Discourse community essay: Ultimate guide

Discourse community essay: Ultimate guide

Can a group of people work together without a goal? A discourse community essay requires a well-defined goal to work efficiently. To write an excellent discourse community essay, you need to understand what a discourse community means.

Knowing how social discourse operates is an essential part of writing your discourse community paper. Such communities need to set goals that help them communicate efficiently.

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What is a discourse?

When you hear the word discourse, what comes to your mind? A discourse is a style of communication within a particular group for a specific purpose.

Depending on the goals of people communicating, different forms of discourse can be applied. A discourse can be in form of a newspaper article, published report, poem, scholarly journal, speech, TV, or radio broadcast.

When writing your discourse community essay, it is important to understand the right form of communication involved. Discourse can also include non-textual forms like advertisements, architecture, designs, tattoos, emojis, memes, clothing styles, or graffiti.

What is discourse analysis?

A discourse analysis requires you to examine the functions and meaning of language in various social contexts. Consider the application of written, oral, and nonverbal forms of communication like tone of voice and gestures.

When conducting discourse analysis, you need to research materials like newspapers, periodicals, and books. Other materials you may look at include

  • Advertisements and marketing brochures
  • Different types of business documents and government documents
  • Relevant websites posts, comments on social media and different relevant forums
  • Research conversations and interviews

When conducting discourse analysis, it is important to understand what is said, who is saying it or writing the content. You need to know why the content was created and how the discourse has impacted a specific issue. The following questions will help you in the analysis process

Who are the target audiences? Is the purpose of the information to inform, entertain or make a presentation to your audience?

What are the evidence and discourse examples used to support claims made in the information presented? How has genre formatted the information?

Check the layout of information spacing, conventions, style, and target audience. Consider the producers of discourse and check their credibility.

Can a broad audience understand the discourse? Consider nontraditional social discourses.

What is a discourse community?

Writing a discourse community essay becomes easier when you understand how a discourse community is formed. Discourse communities are social groups that communicate in a particular way.

The communication can be written or oral. The discourse community has common goals, values, particular genres, writing standards, and unique vocabulary.

Each discourse community has specific standards and rules that cause them to operate differently. Different discourse communities can discuss the same topic, but they will use different methods and rules.

For example, a discourse community comprising physicians, biologists, and researchers will discuss obesity differently from a discourse community that is made up of journalists. The discussions in these two discourse forum examples use different writing standards, vocabulary, jargon, and tone of voice to communicate.

Discourse community example

When writing an essay on communities, narrow your focus to communities that do not have many members. A community that is made up of different members has vast discourse practices.

For example, a community made up of businesspeople can be narrowed down to focus on a particular business. The following are examples of discourse communities

  • Professionals like emergency room doctors, prison guards, or pediatricians
  • Societal discourse communities like specific activist organization, an ethnic group, or a campus club
  • Civic discourse communities like PTA or school groups, political groups
  • Cultural discourse communities like fun groups or game clubs

Societal discourse communities may be associated with race or religion. When analyzing a discourse community in your essay, sensitively handle stereotypes.

The purpose of a discourse analysis

Discourse analysis will enable you to study and understand a discourse community’s written or spoken communication. The purpose of discourse analysis is to understand the application of this type of communication in real life. When conducting your discourse analysis, focus on the following

  • The purpose of the different languages
  • The rules and conventions when communicating
  • The communication of specific values, assumptions, and beliefs
  • How the use of language is applied in a historical, political, and social context

Discourse analysis is mainly performed in humanities and social science subjects. You may be required to perform this type of analysis in linguistics, psychology, cultural studies, sociology, and anthropology.

Levels of discourse analysis

Discourse community analysis means you examine how language works and its meaning in different contexts. Discourse analysis looks at the contextual meaning of a language.

The main focus of this type of analysis is how discourse communities use language. They can use language to build trust, manage conflict, create doubt or evoke emotions, among many other things.

Discourse community analysis looks at the application of language in an entire conversation or text. You can analyze language on the following levels

1.     Grammar

Analyze how grammar is used in constructing sentences. For example, the use of active or passive tenses, imperatives, or questions can tell the intended meaning of content.

2.     Conversational codes

This involves analyzing how people interact in a conversation. Some of the things to look at include taking turns when talking, interruptions in a conversation, and how listeners respond. Analyzing such communication issues in a community discourse can reveal cultural conventions, including social roles.

3.     Genre

You can analyze text in different genres like political speeches or newspaper articles. This will help you discover the conventions and purposes of communication.

4.     Vocabulary

Different community discourse use vocabulary differently to communicate specific issues. You can analyze words that are used in community discourse, identify ideological associations and formations.

