The main points of “The Concept of Discourse community” by John Swales are that Swales is trying to define “discourse community”. He starts off by talking about the speech community and how speech is an important aspect in a discourse community. The members in a discourse community need to know how to communicate in both writing and speech. He goes on as a discourse community needs to prioritize the idea of socialization within the community. Swales defines discourse community using six characteristics. It includes a discourse community has a broadly agreed set of common public goals. A discourse community has mechanisms of intercommunication among its members. A discourse community uses its participatory mechanisms primarily to provide information and feedback. A discourse community utilizes and hence possesses one or more genres in the communicative furtherance of its aims. In addition to owning genres, a discourse community has acquired some specific lexis. A discourse community has a threshold level of members with a suitable degree of relevant content and discoursal expertise. After he told us, the readers, about the six characteristics of a discourse community he gave us an example of what a discourse community is. The one example was “the discourse community… ‘umbrella organization’ called the Hong Kong Study Circle.” (Swales 473)
Several other proponents of the ‘social view’, while believing that discourse community is a powerful and useful concept, recognize it currently raises as many questions as it answers. Porter (1988:2), for instance, puts one set of problems with exemplary conciseness: ‘Should discourse communities be determined by shared objects of study, by common research methodology, by opportunity and frequency of communication, or by genre and stylistic conventions?’ (Swales 469)
After a couple of opening paragraphs on speech community in linguistics and on audience analysis, they observe, ‘only recently have compositional studies begun to investigate communities of writers and readers, though the terminology seems to be changing to “discourse communities” in order to signal the focus on the written rather than the spoken’ (1987:154). (Swales 470)
The secondary purposes of the information exchange will vary according to the common goals: to improve performance in a football squad or in an orchestra, to make money in a brokerage house, to grow better roses in a gardening club, or to dent the research front in an academic department. (Swales 472)
This text refers to how important to be a part of a discourse community. As a writer, it makes you feel that you represent something that only a couple of people can understand. And that you want to show to everyone that the discourse community mean someone to you. The idea of communication one another is a key part of this text. It is to understand all goals that are form in a discourse community. The goals that are form helps improve a discourse community.