Discourse community essay

I’m stuck on a English question and need an explanation.

Instructions

Item 1 of the Portfolio: Report on the Communication in My Field of Study

For this assignment you will complete a form, providing information about 4 things:

  1. The program (discipline) you are studying
  2. The program guide you are using and things in it
  3. Analysis of one organization or website from your discipline
  4. Tips for communicating with folks in your discipline

The complete form shouldn’t be longer than a couple pages. Just put down the most significant things you found. Here is more information about the assignment.

What is a discourse community?

You learned earlier that writing does not exist in a vacuum, that it is a conversation between writer and reader. One scholar, Erik Borg, says that “We do not generally use language to communicate with the world at large, but with individuals or groups of individuals…these groups are gathered into communities.”

Each of us belongs to a number of these groups (called discourse communities). If you stop at a coffee shop routinely, you are a member of that community. Members know what the “rules” are for communicating with each other, what kind of greeting is used, what the standard length of comments is, what kind of comments are acceptable, and what kind are not. Other discourse communities might be related to activities with children, fitness, or church. You can probably think of examples of a conversation topic or a greeting that would be acceptable at the gym but not at church. In this assignment, you are going to look at the communication that occurs in one of your discourse communities, the one formed by an interest in your field of study (major, program, or discipline).

How do I learn about the discourse community in my field?

What will you be looking for? You will be looking at the kinds of reading and writing members of the community do; the expectations and rules (conventions) for the communication; the way they communicate with each other online; and other tips that help you understand this group.

How will you do this exploration? You will start by looking at the information linked below, first the course catalog and then in guides designed by the APUS Library staff to help researchers in the field. If your program is not listed in the 10 programs shown below, then go to this link to find your program (or one that interests you if you haven’t selected a program yet): Research Guides by Program. The university catalog has info on all programs, in case yours isn’t listed below.

Click the first link to go to the university’s catalog. This gives general information about the program. Then move to the research guide for your program. Be sure to look at all the links in the guide. Scroll down the page at each tab.

  1. Sports & Health Sciences Here’s the link to the Sports & Health Sciences Research Guide.
  2. Psychology: Here’s the link to the Psychology Research Guide.
  3. Homeland Security Here’s the link to the Homeland Security Research Guide.
  4. Transportation & Logistics Management Here’s the link to the Transportation & Logistics Management Research Guide.
  5. Environmental Science: Here’s the link to the Environmental Science Research Guide.

Once I’ve learned about my field’s discourse community, what do I do with that information?

After you have looked at the catalog description, the research guide, and information in that guide (including an organization or website), complete the following report about the way the people in your program communicate. A template of this report is attached for your convenience. Just open the Word document and save it with a title like this: Smith Robert Report on Communication. Then submit the completed form as an attachment.

REPORT ON COMMUNICATION IN MY FIELD

Name:

Program I am studying:

This is the Research Guide I am using and some of the things I found in it.

Describe some things you found as you looked at the Research Guide for your program. Be sure to state the name of the guide. You don’t have to use full sentences; words and phrases are fine. This list might help you:

The types of articles in the field’s journals

The databases I’d use to learn about this field

The types of books in this field

Video sites that talk about this field

Websites that focus on this field

Organizations used by people in this field

Social media sites used by people in this field

Here is a closer look at an organization or website used by people in my field.

Describe things you found as you looked at an organization or website used by people in your field. You don’t have to use full sentences; words and phrases are fine. This list might help you:

Topics discussed

Intended audience

Language used (formal, informal, complex, jargon, conversational)

Ways ideas are exchanged

Ways people give each other feedback (chat, Zoom, blog, something else)

Images, graphs, charts, photos

Ways to distinguish insiders from outsiders

Things that are distinctive about the users of this organization or site

Here are tips for communicating in this field of study.

Based on your review here, write a brief paragraph offering communication suggestions to someone new to this field of study. What kind of advice would you give newcomers to help ensure they know how to talk to and write for the people in your field? Use complete sentences here (and proofread).

END OF REPORT ON COMMUNICATION IN MY FIELD FORM

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