In the multigenre research project, the student selects a topic and does research as if it were a traditional research paper: collecting information and recording it, synthesizing the information, then presenting it through writing. Instead of the single, extended prose piece of a traditional research paper, though, the multigenre paper consists of a number of creative pieces — poetry, advice columns, diary entries, news articles, lists, artwork, graphics, alternate styles of writing — imaginative writing based in fact.
And, unlike the research conducted for a traditional paper, research for a multigenre paper often does not begin with a working thesis. That is, whereas traditionally a researcher begins with a premise and looks for evidence to support it, the multigenre researcher begins with an interest and discovers a unifying element along the way. It is this emergent theme that often suggests a thread with which the writer may create cohesion among the separate pieces of writing.
— from the chapter, “Getting Acquainted,” in A Teacher’s Guide to the Multigenre Research Project: Everything You Need to Get Started by Melinda Putz