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Running head: DISCOURSE COMMUNITY ETHNOGRAPHY 1

Discourse Community Ethnography

Emmanuel J. Marquez

The University of Texas at El Paso

RWS 1301

Dr. Vierra

October 9, 2019
DISCOURSE COMMUNITY ETHNOGRAPHY 2

Abstract

Swales (2011), Johns (2017), and Porter (1986) explain the six characteristics you’ll

need to guide you write a paper and also explain the need for what common goals,

intercommunication, participatory mechanisms, genres, specialized language, hierarchy, and

evaluation in a paper. This article looks at the necessitates and the guideline you’ll need to

become a reliable source and the rules you’ll need to identify a discourse community. This article

will also help you set a guideline you’ll be able to use when mentioning what common goals,

intercommunication, participatory mechanisms, genres, specialized language, hierarchy, and

evaluation.
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Discourse Community Ethnography

Swales (2011), Johns (2017), and Porter (1986) explain the six characteristics you’ll

need to guide you write a paper and also explain the need for what common goals,

intercommunication, participatory mechanisms, genres, specialized language, and hierarchy in a

paper. This article looks at the necessitates and the guideline you’ll need to become a reliable

source and the rules you’ll need to identify a discourse community. This article will also help

you set a guideline that the writer will be able to use when mentioning what common goals,

intercommunication, participatory mechanisms, genres, specialized language, hierarchy, and

evaluation.

Literature review

A class in college, K-12, or community is automatically considered a discourse

community. According to Swales (2011), there are six characteristics that make a discourse

community and those six characteristics are common goals, intercommunication, participatory

mechanisms, genres, specialized language, hierarchy, and evaluation (p. 468). Swales (2011)

also states that for a class or community to be considered a discourse community it was have all

six characteristics and must have specific ideas in the group (p. 469). Therefore, for a college

course, K-12 class, or any other communities will be considered a discourse community

automatically.

Every paper, journal, and article will have a manifestation of intertextuality. According to

Porter (1986), in every piece of writing there will always be traces or pieces of borrowed writing

either from other writers or papers and uses the traces of borrowed ideas to piece the article

together (p. 34). Porter (1986) also states the most common use of intertextuality is citation, but

many writers also use borrowed ideas and proves that no text can escape the use of intertextuality
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(p. 34). Therefore, no matter the text, intertextuality will always be found and will never be

missing from a paper, journal, or article.

People can be born into communities or can become a part of a community later in their

life. According to Johns (2017), a person can be born into a community such as religion, cultural,

economic, academic, and social and can even be part of their everyday life (p. 222). Johns (2017)

also states that discourse communities and groups all have similar interests and similarities and

will stay close due to their views in life, their profession, politics, beliefs, and interests (p. 223).

Therefore, many people are born into their communities and groups, but they can become a part

of many communities and groups as they grow and age. In our RWS 1301 class we automatically

became a discourse community due to our common goals and specialized language.

Methods

We used interviews and observations in our RWS 1301 class. According to Swales

(2011), the six characteristics guided us toward the selection of these sources and helped us

choose the correct references (p. 473). For our RWS 1301 class we used the form of interviews

done by reading Swales (2011), Johns (2017), and Porter (1986) and by being able to use them as

references. This paper also used this paper interviewed various scholarly sources such as Google

Scholar.

Discussion

Common Goals

The RWS 1301 class has common public goals. Swales (2011) and Porter (1986) defines

Common public Goals as formally inscribed in documents and being understood or implied

without being stated and being inferred (p.471). Porter (1986) also describes common public

goals to be, at times, high level or even abstract (p. 41). The RWS 1301 class has many common
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goals such as passing the class, getting a degree in their field or major, and having a great time at

the University and this benefits society by allowing many students with common public goals

come together and help each other succeed. Therefore, the RWS 1301 class has many common

public goals and share many views.

Intercommunication

Intercommunication is key to a discourse community like the RWS 1301 class. Swales

(2011) and Johns (2017) describes intercommunication to be varied according to the community

you’re apart of and as for the RWS 1301 class it is apart of conversations, telecommunications,

and meetings (p. 472). Johns (2017) also defines Intercommunication to an important part of a

discourse community due to the fact without intercommunication in our classroom we wouldn’t

be able to help one another or be able to find solutions to many of our problems (p. 331). RWS

1301 relies on intercommunication and uses emails, meetings, and social media to solve any

questions or problems the students or writers may have. Therefore, for the RWS 1301 class,

intercommunication is key and must be used.

