How Does a Discourse Community Use Writing to Communicate?
Many authors have defined discourse community differently based on their independent
researches and experiences. However, the bottom line that seems to be characterizing all the
definitions is that it refers to a group of people who communicate regularly about a specific
topic, mostly through discussions. John Swales, a notable linguist, defined discourse
communities as “groups that have goals and purposes, and use communication to achieve their
goals” (Swales 14). These definitions, therefore, illustrate that communication is one of the most
crucial tools that characterize discourse communities. According to Swales, community regards
“the ability to pass information or an opinion from an individual to the rest of the members”
(Swales 14). Although the common means of communication between discourse communities
has always been through speech, writing has since emerged as a complicated method that various
discourse communities find effective and easy to implement. However, Swales also presents
eight criteria that discourse community must fulfill.
Swales’ Criteria that my Potential Group Fulfils
The first requirement that Swales states is that a discourse community must focus on
public goals that ease communication. According to Swales, the discoverable set of goals that a
DC potentially has “may be publicly and explicitly communicated” (Swales 14). For instance,
teachers of a specific institution can form a discourse community whose general goal is to
educate students and bring public awareness. In this case, writing will come in handy because it
will be the means through which this discourse community communicates its “missions” and
“visions,” both of which form a significant part of their goals. Secondly, members of a DC m...
15 Million Students Helped!
Sign up to view the full answer