Academic Discourse Community Analysis

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.

Discourse Community
Analysis
Inquiry Driven
Research
In her essay
“Discourse Communities and Communities of Practice,

Ann M. John
s
describes
academic discourse
communities as
,
“complex collections of individuals who share genres,
language, values, concepts, and ‘ways of being,’ often distinct from those held by oth
er
communities” (500
). During your time in
college
, you will
move through and
be expected to
write for
many of these disciplinary communities and
discursive
contexts, each of which will
have a
specific
set of genres and
language practices through which
members of
the disciplines
communicate.
Your purpose in this p
aper is to use the theoretical backdrop for discussing discourse
communities that we
will establish
in
order
to
research/
explore the language practices and
rhetorical genres of a discipline
you are interested in
. You
will
synthesize primary and secondary
sources
to compose a
well

researched analysis of a disciplinary
academic
community. Your
paper will employ field resea
rch methods such as observation
,
interview
s
,
and
genre analysis in
order
to present a well

informed and analytical argument about your disciplinary community.
As you are researching your chosen disciplinary community, you should investigate the
discourse p
ractices, forms, and genres
that
are specific to the discipline as well as the identities,
social languages, and conversations
t
hat
are typical of the discipline
in
general
. 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,
vernaculars,
and citation styles that are
typical of the discipline
? What
markers distinguish members of this disciplinary community
from others?
What role does identity play in this community?
Outline of Goals
:
?
Choose an academic discourse community you are interested in joi
ning
.
?
E
xplore its goals and characteristics.
?
Analyze
data you collect using the six characteristics of Swale’s discourse community
.
?
F
ocus you
r essay with a q
uestion

or questions

for inquiry. Examples:
Are there conflicts within this academic
discourse community? If so, what are they?
Which
genres help the
academic
discourse community
effectively
work toward
its goals
?
Do some participants in the
academic
discourse community hav
e difficulty speaking and
writing
there? Why?
Who has authority
?
Where does it come from?
How is that authority demonstrated in
written and oral language?
?
F
ind an
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)
that describes
the
academic
discourse community.
Data Collection
:
?
Class Observation

Observe members of the
academic
discourse community
while they are
engaged in a shared activity; take detailed notes. (What are they doing? What issues do they
talk ab
out? What do they write? How do you know who is “in” and who is “out”?)
?
Genre Analysis

Analyze at least two pieces of writing from that
academic
discourse
community to see how it communicates.
?
Interview at least one member of the
academic
discourse commu
nity.
How did you learn to
write for your
academic
discourse community? How do you communicate with other people
in you
r academic
discourse community?
Planning and Drafting:
As you develop answers to
your focusing
question
(
s
)
,
you will want to set
some priorities. Give
n
all you have learned, what do you want to focus on
? Is there something interesting regarding the
goals of the
academic
discourse community? Conflicts
? Lexis and mediating genres? Authority?
Enculturation into the
academic
discourse community?
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).
?
Locate
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
.
Q
uote from your notes, your interview,
genre analysis
, etc.)
?
Include a Works Cited or References page, depending on your format.
Rhetorical Considerations
:
You should consider an audience who is
well informed
,
but who does not
know
the articles you
incorporate or the
academic discourse community you are researching
.
Your paper should be
a minimum of
approximately 25
00

3000
words
(8

10 pages)
and
should attribute sources appropriately using the citation style
appropriate to that discourse
community
.
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
simply
to
list the features of your
academic
discourse community but rather explore it in some
depth

via a focusing question
(s)

a particularly interesting aspect of that community
. Since
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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