“Understanding Discourse Communities” by Dan Melzer

Please read “Understanding Discourse Communities” by Dan Melzer and write a response to the questions below. I prefer it if you respond to this post directly, but if you choose you may create a new post.

DUE Feb. 16th

Here is the link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AXclfVWkhlpzePlqkgl9koeIOKMfYHqI/view?usp=sharing

  1. What did you think of the piece? Be honest! Really! I want to know! Was it hard to understand? Interesting? Boring?
  2. According to John Swale (and Dan Melzer) what features do all discourse communities have? (List all 6!)
  3. What were the shared goals of Meltzer’s guitar jam group? Explain! Provide an example!
  4. What was Meltzer’s guitar group’s mechanism of intercommunication among members AND how do these use these methods to provide information and feedback? Explain! Provide an example!
  5. How does Meltzer define genre? What genres did Meltzer’s guitar jam group use?
  6. What is an example of the specific lexis (language) that Meltzer’s guitar jam group used? Explain! Provide an example!
  7. How do the beginners and experts in Meltzer’s guitar jam group work together? Explain!
  8. Can you think of a Discourse Community you might belong to?

42 Comments

  1. mustapha

    I thought this story was pretty .entertaining and easy to relate by the funny story he told us at the beginning. The story made him more relatable. The features of a discourse community are: a broadly agreed upon goals, ways for group members to communicate, the talks providing useful information and feedback, some genres that help further the discussions, a specialized language and some serious or expert level members. The goals of the guitar group were to have fun and learn new songs. Their method of communication was meetup.com, which is how they were able to set up meetings. The author explained genres as tools for social action.

    • Kelvin C. Leon

      I disagree the article was pretty boring but that’s just my take on it. Glad you enjoyed the article. But I agree on your on your other statements.

      • Hamely Jose Taveras

        I also think the text was funny and a little interesting. In the begining, the story was funny because he wrote as if he was writing in a journal like if he wrote his thoughts. I didn’t enjoy the article because I was a little;e frustrated with my other homework.

    • Arian Qosaj

      I also think that the piece was interesting and catchy.

    • Rebekah Coleman

      Mustapha,
      Glad you enjoyed! Thanks for sharing!

      RC

  2. Kelvin C. Leon

    1. I didn’t like this piece again, it isn’t something that I’d read and it didn’t catch my attention but I did learn something new.

    2. The features that all discourse communities have is one, having a common set of shared goals. The second is is the community should have communication among themselves. The third is the use of the communication to provide feedback and other information. The fourth is different genres. The fifth is having a specific language. The sixth is having experts members.

    3. The shared goal of Meltzar guitar jam group was to have fun, to enjoy the music, and to learn new songs along the way. He states “ that these monthly gatherings were for having fun, enjoying the music, and leaning new songs.”

    4. Meltxers guitar group mechanism of inter communications among themselves were through a website called “Meetup.com”. Through this site they communicated when and where they were playing and communicated with each other outside of the night guitar jam. He states “ The guitar group communicated primarily through the Meetup.com site.”

    5. Melter defines genres with music since the it shares features, style, lyrics and the lexis. The guitar group used two primary genres the Meetup site and the other was the handouts with song chords and lyrics.

    6. An example of the specific lexis of Meltzar guitar jam group used was “ the root note of scale 1/4/5 chord progression, putting a capo on different frets, etc..”. The group used specialized terms not because they wanted to but because they needed to. They used this type of lamb gauge to make sure they were all playing together.

    7. The experts in Meltzar group by holding conventions of the group where it included everyone playing in the same key and everyone taking turns playing solo lead guitars, and everyone bringing their own songs to play.

    8. A discourse community that I might belong to is learning how to play on a gaming PC ( gaming computer), I’ve always been a console player but recently I bought a PC to be better at games since PC players have better aim than console players in games. I join a discord chat where people can help you better understand the right or wrongs when playing on a gaming PC, I also have friends that give me pointers on how to get better on the PC since I only just started not to long ago.

