Functions Of A Discourse Community

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Discourse communities are all around us, which can include a sports team, academics, and many others. However today I am focusing on a discourse community that relates to my major, criminal justice. In order for me to understand swales six characteristics I interviewed a homicide detective relating to criminal justice. A discourse community is a group of people involved in and communicating about a particular topic, issue, or in a particular field. A discourse community is defined by six characteristics. The six defining characteristics of a discourse community require a set of common goals, there must also be mechanisms of communications within the community as well as feedback among members. Genre, the fourth characteristic, describing the various methods of output. The last two are terminology, and expertise. In order to really understand that criminal justice is a discourse community, I had to do research, and interview an expert in the field. To be a part of a discourse community, one must be credible, possess factual knowledge and draw on the values of its members to be accepted into the community. At the same time a person must learn typical ways people in that community communicate and argue. They share a certain genre which is a type of writing. Members of discourse communities provide information and feedback that are imperative in order for that discourse community to grow. My interviewee, Carol Mims, is a child homicide detective. She is an alumni here at

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