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



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