The Department of Psychology at State University

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The psychology department of State University is considered an academic discourse community. They have a stated purpose, requirements for membership, and exercise intercommunication techniques. Furthermore, they have shared common knowledge that they use to advance their discipline and attract new members. Eleanor Kutz, a leading expert in the field of language and literacy, argues that academic discourse communities differ from informal ones in the critical area of assumed shared knowledge. She states, “building on the assumed shared knowledge...affects how people participate in academic communities, including introductory ones” (Kutz 344). In other words, professors introduce basic concepts when students enter the community. These …show more content…
As an undergraduate I currently participate as a student in required general education classes and I chose to analyze my English Comp II course. Building upon this, I asked permission to observe a level 300 psychology course and later conducted an interview with the graduate student who taught the class. I collected examples such as a scientific article written by a professor and a typical syllabus from an upper level course. I also visited the academic advising office and secured flyers and pamphlets pertaining to the degree. During my visit I took careful notes about the use of visual communication via bulletin boards and banners. I also explored the pages that the community utilizes on State University’s web site.

Purpose of Membership and the Importance of Earning a Higher Degree The stated purpose of the psychology department is “to prepare students for diverse careers in health, business, industry, and research” (Many Opportunities). Another aspect of the psychology department is to provide vocational and personal counseling to the students and individuals of the surrounding communities. Therapy sessions are free and graduate students act as counselors and are supervised by licensed psychologists. To embrace the possibilities that higher membership offers, students must strive to get to the top of a theoretical pyramid. According to Natalie Grandy, a graduate student, there is a definite hierarchy