Dominic Melpignano

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SRR One: The Concept of Discourse Community by John Swales


I believe the main point Swales is trying to convey in The Concept of Discourse Community is what a “discourse  community is”. Swales runs through how the concept was and is interpreted different ways, saying that although he disagrees, but is possible to compare the idea with a speech community.


Speech community: “a community sharing knowledge of at least one form of speech, and knowledge also of its patterns of use” (Swales Page 6).


He goes on to compare to two then presses on further to a huge point on how the two differ. Saying that while speech community focuses on socialization discourse community consists of a group of people that link up in order to pursue objectives that are prior to those of socialization and solidarity. So to me, I think that speech community is almost a sub group of a discourse community because the discourse community is a group of socialization, and a speech community is a a socialization. He then finishes off with a list that you can use to determine if it is a discourse community. They go as follows:


  1. A discourse community has a broadlyagreed set of common public goals
  2. A discourse community has mechanisms of intercommunication among its members
  3. A discourse community uses its participatory mechanisms primarily to provide information and feedback
  4. A discourse community utilizes and hence possesses one or more genres in the communicative furtherance of its aims


After a lot of reading and research, I think that the discourse community and the Congress of the United States both fit perfectly together. It made me believe that more when Swales actually compares it to how a Congress works. The areas of intercommunication should be very dominant in such a community because the common public need feedback and to give feed back. If we have such a community where both the common public and the congress have a line of communication the group will be tighter and the common public goals will be able to be achieved.


This work was very deep and took sometime to read through and understand but I think reading like this will make me into a better because it will force me to understand different concepts that I previously did not know. Therefore broadening my view and sources so my writing will be fuller and have more meaning to it. In my essay I think I will write about how a basketball team works with the coaching and staff and the players how their relationship is, the communication that goes on between them, and this is what makes it a community.


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