5.     Structure

Analyze the structure of content and find out how it creates emphasis. Discover how the structure is used to build a specific narrative.

6.     Nonverbal communication

Check the tone of voice in communication. Other nonverbal communications like pauses, sound, and gestures help to reveal the intentions of a speaker. You can discover the attitudes and emotions of a speaker.

How to perform a discourse community analysis

When performing a discourse analysis in your essay, you analyze text in a qualitative method and repetitively. It involves providing detailed interpretations about the material under analysis based on contextual knowledge.

There are various methods you can apply when conducting a discourse analysis. You can look at a discourse community essay example to get insights. The following are basic steps you can follow in your analysis process

1.     Define your research question

Select the content you plan to analyze and begin with defining your research question. The purpose of your discourse community essay is to comprehensively answer your research question.

Perform in-depth research and find material that will answer your research question. Check online sources, library books, and find materials you need for analysis. Depending on your goal and timescale of research, your analysis can require a large number of materials or smaller samples.

2.     Gather information

After researching various relevant materials, gather all information you need to write your paper. Establish a social context and historical background of the information you have discovered.

Find out the intended recipients of the content you are analyzing. Write down facts and details about it. For example, when the content was produced and where it was produced.

Find out who is the author and publisher. Research places where the material was distributed. Research and understand how discourse in the content you are analyzing is applied in real life. Perform a literature review on your topic and design a framework that will guide you in the analysis process.

3.     Discover themes and patterns of your content

Analyze different materials and look at words, paragraphs, structure, and sentences. Relate them to the attributes of your research question. Look at themes, patterns and how they are used in the content.

4.     Draw your conclusions

Review the results of your research analysis and determine the meaning and the functions of language. Consider your analysis and draw your conclusions. Your analysis should comprehensively answer your research question.

Tips on how to choose and analyze a discourse community

Choosing a discourse community requires you to conduct thorough research on various options. The discourse community you select and research should give you adequate information that will enable you to conduct in-depth analysis.

The information you find should help you answer your research question. Here are tips for choosing and analyzing a discourse community

1.     Analyze communities with different perspectives

When writing your community essay, select communities with different perspectives on a particular topic. This helps you to look at various discourses in such communities and perform a comparison.

2.     Select groups with a common purpose

The organizations that you pick for your analysis should have a common purpose. For example, you can choose groups that deal with women’s rights. They can be different groups, but their focus is to fight for women’s rights.

3.     Narrow your discourse community analysis

Be specific when choosing and analyzing the concept of discourse community essay. When you are specific, you can manage the analysis of different social discourses. A broader topic may not be manageable.

4.     Analyze an entire discourse community

Analyze the whole discourse community and not an individual. A discourse community essay focuses on the community as a whole and not a person.

Ensure your essay analyses discourses in the community and how they are relevant in real-life situations. Avoid focusing on individuals.

Conduct thorough research and look at various discourse community analysis essay examples. The examples you find online or in your college library can give you an insight into how to write your discourse community essay.

Characteristics of a discourse community

A discourse community is a group of people who work through their community and possesses specific characteristics. Communities communicate using unique vocabulary, jargon, and structure. John swales define the following six characteristics  of a discourse community

  1. Common goals

A discourse community is a group of people who have a broadly defined set of goals. For example, teachers have a goal to teach students, basketball players have a goal to win a tournament and many other groups.

  1. Intercommunication mechanism

A community with similar goals has a mechanism of communicating among its members. Intercommunication is an integral part of a discourse community. It encourages growth and continuity.

For example, the intercommunication mechanism can be talking on the phone, writing blogs, texting, or sending and replying to emails. Any form of intercommunication is a mechanism that is used in social discourse.

  1. A discourse community possesses one or more genres

To enable further communication, a discourse community possesses one or more genres. Discourse community genre examples might be graffiti or a chalk drawing.

Traditional genres found in common discourse communities include websites, journal articles, magazines, blog posts, among others. A community can decide to use one or more of such genres to communicate effectively with its target audience.

  1. A discourse community has a participatory mechanism

Members of a discourse community require a participatory mechanism where they can provide information and give feedback. Goals, values, and other important information need to be communicated.

Members are required to fully participate and communicate their ideas on various forums. For example, community members can give feedback through blogs, emails, or in a meeting. Effective communication and feedback enable a community to operate optimally and successfully.

  1. A discourse community has specific language

Every community communicates in a particular way that is specific to its members. The lexis of a community is jargon that is unique to that community.

Such jargon enables effective intercommunication in discourse communities. When writing a discourse community essay, it is important to determine the lexis of the community you are analyzing.

