John Swales 6 Characteristics Discourse Community Essay

Discourse Communities Essay

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To be a part of a discourse community, one must be credible, possess factual knowledge and draw on the values of its members to be accepted into the community. At the same time, a person must learn typical ways people in that community communicate and argue. They share a certain genre—type of writing. Members of discourse communities provide information and feedback that are imperative in order for that discourse community to grow. In the following paper, I will discuss three discourse communities and a genre that they typically use: people who read Nutritional Facts religiously, college students, and industrial organizational psychologists. To begin with, the first discourse community that I will discuss is people who…show more content…

Many Nutritional experts know that what is written on the cover of the box is what the manufacturer wants you to read: ‘Low Calories’ or ‘No Sugar’ or ‘Fat-Free’ or ‘Diet’. All printed in big, bold, colorful lettering. Most of the time the product claims may be exaggerated, misleading and distracting and they only tell half the story. In reality, labels are a part of marketing strategy planned for attracting, promoting and motivating the consumer to buy. The back of the packaging can conflict the health claim made on the front of it. So the ‘Low Fat’ claim on the front does not necessarily mean low fat; it could just mean a bit less fat than the version that does not make such a claim. Many people in this discourse community know that reading the ingredients are just as important as reading the label.
Evidently, the people who are a part of the Nutritional community are focused on living a healthy and lasting life. For example, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and grain products that contain dietary fiber, particularly soluble fiber, and low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease (Food). Whether they would like to gain, lose, or maintain their weight they refer to this label which is ultimately the deciding factor as to whether or not they will purchase/use the product.
Moving forward, the pressure of being a student in college is a challenge that turns out to be rewarding and most definitely shaping. Full time university students are

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Swales fourth characteristics says “A discourse community utilizes and hence possesses one or more genres in the communicative furtherance of its aims.” (Swales 221). This characteristic addresses the need for multiple topics of discussion within a discourse community. Genres are introduced as ‘how things get done, when language is used to accomplish them’ (Swales 221). This definition alludes to texts as a means for discussion amongst peers to speak on their discourse. For instance, within the NJROTC program, we had a bi-monthly newsletter that was handled by our public affairs officer, who would compile our achievements within the two months and then compose it into a two to three-page newsletter. However, the terminology within the newsletter is directed towards individuals within the unit, and thus, might be somewhat incomprehensible to outsiders of the discourse community. We see the need for assimilation in Tony Mirabelli’s elaboration of the menu within his restaurant, alluding to the ideology that members of the community can draw conclusions from the community specific genres. In context to Mirabelli, he speaks on “waitresses and waiters’ knowing the meaning of the words in the menus knowing the process of food production in the restaurant.” (Mirabelli 149), he presents the idea that certain genres are designed for members; however, in his application, he shows how it played into the developed language usage amongst the servers to increase their profits. While this is not the case for the NJROTC program, the unit had other forms of genres, though they were miniscule, they required some form of assimilation for genre to resonate with the members.4

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