ERIC Number: ED333359
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Reading Processes: Responding to Discourse Community Constraints.
Bularzik, Eileen M.
A current trend in composition consider writing a social act where texts are produced because of and in response to social contexts. Classroom practices are just beginning to change and acknowledge the power that discourse communities assert on writers. Composition teachers must also acknowledge the importance of community-governed reading strategies. Several strategies help students learn to read and analyze texts in various academic fields. Limited by a one-semester course, the goal is to begin the process whereby students learn to read the texts of and write for particular discourse communities. A good way to approach the study of texts with students is to have them identify ongoing debates in their fields. Students should be encouraged not to focus exclusively on surface conventions, for they do not expose the underlying assumptions that characterize a community's view of the world. Students in the course select disciplines to explore, define the boundaries of their fields, and generate a list of texts (focusing on journal articles) that are representative or considered authoritative. Students analyze texts, noting such aspects as: (1) what assumptions writers accept; (2) what expectations there are for readers; (3) how arguments are presented; (4) what constitutes acceptable evidence; (5) what patterns recur in terms of presentation and format, and (6) what general similarities are exhibited by groups of texts. Focusing on of discourse communities is important because an understanding of the existence of such communities is the first step in being able to write within one. (Two examples are attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Text Factors
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (42nd, Boston, MA, March 21-23, 1991).