Understanding the language of a community will help you understand the text and contextual communication. For example, a discourse community of artists can have terms to describe tools and techniques they use.

Cyclists can have terms that describe their cycling techniques and bicycle parts. The unique terms and jargons help community members to understand each other at a deeper level.

  1. A threshold level of members

Different types of discourse communities have members with a degree of relevance to community activities. Members can come in as novices but with some degree of expertise.

When members join a discourse group as novices, they grow and evolve. A discourse community has some experts that help the community exist and continue.

A community requires enough experts to pass information to novices. The novices help the community to carry on.

Different types of discourse communities

There are three main types of discourse communities that you need to be familiar with. Understanding these three types of communities will help you write a comprehensive discourse community essay.

The various types of discourse communities are differentiated by their location, origin, and main activities. The following are categories of different types of discourse communities

1.     Local discourse-community

The local communities have three subgroups. They include residential, occupational, and vocational subgroups.

A local discourse community comprises people who work together. It can be a group of people working in a factory or lecturers working in a specific university department.

Such a type of community can work in the same geographical location. For example, all designers working in a particular town can form a discourse community.

The local discourses communicate using different unique abbreviations, special words, and acronyms. This type of communication helps them to understand each other and accomplish their tasks quickly and efficiently. The terminologies they use may not be understood by other people who are not part of the community.

2.     Focal discourse-communities

Focal communities reach out to other regions across a nation or internationally. This makes them different in many ways from local discourses.

Focal discourse groups can be formal or informal, depending on the activities of the community. Community members are governed by specific rules, elections are conducted, and in some cases, they pay membership fees.

Other discourse forum examples in this category are professional discourse communities. They have a national association that helps bring members together.

Professional discourse engages in professional activities that help advance the profession of members. They protect specific rights and lobby against views they do not support.

Professional community associations have national conferences that bring their members together from all over the world. Members from different locations come to learn new developments, review new products and listen to experts in their field.

The focal communities engage with their audience through platforms like websites. Members of focal discourses can receive updates through these platforms and give feedback.

Members are free to express their opinions about the community and share their preferences. In some cases, the association offers journals to members if they are academicians.

3.     Folocal-discourse communities

Folocal is a discourse community that has characteristics of both local and focal discourses. The name is a combination of focal and local, making it a hybrid of these two communities.

Members are sometimes faced with internal and external challenges resulting from this combination. A discourse community example in this third category is a local bank branch or a branch of a car dealership shop.

People that work in branch offices have their methods of carrying out their activities. They also have conventions that are specific to them and ways of interacting with their customers.

Despite having their ways of doing things, a branch office in a focal community discourse contacts their head office. The head office determines how the branch offices carry out their duties

List of discourse communities genres

A discourse community will use one or more genres to communicate to its audience. Genre refers to any type of text that a community utilizes depending on the type of activities in the discourse community. The following are some of the discourse community genres

1.     Popular magazines

Depending on the type of discourse community and their activities, a popular magazine can be used to pass information. Such magazines target readers who are not experts in a field but are knowledgeable about issues in that field. An example of this type of magazine is a sports magazine

2.     Business journals

This is a written communication that targets professionals in a particular discipline. They report information like trends or news in a specific field.

Business journals do not provide original research on topics. Other things that a journal communicates are job listings, advertisements, or product and service reviews.

3.     Scholarly journals

This is a type of communication geared towards experts and researchers in a particular field of study. The articles published in a scholarly journal have to go through a rigorous review process before they are published.

An editorial team of experts ensures that all articles in a journal contribute to a specific field. This peer-review process ensures high-quality content is produced and published in journals. The peer-review process is a widely accepted indicator of quality.

Scholarly journals have few advertisements and sometimes no advertisement. A reference section of cited information is required at the end of each journal.

4.     Graffiti and chalk drawings

A discourse community can choose to communicate using art. Different kinds of drawings, including graffiti and chalk drawings, can pass information in a specific community.

Finalize and proofread your discourse community essay

After concluding your essay, you need to read through your work and edit accordingly. Counter-check your discourse community analysis essay examples and ensure they are relevant and placed correctly in your essay.

Your grammar, punctuation, and spelling should be on point. Ask your friend or classmate to help you proofread your work before you submit it.

Understanding what a discourse community entails is key to writing an excellent discourse community essay. Conducting in-depth research will help you to understand the different types of discourse communities and how they function.

Gather enough information that will help you analyze discourse communities and their communication methods. Conclude your essay with a review of your analysis and functions of language in various discourses.

Understanding the characteristics of a discourse community will help you produce a high-quality discourse community paper. To learn more about discourse communities, contact thehomeworkwritings.

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