Academic Discourse Community Analysis
Attached is Anthropology. The specific course I observed is a cultural anthropology class which studies The Gebusi Lives.
The title of the book is “The Gebusi-Lives Transformed in a Rain forest World” written by Bruce Knauft.
In her essay
“Discourse Communities and Communities of Practice,
Ann M. John
“complex collections of individuals who share genres,
language, values, concepts, and ‘ways of being,’ often distinct from those held by oth
). During your time in
, you will
move through and
be expected to
many of these disciplinary communities and
contexts, each of which will
set of genres and
language practices through which
Your purpose in this p
aper is to use the theoretical backdrop for discussing discourse
communities that we
explore the language practices and
rhetorical genres of a discipline
you are interested in
synthesize primary and secondary
to compose a
researched analysis of a disciplinary
paper will employ field resea
rch methods such as observation
genre analysis in
to present a well
informed and analytical argument about your disciplinary community.
As you are researching your chosen disciplinary community, you should investigate the
ractices, forms, and genres
are specific to the discipline as well as the identities,
social languages, and conversations
are typical of the discipline
. How does the
community as a whole use language in a distinct and unique mann
er? What values and
ideologies might underpin the specialized vocabularies,
and citation styles that are
typical of the discipline
markers distinguish members of this disciplinary community
What role does identity play in this community?
Outline of Goals
Choose an academic discourse community you are interested in joi
xplore its goals and characteristics.
data you collect using the six characteristics of Swale’s discourse community
r essay with a q
for inquiry. Examples:
Are there conflicts within this academic
discourse community? If so, what are they?
genres help the
Do some participants in the
discourse community hav
e difficulty speaking and
Who has authority
Where does it come from?
How is that authority demonstrated in
written and oral language?
interesting (or confusing, or illuminating) answer to your focusing question.
Write an 8
10 page research essay
(1.5 space, Times New Roman12 point font)
Observe members of the
while they are
engaged in a shared activity; take detailed notes. (What are they doing? What issues do they
out? What do they write? How do you know who is “in” and who is “out”?)
Analyze at least two pieces of writing from that
community to see how it communicates.
Interview at least one member of the
How did you learn to
write for your
discourse community? How do you communicate with other people
Planning and Drafting:
As you develop answers to
you will want to set
some priorities. Give
all you have learned, what do you want to focus on
? Is there something interesting regarding the
goals of the
discourse community? Conflicts
? Lexis and mediating genres? Authority?
Enculturation into the
Because you are writing a formal research essay, it will need to have the following parts:
Begin with a brief review
on the topic:
“We know X about discourse communities” (cite
Swales, Wardle, and others as appropriate).
a niche (“But we don’t know Y” or “No one has looked at X”).
Explain how you will occupy that niche.
Describe your research methods.
Discuss your findings in de
tail. (Use Wardle and McCarthy as examples of how to do this
uote from your notes, your interview,
Include a Works Cited or References page, depending on your format.
You should consider an audience who is
but who does not
the articles you
incorporate or the
academic discourse community you are researching
Your paper should be
a minimum of
should attribute sources appropriately using the citation style
appropriate to that discourse
What Makes It Good?
The assignment asks you to show a clear understanding of what discourse communities are and
to demonstrate you
r ability to analyze them carefully and thoughtfully. It also asks that you not
list the features of your
discourse community but rather explore it in some
via a focusing question
a particularly interesting aspect of that community
this assignment asks you to practice making the moves common to academic research articles, it
should be organized, readable, fluent, and well edited.
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