Assignment Overview: For this assignment, you’re being asked to analyze and describe the discourse of your chosen profession, with the goal of helping novice members succeed.(human resources management is my chosen profession)
Length: 3-5 pages
Audience: Potential new members of your professional or academic field (e.g., recently admitted interns or entry-level employees)
– The linguist James Paul Gee defines “discourse” as “a kind of identity kit” that allows members of a group to recognize one another. The members of such a group are known as a “discourse community,” or DC. As you’ve read, John Swales uses six characteristics to define a discourse community. These characteristics define ways in which these groups function and build culture.
– Although there are many types of discourse communities, all professional and academic cultures define themselves in this way. There are many benefits to joining discourse communities in your field. Often these discourse communities provide opportunities for their membership. It might be said that to be successful in your chosen academic major or professional career, you need to understand and enact the discourse of the group.
Assignment Details: Create a “handbook” or training guide for novice members of your chosen academic major or professional career designed to help prepare them for joining that community.
Include the following information:
– How does one become a member of this DC?
– What values, attitudes, and beliefs are needed to succeed in this field?
– What are the common public goals of the discipline?
– Where do professionals go to exchange information with each other? (John Swales calls these “participatory mechanisms.”) For example, trade journals and conferences are common participatory mechanisms.
– How are those participatory mechanisms used? (In other words, what kinds of information and feedback are commonly conveyed?)
– What role does writing play within this DC? What kinds of documents are commonly produced, and what are they used for?
– You may also want to include representative examples of discourse-specific lexis (i.e., specialized terminology, jargon, acronyms, etc.).
*You must use the Writing Center as part of this assignment. After your visit, the Writing Center will send you an email asking for feedback on your session. To prove that you went, upload a PDF or screen capture of that email when you turn in the second draft of this assignment on Sakai.
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