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Steven Robles

Reading Reflection

The Concept of Discourse Community by John Swales


Before enrolling in this class, I must admit that I had know idea what a discourse
community was. I could had deducted what it basically was but could not describe it in depth.
This reading has been helpful in finding out what a discourse community is all about. It helped
me grasps different ideas that define what a discourse community really is.
The author, John Swales, starts of this portion of writing by recognizing stated ideas on
what defines a discourse community. This does not only help him draw his argument, but it also
shows me that even at professional levels, people always tend to have different views and
opinions on certain topic. It also shows that there is no concrete definition of what is considered
a discourse community. John Swales only attempts to convince the reader with his arguments on
what the things should be labeled as discourse communities.
Overall, John Swales had great argument for his definition of what should be considered
a discourse community. He clarifies right away that a discourse community is not the same thing
as a speech community, which is important. This fits perfectly well as a reading in class to
demonstrate the importance of learning how to effectively community through the written
language. Swales then proceeds to build his main argument by introducing his six main points
which describes the attributes of an ideal discourse community. These six points were thoroughly
explained and served as great guidelines to follow for future references. He also includes an
example of a discourse community that he personally experienced. I believe this serves a great
purpose as it puts all of his descriptions into action with this example. This helps the reader on
how to identify these vary same descriptions and apply them to their own groups.
Of course, this whole reading is based on an issue in which John Swales expresses his
version of a solution, so what he wrote is not final. He closes his work with remarks on
remaining issues with his version on what defines a discourse community. As a student, is shows
that even though you intended to solve an issue, your own work might still be imperfect.
This was an excellent topic choice and reading to start the class with. It sets the tone for
the rest of the semester on how all of the students in the class should interact with one another.
This class is designed to include a large portion of online assignments with response available to
all of the students and the end results should be close, but not exact, on what John Wales is
describing.