Discourse Community In Research

758 Words4 Pages
Discourse communities are defined by Swales as sharing a common goal, possessing mechanisms of intercommunication, using those mechanisms to provide information and feedback, communication using at least one genre, utilizing a specific lexis, and being composed of varying levels of expertise. Applying these criteria reveal my own membership in various discourse communities in which I am an active participant. Among the groups established by the rules provided by Swales, several obvious personal examples quickly come to mind. These include enrollment at the University of Texas at El Paso, Membership in the Medical Professions
Organization, participation in a research lab on campus, and being employed as an official of little league baseball.
…show more content…
Professors stand at the top of the ladder in terms of the highest level of expertise. Teaching assistants, TA’s, and Tutors stand above the lowest level, the level of students enrolled in a course. The accordance with the criteria establishes UTEP student as a discourse community in Swales’s definition.

Members of a research lab form the next discourse community. As researchers in the field of neuroscience, we share the common goal of furthering knowledge on the least understood thing in existence, the human brain. Aspirations for publications are also a common goal among the members of the lab. Through a blog, email, and group message, the members of the lab may communicate with each other. Prior to submission of any abstract produced by the scientist, all members attend a meeting to review any article being prepared for submission.
Research articles, text books, lab manuals, and journals constitute the genres of the community.
Lexis specific to this lab includes terms such as immunohistochemistry, DPX, sliding microtome, belly dancer, and fume hood. The head researcher occupies the head of expertise followed by the assistant researchers, graduate students and lastly,
…show more content…
Emails and a group

website along with group chats among its members allow for their intercommunication. Weekly meetings are held where presentations and other announcements are regularly made. Memos, handouts, emails, PowerPoints, and various other media are included among the genres of communication. Medical terminology similar to that used in the medical field constitute the unique vocabulary of the organization. Lastly, the divisions in the levels of expertise are occupied by current doctors, medical students, advisors, PhD’s, all providing younger members such as undergrads valuable insight into the pathway of such a profession.
The four groups described that I belong to meet the requirements created by Swales to establish them as individual discourse communities. The examples provided, illustrate how the various criteria are met, establishing them as similar to each other, and the ways in which the groups provide their own expressions of those rules, distinguishing themselves as being different.
These communities are the most obvious; however, there may be countless others I am unaware I may be a part

More about Discourse Community In Research

Open Document