Class Notes October 9 & 14

Johns’ Text


Discourse community- text/ language

(COPs) Communities of practice- Discourse

            -You are a part of it and try to better it in some way

            -Stem from the community your in


Discourse is your beliefs and actions

Communities of practice you have to be actively present within


Social, Political, and Recreational Communities

Different pressures that come to us and make us join communities of practice.

I think you have many communities of practice but they aren’t necessarily all your Discourses. All these little communities make up our Discourses. I like to think of communities of practice as like little puzzle pieces that make up one big puzzle.


One of the values of the academic communities of practice is having your own opinions and beliefs. No one wants to talk to themselves, so interacting with these people of different opinions yet same interest help promote change and different ideas and opinions.


Professional Communities

-Can be professional

-Every major profession has its organizations, its practices, its textual conventions, and its genres

-discourse communities are communities of practice

-Conventions are the way they are because of values, needs, and practices of the community.



You need to fully learn it in order to articulate to some one else.


Language, Texts, and Values

-Texts must be explicit

  • To the point
  • Depends on the audience
  • Provide clarity

-Topic and argument should be prerevealed in the introduction

  • Pointing right to the argument
  • Guiding the reader

-Writers should provide “signs” for the reader to follow throughout the text

  • Follow


-Language of texts should create a distance between the writer and the text to give the appearance of objectivity

  • “author-evacuated”-speaks of academic expository prose-author’s personal voice is not clearly evidence because the first person pronoun is absent and arguments are muted
  • “author-saturated”-individual voice pervades
  • “I think” “ I feel”

-Texts should maintain a “rubber-gloved” quality of voice and register

  • “ wonderful”

-Writers should take a guarded stance, especially when presenting argumentation and results.

  • Hedging?
  • Modals (would, could, should)
  • Black & White statement

-Texts should display a vision of reality shared by members of the particular discourse community to which the text is addressed

  • Roles
  • “You need to put yourself in some one else’s shoes”

-Academic texts should display a set of social and authority relations; they should show the writer’s understanding of the roles they play within the text or context

  • Conventions of roles (appropriateness)
  • Hierarchy- Power relations

-Academic texts should acknowledge the complex and important nature of intertextuality, the exploitation of other texts without resorting to plagiarism



Class Notes- Peer Reviewing 11/20

How does one help a writer out without being to harsh?

Be constructive, suggestive, and not mean.

Take into account the writer’s interests and aims. Make sure they aren’t getting off topic.

Push further than what we have learned in class. Use class info/ lessons as a base of what we have learned.

Consider the stage of the draft. Concentrate on the large picture: the paper’s focus; the content; the writer’s voice.

Worry more about the big picture and ideas/ content not the grammar and sentence structure.

Comments in the margin- give us the ability to comment in the moment and help them right there in the paper

Comments at the end- we address larger concerns, emphasize the key points of your response, explain and elaborate on issues you want to deal with more fully.

Don’t write all over her paper; not inbetween lines or over the lines of text. Write in your space and let the writer have theirs.

Make sure comments explain your complete thoughts because the writer may not know where you are if you don’t explain enough. Efficiently elaborate.


Literacy Inquiry- Draft 2

Literacy Inquiry-Draft 2

For this draft I am most concerned about the content. I am still not sure if it fits the criteria for the assignment. I rewrote the whole paper after the first draft didn’t work out so well. I am also concerned with my integration of the different kinds of writing within the inquiry. On my last paper, I needed work on my transitions and that is something that I think I improved on, but I am still not sure about them. I am also not sure about how well the paper flows or if my point is easy for the reader to figure out.

Class Facilitation: Mediums, Modes, Genres, and Literacies

November 18, 2013

Free Write #1: Genre has characterizations but really has no set definition because genres are never the same and constantly changing. Some of these characterizations that help define genre include: Rhetorical, Social, Dynamic, Historical, Cultural, Situated, and Ideological. They help us get a grip on what genre really is. Genre creates situation just as much as situation creates genre. I am unsure exactly what medium and mode are in terms of English definitions. I know the math terms but not exactly the English ones. I am going to guess that they have to do with the audience and purpose of what you are writing.

Medium is the in between genres?

Genre is a classification, but everything has its own genre.

