Post #15: Reaction to presentation day 1

Now that everyone in the class has done research on their chosen discourse community, we have begun presenting our ideas to the class via a presentation called an artifact gallery. For this artifact gallery we picked four or five different genres from our community and talked about how these genres relate to our community and what purpose it serves. With my chosen community of WGI, I showed images of a score recap sheet, a newsletter, a flyer, part of their website and their program book from the 2016 world championships. I think that my presentation went very well, and I think that there will be a lot of material I can work with when it comes time to write my report in the following weeks.

As for the presentations from the rest of the class, I thought that everyone did a very good job as well. I noticed that everyone seemed to have put a lot of thought into their chosen community and did a good job researching different genres that they could incorporate into their final report. I liked how a lot of my classmates chose a community that they are a part of or feel passionate about. By doing this, I felt that in their presentations they were much more interested in the topic and were therefore able to speak more passionately and freely about what their plans are for tackling the community project.

I think it is important for us to choose a community that we are a part of or have some connection with. Not only will this make it easier for us to research information about it, but it will make the overall writing process easier. I’m interested in seeing how this project comes out in the end, and I hope that by choosing a community that I love being a part of, the writing process won’t be as difficult.

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Post #14: Community decision

From the second my writing 105 teacher announced our next project for our new section on community, I knew exactly what community I was going to write about.

Now that we have moved in to our third unit of writing 105, we have begun examining what is means to be part of a community.We have read articles, down activities in class, and discussed criteria, now it is time for the project. For this project, we will be selecting one community to examine and go in depth on their goals, lexis (or language that they use) and genres. In the end we will be able to construct an eight pages project surrounding this community and how it functions. With this in mind I know exactly the community I wanted to tackle for this project: color guard.

More specifically, I chose to propose that I research the WGI, or Winter Guard International, community which is the organization that all well known winter guards are part of. For three years of high school, I participated in this amazing community on an amazing team that taught me things about discipline and hard work that I will take with me for the rest of my life. Though I am still considered part of the community now since I was a member of a team that participated through WGI, I miss being out on the floor spinning my heart out and giving it my all. Naturally, with my love for this amazing sport, I chose WGI as my community since my experience with winter guard has shaped so much of who I am today. I hope that in the future, whether it is a marching band over the summer or an independent winter guard next winter, I will get back out on that floor and shine under those bright lights again!

Here’s a picture of my rocking my solo last year:)

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Post #13: The Concept of Discourse Community

Hooray our last article for the semester! For this last reading I read “The Concept of Discourse Community” by John Swales who breaks down the meaning and the controversies behind the discourse community.Before even getting into the article a forward is used to communicate with the reader the breakdown of the following article. This helped me out greatly while reading the actual article because the forward told me how the first two sections are a bit wordy and unfocused, but the third section is where the information that needs to be known comes in.

In the first section, Swales talks about how there needs to be a clarification for what the difference is between a discourse community and a speech community. This ultimately sets up his next section where he goes in depth on how speech and discourse communities vary. For example, in a speech community members usually gain membership at birth whereas in a discourse community members are recruited by persuasion, training, and or relevant qualifications.

The third section is where the good stuff comes up: what are the qualifications that define whether or not something is a discourse community? In this section, Swales gives us the six criteria for determining a discourse community. According to him a discourse community must have a common set of public goals, have mechanisms of intercommunications, provide information and feedback, possess one or more genres, have a specific lexis, and a ratio between experts and novices in the community. With this criteria in mind, Swales then gives an example of a discourse community, the Hong Kong Study Circle, and then goes on to talk about how it meets all of the criteria mentioned before in the previous section.

Overall this article will be very helpful when it comes time for me to choose the community I will be analyzing in my project, as it will give me the criteria to make sure is found in my community.

Post #12: Community and Writing

In writing 105 we started off the year examining how we write in our own lives. Then, we moved on to studying writing in a rhetorical sense and how to analyze this rhetoric textually and contextually. Now that we have finished this unit, we have switched gears to talk about writing in the community. To begin this unit, I read an article titled “The Idea of Community in the Study of Writing” written by Joseph Harris. Like some of the other academic articles I have read this year so far, the article was a little hard to follow, but I will do my best to break down what Harris talks about here.

At the start of the article, Harris introduces the definition of community developed by Raymond Williams who talks about community as an existing set of relationships that never is given any sort of bad connotation to seem unfavorable. Harris goes on to examine this and determines community as having strong rhetorical power that is very alluring. If one were to examine the definition Williams gives rhetorically, it can definitely be said that there is pathos appeal being used in the definition, since it elicits strong emotions of belongingness and shared purpose.

After establishing this, Harris analyzes how communities can be either interpretive or speech, where they are either among a profession or discipline, or a neighborhood or classroom respectively. Following, Harris focuses on how being part of a community comes with using different word choices and speech all together. This can be shown through the examples he uses of two people, Sylvia and Ron, who are part of multiple communities that consist of different discourses, or communication. Each of them is aware that they are part of vastly different communities that use discourse in very different ways, however this makes their writing more interesting to read.

One of the overall themes that Harris covers in this article is the concern of the academic community. This theme that is dispersed throughout the text addresses how students should be enforced to write a certain way to match the way of the academic community. However, by the end of the article Harris reaches the idea that while students should have to learn the standards of their new academic community when entering college, they should be allowed to reflect on past communities they were or are part of in their writing. I think that this is a very good idea to integrate into college writing in order to allow students to explore communities that they are interested in and hopefully make them more enthusiastic to write academically.