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Hannah Williams

Professor Wolcott
ENC 1101
November 12, 2014

Discourse Community Draft

By definition a Discourse Community is one in which a group of people share
common goals and use communication to achieve them. The book that was
assigned for this course mainly teaches how writers function as a discourse
community. There are many instances in the book where discourses can be
seen and even out of the book where videos were to be watched for
assignments. Other than John Swales stating the criteria to a discourse
community; Anne Lamott an successful writer who has written the article
"Shitty First Drafts" is a discourse community herself because her audience
are those that may have a difficult time with writing a paper or even coming
up with ideas. (Lamott) Her communities goal is to help aspiring writers
through the develpomental stages of starting a paper and learning ways not
to stress or worry because even the best writers write "Shitty First Drafts".
Stephen Fry's "Kinetic Typography", rant was about how much he disliked the
communities that focused so much on correct grammar and the way that
words used in everyday life is wrong; he hated those communities and their
goal of trying to basically tell everyone that the way they speak is wrong and
that they should change. (Fry) Unlike Lamott, James Paul Gee a researcher
who has worked in psycolinguistics introduces many concepts in order to
discuss how people are socialized through language. Your Dominant
Discourse are those such as family and friends while your secondary
discourse may be a profession or hobby. (Gee) With each discourse you are in
you try to conduct and present yourself in a way that is accepted by that
discourse. There are no set or written rules that specifically lay out a way to
be accepted, it is mainly by trial and error, learning form mistakes. A
discourse that would try to incorporate pathos would be one such animal
cruelty commercials and play the "In The Arms Of an Angel" song in order to
make you feel sympathy for the animals and the purpose and goal is to get
you to donate money to the organization to help with a lot of the things that
are needed to help keep their organization running. Another discourse that
uses both ethos and pathos is the "STOMP OUT BULLYING" organization and

their overall goal is to stop every type of bullying whether it be verbal,

physical, or cyber. They try to persuade people and tell them that it is
morally wrong to put someone down simply because they are different or
may not have the same beliefs as you. Pathos may be seen as someone
speaking on how they were bullied and the trauma it has caused them from
adolescence to adulthood. When this is used they are hoping that the
purpose of their discourse is being recognized and not ignored. Most
dscourse communities though are about fitting in and being accepted, which
can be related to basically anything in life. When you are the new kid at
school and alone you may try to socialize with a certain group and if they
don't accept you for who you are you try and change yourself both outwardly
and mentally in order to fit in. Fake it till you make it or just enough to where
you are eighty percent believeable. When thinking about the future and the
plans that I have set for myself I can see where knowing about discourse
communities can come in extremely lucky. With the medical profession the
ultimate goal is to save lives and not let anyone die when you are capable of
saving them. This profession though there is a certain way that one must
carry themselves in order to fully accepted into the discourse. Many of times
it's all about knowing diseases and diagnosing a patient in order to help them
but along with that not only do you have to be accepted by colleagues but by
the patients also. If they make a complaint or anything negative is said you
are automatically taken out of the discourse, maybe not physically but
socially. What I learned from Mirabelli is that it all if not most depends on the
way you use your words. Presenting them in a way that is appealing and
presentable is a giant step in the right direction. With the career choice that
I've chosen there are times when I would have to write a report or research
paper that may include ways on how to improve some things in what I
specialize in. From Gee I've learned that there are times when certain speech
is needed in certsin situations such as me talking to my boss at whatever
hospital I end up working and then when I'm talking to colleagues.

Works Cited

Lamott, Anne. Shitty First Drafts. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on

Writing and Life. New York: Anchor, 1994. 21-27. Print

Fry, Stephen. Stephen Fry Kinetic Typography - Language. YouTube.

N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Aug. 2014. <>.

Mirabelli, Tony. Learning to Serve: The Language and Literacy of Food

Service Workers.What They Dont Learn in School. Ed. Jabari Mahiri.
New York: Peter Lang, 2004. 14362. Print.

Gee, James. Literacy, Discourse, and Linguistics: Introduction. Writing

About Writing: A College Reader. Ed. John E. Sullivan III. Boston:
Bedford/St. Martin's, 2014. 481-495. Print.