Prior to beginning work on this discussion, read Chapter 1: Introduction, and Chapter 4: Discourse Structure: Parts and Sequences in your textbook Discourse Analysis, watch the video How Do We Bend the Truth? The Linguistics of Propaganda and Censorship (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site., and read the article Discourse Analysis—What Speakers Do in Conversation (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. For this discussion, you will analyze the following excerpt from the First to Fight (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. page of the U.S. Marines website. You will use your preliminary knowledge of discourse analysis to uncover some of the linguistic features that work together to create an initial impression.
The following excerpt appeared on the U.S. Marines webpage in 2015:
First to Fight
No one knows where the next conflict or crisis will emerge. Ridding the world of these threats requires a lightweight, nimble force that not only can respond rapidly, but also take control when it gets there. When unexpected threats arise, it is the Marine Corps that is best prepared to face them down.
Marines are first to fight because of their culture and because they maintain a forward-deployed presence near various global hotspots. The Marine Corps’ forward presence consists of multiple Marine Expeditionary Units, or MEUs. MEUs spend at least six months training for a variety of amphibious operations before they are deployed. Then, for six months at a time, Marine Expeditionary Units embark upon United States Navy warships and prepare to launch a range of missions—from humanitarian and peacekeeping missions to full-scale combat engagements, on extremely short notice. Few have what it takes to become Marines, but now many have the opportunity to delve into the training and mindset of these elite, prepared warriors. This behind-the-scenes glimpse of an actual MEU training exercise reveals what it takes to maintain this constant state of readiness. You’ve heard of their “First to Fight” reputation. Now see them earn it.
In your initial posting,
Describe your overall impression of the excerpt. How would you describe the discourse: Is it informational or persuasive (or both)?
List what you think are the most important verbs in the excerpt. (Example: can respond rapidly, or is best prepared.) Note if the verbs are transitive or intransitive. (Reminder: A transitive verb is followed by a direct object; an intransitive verb is not followed by a direct object.) Are there any direct objects following the verbs you have chosen? Do you think that this type of verb usage is typical for an excerpt of this nature? The Writing Center resource on Verbs (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. and on the Parts of Speech (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. can help you in identifying significant verbs.
List what you think are the most important adjectives and adverbs in the excerpt. (Example: lightweight, nimble force, or respond ) How do the adjectives and adverbs contribute to the overall tone of the excerpt and the message conveyed? The Writing Center resources on Adjectives (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. and Adverbs (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site., and on the Parts of Speech (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. can help you in identifying significant adjectives and adverbs.
List what you think are the most important nouns. (Example: conflict or crisis will emerge, or ridding the world of these threats.) How do the nouns, adjectives, and adverbs work together to set the tone and convey a specific message? The Writing Center resources on Nouns (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. and on the Parts of Speech (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. can help you in identifying significant verbs.
Choose three of the units of discourse outlined in Table 4.1 and discussed in detail in Chapter 4 of your course textbook. Identify an example of each of those units in the excerpt. How is structure significant in shaping the discourse? How does structure help to create meaning and cohesion?
Who do you think is the target audience? How do the lexical categories of grammar (nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs) and units of discourse work together to effectively target a specific audience?