Essay Sample on Discourse Community and a Writing Community

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1389 Words
Date:  2022-11-16


This paper helps to compare and contrast the idea of Swale, Saltz & Sommers as well as that of Bartholomae concerning the issue of learning. As presented by the author of the utilized three articles, education or learning was something which community members acquired through developing interest and thereby being in a position to involve themselves in any sort of discourse of their choice. All these three sources authors had an experience of dealing with linguistics. However, at some point their perception differed since they had different view point of the same issue. Thus, different approaches have been shown which the authors of the three sources presented. Upon being enlighten, community members are in a position to critically analyze matters of interest and not just following what other people presents without reasoning. Actually, both Swale and Saltz & Sommers compares the matter with college students who perceives learning in a different manner.

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Notably, Saltz & Sommers analyzed the aspect of college students having interest in writing even after finishing their studies while others no longer had the passion after they were through with their education. In this case, the authors gave more attention to freshman and it was noticed that the students who did extensive writing during their college years easily adopted the writing culture even after they left college (Sommers & Saltz, 2004). Similarly, in his work; Swale presented that learning was something continuous and it took an individual's interest and right perception to acquire and maintain. In this case, he presented that unlike a speech community a discourse community would easily find time and engage in extensive research concerning a specific subject thereby being in a position to attain higher level of knowledge concerning the subject.

On the other hand, Swale discusses and compared the discourse and speech community. In this case he showed that unlike the discourse community, the speech community shares knowledge of speech interpretation and the rules of conduct. Thus, one has to be familiar with at least a speech of one form and have experience of the use of pattern in the statement. In most cases, this is the opposite unnecessary description of the discourse community. In the same manner, Saltz & Sommers showed that college students having the writing skill was as a result of not losing interest in the skill even after completing studies. Thus, the experienced change of college students no longer writing was a choice that resulted from the decision of the concerned persons.

Notably, Swale used the term discourse community to show a group of ideas that a particular language can have and this generates the social behaviors of the group. In this case, the discourse extends and maintains the knowledge that a group has and at the same time supports the initiation of new members in that specific group (Swales, 1990).Hence the discourse community was a group of active individuals who wished to always learn new ideas. However, Saltz & Sommers the term writing students to signify those serious individuals who had the courage and boldness to pursue what they had learnt and put it into practice. In this case, those students who never gave up on their writing skills even after they completed their studies were presented as focused individual in life who had the ability to handle tasks of different forms (Sommers & Saltz, 2004).

Notably, as portrayed by Swale; the way discourse is presented triggered various reflections. First, it is not clear whether the shared study objects are the ones who should determine the discussion of the communities. Furthermore, should the conversation be portrayed by methodologies of research, stylistic and genre conventions as well as frequency and opportunity of communication? It is therefore essential for a discourse community to understand that not all activities are relevant for their consolidation. However, Saltz & Sommers showed that the group of students who continued with writing knew that standard procedure, agreed convection discourse and interactions are sufficient for a discourse community to emerge. Nevertheless, the emergence of a discourse community can be hindered by various factors that prevent its formation as presented by international politics.

As presented by Swale, most people found it necessary to discuss what a discourse community was because even after significant efforts of explaining it will be useless. The process of solving it will not be useful because communication ethnography and sociolinguistics translates established speech concepts which are long. Thus, it can be seen that a discourse community unlike a speech community since they go ahead to investigate what writers or readers meant by the terminologies they used. Nevertheless, Saltz & Sommers also showed that students who continued with writing had interest and observed the rules of linguistics (Sommers & Saltz, 2004). Thus, the speech community appropriate utterances seem to be determined by functional rules shared within the community. The discourse community mainly pays attention to what is written rather than what is said by a speaker since critical synthesis is their trend as they wish to get a deeper meaning of what is passed across.

Notably, a subset of speech cannot necessarily be used to give identity to a discourse community. In this case, those in the discourse community seem to share entirely different rules of linguistics that cannot allow them to be similar to the speech community that appears to have the same linguistic rules. Hence, the discourse community views the use of language as something unique which need assessment before taking the simple meaning which a speaker seem to be passing across. As a result, a community of individuals who are mostly involved in writing cannot be influenced by a speech since their communication medium of attaining important information is entirely different (Bartholomae, 1986). When individuals are engaged in critical analysis of data, they become more literate and tend to be making their communications with people who are in far distant places. As a result, most of the literate people form the discourse community since to them it is easier to respond to what is written compared to what passes across through past speech.

Nevertheless, the intercommunication of members in the discourse community has a particular mechanism. The mechanism differs depending on the communication method that members are using to respond. Most importantly, the participatory device of the discourse community is primarily used to offer feedback as well as more information. Thus, membership in the discourse community mostly entails an opportunity of acquiring more information (Swales, 1990). Training is a critical element of discourse community membership. Additionally, the discourse community tends to use more than one genre to facilitate effective communication that supports the achievement of set objectives.

As demonstrated, the discourse community generally comprise individuals who have a common goal but not necessary for a study object. The set goal motivates the members to seek more information to be able to meet the set goals. Additionally, a learned community possesses their genres which are more than one, and they enhance the realization of the targets (Bartholomae, 1986). In the same manner, the discourse community members have a threshold level that presents their level of experts in the mastery of the subject matter.


In conclusion, a discourse community and a writing community were made up of more committed group of people who seemed to be able to achieve more in future. In relation to academic content something which reveals their ability to master the context, the expert of individuals in the writing as well as the discourse community was noted. Furthermore, the discourse community is shown to assimilate the worldview, and this creates confusion due to confusion about how the convection of discourse employed in a practical way that is detached. Surprisingly, an individual can be a member of many discourse groups, and this shows the number of commands of the genre that one person can have. In this case, it becomes easier to understand why those students who pursue a variety of courses are often successful. The diversity prevents students from developing more personalities which could act as a hindrance towards attaining their success.


Swale John, (1990). The concept of Discourse Community. Genre Analysis; English in Academic and Research Settings. Boston: Cambridge UP, 1990.21-32.Print.

Sommers, N., & Saltz, 2004). The novice as expert: Writing the freshman year. College Composition and Communication, 124-149.

(Bartholomae, 1986). Inventing the university. Journal of Basic Writing, 5(1), 4-23.

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