Discourse Community

In Writing Project #1, we selected and explored a discourse community, using Swales’ 6 characteristics of a discourse community.  WP #1 provides a foundation upon which we can build our next three projects.  Our larger goals, through our work with the concept of discourse community, is to develop audience awareness and rhetorical effectiveness.
In this project, you will analyze a text that was created by your chosen discourse community.  You will select an article, infographic, Tweet, advertisement, youtube video, song, mission statement, slogan, motto, etc. that “is aware of…the audience, and is dealing with [the audience] in some way” (Rosenwasser).  It is important that the artifact originate within the discourse community and not outside of it.  For example, the documentary “Going Clear” is a film about the religion of Scientology, but it was not created by the community itself.  If a student selected Scientology as their discourse community, it would not be appropriate to select  “Going Clear” as an artifact of Scientology.
You need to analyze the text rhetorically, via “situating the reading rhetorically” and the Aristotelian appeals of ethos, pathos and logos.  You cannot make an argument about what the text means unless you provide the data (observations) from that artifact, so you may also need to use our 3-step analysis: observation, interpretation and conclusion.  Because some of the aspects of both STRR and the Aristotelian appeals may overlap, feel free to order your analysis in any way it makes sense for your project.
Helpful hint: if you can select a text that is a “mechanism of communication” that employs, at least in part, that community’s “lexis,” it might be easier to analyze.
Different from WP #1, WP #2 is an essay, so you will need a working thesis statement.  Your thesis has to do with the purpose of your essay, which is to determine the meaning and effectiveness of the text.  Your thesis statement will likely be the answer to this question: what does the text mean, how it is used, and why does the text resonate within the discourse community?