Genre analysis: A tool used to create genre awareness and understand the conventions of new writing situations and contexts. This allows you to make effective communication choices and approach your audience and rhetorical situation appropriately
Basically, when we say "genre analysis," that is a fancy way of saying that we are going to look at similar pieces of communication - for example a handful of business memos - and determine the following:
In other words, we are analyzing the genre to determine what are some commonalities of that piece of communication.
For additional help, see the following resource for Questions to Ask When Completing a Genre Analysis.