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  • ENGL 1311 Discourse Community Map and Response assignment
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Discourse Community Map and Response assignment

We have defined the concept of a "discourse community" as a social group that communicates, in part, using written texts, but also shares common goals, values, writing standards, specialized vocabulary, and specialized genres. As we have learned, writing is a social act--an act of connecting with others for multiple purposes.

Purpose: The purpose of this assignment, then, is to examine how your writing is shaped by and shapes the various discourse communities you belong to.

Content/Subject: To do this, you will construct a discourse community map that outlines the various discourse communities you belong to and the different literacies you need to be a member. As you begin, you might want to look at various concept models to inspire a design as you begin to construct your discourse community map. You can find examples online by using search keywords like "concept map templates."

After constructing your map, you will write a response which analyzes the discourse features of the discourse communities that you have discussed. You need to consider what the goals are for each discourse community. Specifically, you will want to examine how the goals shape the communication (oral, visual, written) found with the community. Important issues to address include:

• What are the conventions of the discourse community?
• What are the typical genres used by the members of the community?
• What subjects are written on or about in this discourse community?
• What specialized language is used and why? (provide examples)
• How does one become a member of this discourse community?

Audience: Your audience will be your academic peers and you can assume that they have only a casual knowledge of your chosen discourse communities.

Constraints: This assignment consists of two parts: the discourse community map and the written response. You will be evaluated on both portions of the assignment. Your map needs to be an accurate and effective representation of the discourse communities that you discuss. In terms of the written response, you will need to explain the components of your map. In particular, you will want to include the various discourse communities identified, the characteristics of each discourse community, and the various literacies (oral, visual, written) found within each discourse community.

Specific guidelines for this assignment include:
• Either a paper or electronic map
• A 2-3 page written response as described above
• Standard and correct language use
• Adherence to APA format

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