College of Professional Studies
Project #1: Discourse Community
Your first project is adapted from Catherine Latterell’s “Remix: Reading & Composing Culture.” Here is the prompt:
Write a 2 ½ -3-page essay. The essay is about a discourse community in which you describe what makes this discourse community, in fact, a community. To begin, review the handout “Discourse Community and Culture” and identify personal, geographical, academic, and social communities to which you belong. Another idea is to identify a daily activity that you share with other people—for example, studying, taking the bus, or working out. As evidenced by the Fleet Feet blog, a community can be defined by a verb or action (i.e., running). For this first assignment, please do not write about an online community. Lastly, your thesis for this project must include an iteration of this sentence: “________________ is a community.”
Your essay should answer the following questions in essay form. Instead of answering the questions one by one, your job is to write a cohesive essay that answers these questions and supports your thesis:
- What makes this group a community? What holds the group together?
What interests, needs, and values do these people share?
What tensions or differences work against the cohesion of this community?
How do you fit in with this group?
What makes this community one that you want to be part of?
- How does membership in this discourse community impact your life? (e.g., how does it contribute to a life of significance and worth?)
The purpose of this assignment is multifaceted: (1) To broaden your view of the concept of discourse community by moving beyond the explicit manifestations of culture within a discourse community to also include the implicit aspects as well. (2) Reflect on how membership in a discourse community contributes to a life of significance and worth. (3) Reinforce rhetorical knowledge by providing you with the opportunity to write an argument of definition (you may remember this from ENG 1252). (5) Build foundation for primary research techniques.
Ideas for Getting Started
Consider the approach you’d like to take to this assignment. For example, the Fleet Feet blog entry makes this argument: Running is a c ommunity. This is a community based on action or activity. Now consider Kathleen Norris who defined a community in a more traditional sense—one based on place. She makes this argument: The Plains are a community or even Lying is a community.
Consider these statements as well:
Loving the Chicago Cubs in a community.
Voting for Joe Biden is a community.
Wearing the t-shirt “I heart dogs” is a community.
No matter which approach you take, be creative and have fun.
Lastly, avoid answering the abovementioned questions one by one; instead, weave together a cohesive essay that is organized in logical manner and uses your observation—a primary source—to draw the reader in and support your argument. Do not lose track to your main goal, which is to convince your audience that the discourse community you describe is, in fact, a discourse community.
Project #1 Essay Rubric
CONTENT & STRUCTURE
The author wrote an essay that meets the assignment criteria in terms of subject matter. The ideas presented are on topic and are appropriate for the assignment.
Introduction: The author captured the reader’s attention and provided enough information for the reader to understand the thesis statement.
The author crafted a thesis/claim (which is underlined) in response to the assignment and it was appropriately placed.
The author provided necessary background information and/or explained specialized terminology.
Each body paragraph was well developed and supported the topic sentence; the author provided both relevant and adequate support for the thesis.
Overall, the author made a connection between the thesis, topic sentences, and examples/proof in the essay.
The author effectively wrapped up the essay and restated the thesis in the conclusion.
The essay was formatted according to APA guidelines. A cover page and abstract (which do not count in the number of written pages) are required.
The essay met the length requirement. 2.5-3 pages with an additional cover page and an abstract
The essay was carefully proofread and edited.
The author crafted a compelling and appropriate title for the essay.
Save your documents with your “Last Name Assignment Title” (EX: Smith Project 1).
Assignments must use APA document formatting and citations, including your full name, the course number, and the assignment title in the upper-left corner; page numbers; abstract; and a title page (cover page). See the following APA sample essay: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/apa_sample_paper.html
Assignments must fulfill all requirements and be proofread to be graded.
Rough and final drafts must have at least 2 1/2 pages of double-spaced essay text. (Cover page and abstract does not count as part of the 2 1/2 pages.)