PROJECT 1 ESSAYâ€”UPDATED 9/13
Identifying the Characteristics of Discourse
â€¢ DC means â€œdiscourse communityâ€
â€¢ â€œYour discourse communityâ€ refers to the one you selected in the exercise M1.3 Discussion:
Selecting a Discourse Community.
â€¢ The â€œcourse theme discourse communityâ€ refers to Amateur Genealogy.
â€¢ This document has been updated to reflect the correct title. (The original version mentioned
genre, which is a subject we will cover during Module 2.) All other information in the original
version is correct, but I have also added some comments as further explanation.
Module 1 culminates with an essay in which you will apply all that you have learned so far in the class.
The goal of the work you will write is to answer the question, â€œWhat is it?â€ in regard to discourse and
discourse communities. You will be defining the terms you have learned and applying those concepts to
your discourse course community (the one you chose in) and the course theme DC (Amateur
The objectives of the assignment are as follows:
â€¢ Develop an understanding of rhetorical principles that impact discourse communities.
â€¢ Develop an understanding of the concepts of discourse and the discourse conventions that
define discourse communities.
â€¢ Practice the principles that characterize effective writing, including effective academic style and
â€¢ Practice applying principles of rhetoric and discourse to specific discourse communities.
â€¢ Practice skills of analysis and critical thought in an extended written document.
Questions and Considerations to Guide You
In this essay you will put the readings you have done in conversation with the discourse communities
with which you have begun to work (i.e., your discourse community and the course theme one). To
accomplish your goals, you will address the following questions:
â€¢ How do you define rhetoric? Discourse? Discourse community?
â€¢ How does the definition of rhetoric impact discourse within a community?
â€¢ How do you know that your discourse community and the course theme discourse community
satisfy the definition of discourse community?
â€¢ What characteristics of discourse have you observed in your discourse community and in the
course theme discourse community?
In answering these questions, incorporate the following:
â€¢ Quotes from the readings (Remember to attribute the quotation to its course and cite it
properly. For example, you could say something like â€œAs Diane Macdonell points out, . . . â€œ and
then list her article in a References page. Do not include article titles within the body of the
essay; just use the authorâ€™s name, full name the first time and last name thereafter.)
â€¢ Text from your reading summaries (i.e., If you did a thorough job on your reading summaries
and other exercises, much of the work you need to do for this essay has already been done.)
â€¢ Specific examples from your discourse community
â€¢ Specific examples from the course theme discourse community
Make sure you include in-text citations and a references page for your sources. Also, include specific
examples of the characteristics and/or interactions you observed in your discourse community and in
the course theme discourse community.
Your essay should be written in academic style, using the tips you learned in the Style Corner exercises.
You may use APA style or MLA style citations, but, whichever you choose, be consistent.
Length: 750-1250 words (3-5pp.)
Project 1 Essay Criteria (i.e., Grading Criteria)
A successful Project 1 Essay will meet the following criteria:
â€¢ Define clearly the following terms: rhetoric , discourse, and discourse communities.
â€¢ Use the evidence (i.e., quotes and paraphrases) from the readings to support and explain each
of the definitions provided.
â€¢ Apply the definitions provided to characterize the observations of the studentâ€™s chosen
â€¢ Explicitly establish how and why the studentâ€™s chosen discourse community meets the criteria
for a discourse community.
â€¢ Apply the definitions provided to characterize the observations of the course theme discourse
â€¢ Explicitly establish how and why the studentâ€™s course theme discourse community meets the
criteria for a discourse community.
â€¢ Use effective academic writing style, to include citations and references.
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