Discourse Community Handbook – IIDA (International Interior Design Association)

Discourse Community – IIDA (https://www.iidamac.org/)

Assignment Overview
Consider your expertise. You probably know more than you think you know about your selected discourse community (DC). For this assignment, you’re being asked to analyze and describe the discourse of your chosen profession, with the goal of helping novice members succeed. This should resemble a training guide for the discourse community, or an introduction to the DC.

Length3-5 pages
Audience Potential new members of your professional or academic field (e.g., recently admitted interns or entry-level employees)
Context The linguist James Paul Gee defines “discourse” as “a kind of identity kit” that allows members of a group to recognize one another. The members of such a group are known as a “discourse community,” or DC. As you’ve read, John Swales uses six characteristics to define a discourse community. These characteristics define ways in which these groups function and build culture.

Although there are many types of discourse communities, all professional and academic cultures define themselves in this way. There are many benefits to joining discourse communities in your field. Often these discourse communities provide opportunities for their membership. It might be said, that to be successful in your chosen academic major or professional career you need to understand and enact the discourse of the group.

Assignment Details
Create a “handbook” or “training guide” for novice members of your chosen academic major or professional career, designed to help prepare them for joining that community.

Include the following information:
How does one become a member of thisDC?
What values, attitudes, and beliefs are needed to succeed in thisfield?
What are the common public goals of thediscipline?

Where do professionals go to exchange information with each other? (John Swales calls these “participatory mechanisms.”) For example, trade journals and conferences are common participatorymechanisms.
How are those participatory mechanisms used? (In other words, what kinds of information and feedback are commonlyconveyed?)
What role does writing play within this DC? What kinds of documents are commonly produced, and what are they usedfor?
You should also include representative examples of discourse-specific lexis (i.e., specialized terminology, jargon, acronyms,etc.).

Please see attached proposal for IIDA, Rubric, and Discourse Community Sample fro referencing purposes.


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