Before diving into performing the primary research on your communities through your observations, you will be conducting secondary research on Writing Studies topics, like genre, gatekeeping, speech acts, social facts, etc. This research will help you identify specific concepts to look for when you do your observations.
In most cases, the best place to find secondary research on Writing Studies topics will be the library databases.
Once you find your sources about genre, it can be helpful to organize your information using a chart that is sometimes called a literature review matrix. Watch this video to learn more about using this method.