Participatory Mechanisms

Without participatory mechanisms a discourse community, such as our RWS 1301 class,

wouldn’t know what’s working or not. According to Johns (2017), and Porter (1986) Writers

should provide maps throughout the text so the reader will be able to identify where they have

been and where they are going (p. 328). Porter (1986) also states that writers can assist the reader

by predicting and summarizing the paper and can help the reader analyze the relationship

between the topics and the argument (p. 40). The RWS 1301 class uses participatory mechanisms

in forms of feedback and comments/suggestions by our professor Dr. Vierra in our Expository

Reflections and major writing assignments. Therefore, a paper, journal, or text wouldn’t be able
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to function without participatory mechanisms due to the writer not knowing what’s working and

what isn’t.

Genres

In our RWS 1301 class and shared community we share specific genres to further

enhance our goals and work. According to Swales (2011) and Johns (2017), all discourse

communities begin developing expectations in their groups and expanded information by sharing

it through other forms of media such as social media platforms, blackboard, and emailing one

another (p. 472). Johns (2017) also states that many college students have short attention spans

and when communicating with them writers should follow a specific form for creating articles,

have many visual, lots of pictures, paragraphs not too long, and should have a straightforward

topic (p. 330). Therefore, we share specific genres to further our goals and enhance them in our

RWS 1301 class.

Specialized language

In our RWS 1301 we use a specific language that the class understands. According to

Johns (2017) and Swales (2011), a class uses certain language introduced by a professor or can

use certain language used by a person or group of people in the class (p. 336). Swales (2011) also

states that outsiders not a part of the class will not understand the language or the specific

technical terms of the group and would not understand many of the conversations that the

classmates are having (p. 473). Therefore, in certain/most classes, such as RWS 1301, use certain

language introduced by a professor or the classmates.

Hierarchy

In our RWS 1301 class we have a high level of hierarchy such as passing the class or

enrolling into college and leaving with a degree. According to Swales (2011) and Porter (1986),
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Hierarchy is entering at a certain level and exiting at another level and an example is enter life

and exiting death or enrolling in college and exiting with a high degree (p. 473). Porter (1986)

also states that discourse communities also have changing memberships and many newcomers

learn the appropriate language, genre, and knowledge through hands on training or through many

visuals (p. 39). Therefore, in the RWS 1301 class there is a high level of hierarchy such as

passing the class or enrolling into college and leaving with a degree.

Analysis

Throughout the paper my researches have lined up with my readings and have guided me

in writing this paper. Swales (2011), Johns (2017), and Porter (1986) have all helped and guided

me in writing the discourse community paper and have helped me understand discourse

communities. Although my findings on discourse communities lined up, at points there was

reason to call some ideas from the readings. Therefore, in the paper mostly all my researches

have lined up with my readings and have guided me in writing this paper of discourse

communities.

Conclusion

It is critical to understand what Common Goals, Intercommunication, Participatory

Mechanisms, Genres, Specialized Language, Hierarchy, and Evaluation are when discussing

Discourse Communities. It is significant to understand Common Goals, Intercommunication,

Participatory Mechanisms, Genres, Specialized Language, Hierarchy, and Evaluation when

discussing Discourse communities because it establishes consistency and can help and guide the

writer improve in many ways. Students need reliable and credible sources and need to be able to

understand the six characteristics so students can understand and guide the students find the best

resources and content for their paper or article. Not understanding the six characteristics can lead
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to students wasting time and energy in a paper that they will most likely scrap and can cause

students to become frustrated with the paper and can kill their momentum.
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References

Johns, A. (2017). Discourse communities and communities of practice. In E. Wardle, & D.

Downs (Eds.), In writing about writing (pp. 319-342) Boston: Bedford/St. Martins 2017.

PORTER, J. E. (1986). Intertextuality and the discourse community. Rhetoric Review, 5(1), 34-

47. Retrieved from http://0-

search.ebscohost.com.lib.utep.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ufh&AN=88166588&site

=eds-live&scope=site

Swales, J. (2011). The concept of discourse community. In E. Wardle, & D. Downs (Eds.),

Writing about writing (pp. 466-480) Boston: Bedford St Martins.


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Tables
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Figures