Mode- the manner in which an idea or topic is expressed or experienced.

-Ex. Instant messaging, texting, social media sources

Medium- is how you are saying what you want

Ex. Blog content is the mode but the medium itself is the blog and the computer

Literacies- not only the ability to read and write but the ability to communicate with the surrounding world

-Ex. Being able to communicate and socialize with those around you

Free Write #2: My ideas about mediums, modes, genres, and literacies have changed. And will continue to change like they have been for as long as I can remember. The definitions of these things are always especially for genres and literacies. Mediums and modes are a more stable concept. I learned that the English definition of medium is the means in which you communicate the message you are trying to get across. Mode means the manner in which an idea or topic is expressed or experienced.

Genre Notes November 11, 2013

Class Notes


-Flexible and stable

-Created by social situations

-General (forms)-[ex. Five paragraph essay] knowledge not enough for use

-Can’t be defined but can be characterized/ described

-Characteristics: social, rhetorical, dynamic, cultural, situated, ideological, historical

-They can adapt and change.

–They can adapt and change BECAUSE they are social, rhetorical, dynamic, historical, cultural, situated, and ideological.

-Antecedents-a.k.a the parents of another genre

-Genre is working like an infinity sign-things keep building off each other and just keeps on going but changing at the same time-Ex. Twitter.

-Genre chains- roles that genres create other genres-genre-genre-genre

-Ex. Teacher puts up assignment [genre]-Student does assignment [new genre]- Teacher grades/ put comments [creates another new genre]-

-Genre creates situation just as much as situation creates genre.

-Rhetorical (characterization)- choices – you make choices based on what your audience to experience – Ex. Faulkner’s writing choice: to link it to the past

-Social- Roles and relationships- Genre as a whole is social- The social who we want to be relates and comes about in different ways in situations

-Dynamic- “the ability of genres to both respond to and affect situation is part of what makes them dynamic”

Historical- genres depend on previous genres, antecedent genres, for their development

Cultural- norms, values, customs, like big D, Discourses

Situated- “an instance of a genre”- ex. Slideshow for weddings, but what if played at weddings anniversaries or even a funeral- Changes the way the genre is acting

-Ideological- we have our values and ways of thinking and expectations that we subconsciously have and when broken we immediately realize it

Messy and Complex

Throughout grade school we were taught that genre were the different types of categories that writings were placed into. Carolyn R. Miller “argues that genres are ‘typified rhetorical actions based in recurrent situations’” (Dean). She focuses more on the “’action [a genre]’” uses to accomplish. I didn’t really think much about this definition until I got to the end of the reading. This definition is so much more complicated than what is on the surface level. It all just starts when we realize “genres pervade lives”. They shape our lives while we shape them as well. Dean uses the words “messy” and “complex” to define genres. These words not only describe the theories of genre but also the effects and derivatives it produces. It clicked in my head when it described genre as being to “both arrange what exists and produce something else, something that might not have existed before”. This made me think about how everything relates back to the past and has somewhat of a grip on our entire existence. For example, it is later addressed in the text as the “Historical” aspects of genre.  As Dean goes on to talk about what genres are not, she is expanding and disputing our prior knowledge of what a genre is. This expansion of not only the idea of genre but genre in itself brings us to ask well what is genre? Genre is characterized as “social, rhetorical, dynamic, historical, cultural, situated, and ideological”. This is only the beginning of the complicatedness. It was difficult for me to read about these aspects of genres. These aspects contribute to what genre is, therefore “genres define cultures as much as cultures define genres”. “Different theories about genre place varying degrees of emphasis on these characteristics, and doing this results in different views of what is means to use of learn a genre” (Dean). This chain of thinking leads to a range of different theories about genres. These theories include “Genre as Text” (formalist perspective, most common in classrooms), “Genre as Rhetoric” (genres are ways of acting), and “Genres as Practice” (genres as actions). These theories provide different views on the various implications of the genres concepts; not only the difference between cultures and societies but even between countries. Although some theories make more sense than others, there is no “right” one. But how do we know which theory to follow? How can we process and teach these theories without emphasis on any specific one? Then the question arises can these theories even be taught? Or must we acquire them ourselves, like Discourses?

Dean.GerreTheory Reading Notes