random. The term discourse genre, or text genre, refers to conventionalized patterns of discourse associated with a particular sociocultural “communicative event” (Hymes 1967). Discourse genre is a category to which a given text in a given culture is recognized as belonging, and within which the text is seen to share a type of communicative purpose and effect with other texts (Hervey and Higgins 2002: 57). An expectation of genre determines not only the text’s overall structure but also its vocabulary, syntax, and argumentation moves. A wellconstructed discourse in any language, regardless of genre, obeys a variety of constraints designed to produce its characteristic discourse structure. An author who fails to fulfi ll audience expectations often provokes a negative reaction (Gill and Whedbee 1997: 164).