    • Tenzin Namgyal

      That’s cool Kevin, I also recently switched to a PC and it’s awesome!

    • Tenzin Namgyal

      That’s cool Kevin, I also recently switched to a PC and it’s awesome!

    • Tenzin Namgyal

      That’s cool Kevin, I also recently switched to a PC and it’s awesome!

    • Tenzin Namgyal

      That’s cool Kevin, I also recently switched to a PC and it’s awesome!

    • Pedro Flores

      I would also like to learn how to play a PC game because I find that interesting.

    • Rebekah Coleman

      Kelvin,

      I am sorry it didn’t catch your attention, but I am glad you felt like you learned something! Great examples!

      RC

  3. Hamely Jose Taveras

    I actually find this piece boring but let explain why. I have to do all my other classwork after being overwhelmed from doing accounting homework this reading is not the best thing to be looking forward to doing. The piece is nice just very hard to focus on because of so much idea and writings. According to John Swale (and Dan Melzer) the features that all discourse communities have commonly shared goals, a community of members who frequently interact, the communication to provide feedback and other information, share information and meet their goals is through genres, their own specialized language and have experts in their community. The shared goal of Meltzer’s guitar jam group is that the organizer of the group emphasized that the gatherings were for having fun, enjoying the music, and learning new songs. This means they would meet up to learn and have fun. Meltzer’s guitar group’s mechanism of intercommunication among members has shared information about when and where they were playing. They use this feedback like for example they would text or tell each other the chords and the lyric they were going to play he needs the handout to be provided with critical information so he can play well. Meltzer defines the genre with music how there is a different type of music. He explains how genres arise out of social purposes, and they’re a form of social action within the discourse. The genres Meltzer’s guitar jam group use is The guitar jam group used two primary genres to meet the goals of the community. The Meetup.com site was one important genre that was critical in the formation of the group and to help it recruit new members. The genres were important for them to make sure they knew what there were actually doing like fooling the singer and playing the right chords. The specific lexis (language) that Meltzer’s guitar jam group used was when they talked about the root note of the scale, a 1/4/5 chord progression, putting a capo on different frets, whether to play solos in a major or minor scale, double drop D tuning. They had their own way of talking that they understood between each other. The way beginners and experts in Meltzer’s guitar jam group work together was that they had conventions for everyone to play at the same key and then there was a lead guitar. I belong to many discourse Communities like the volleyball team, my church, My Dominican groups, and more. For example, My volleyball teams have their shared goal we have friends and we connect like almost family. We have experts in different levels of advanced players in our team and we have our own way of speaking.

    • Elma Kastrat

      Hi Hamely. I like that you belonged to volleyball team. That’s the really good way to make friends and build friendships. And it’s really nice hobby.

    • Rebekah Coleman

      Hamely,

      Thanks for your honest feedback. I am sorry you have so much work, but I am glad that you learned something from the article. Can’t wait to learn more about your volleyball team!

      RC

  4. Kevin Yu

    1) I liked this piece because the author told us a story about his experience in Joining a community that plays guitar from beginners to experienced guitarists, It was easy to understand and I overall enjoyed this piece since I learned something new about writing in Discourse Communities.

    2) A Discourse Community has a common goal that they all agree on, ways to communicate to other group members in the Discourse Community, giving feedback and providing information that the Discourse Community can understand, one or more genres that can further expand the goals of the Discourse Community, a specific language that the Discourse Community can understand, finally experts that are in the Discourse Community.

    3) The shared goal of Meltzer’s group is to practice and learn how to play the guitar no matter your skill level playing the guitar, the goal of the group is to get you to become a better guitarist, being able to share songs and teach others is the goal of Meltzer’s group.

    4) Meltzer’s group provided enough information not matter if you are a beginner in this case Meltzer was a beginner and they provided pictures and notes on how to play a specific piece and they start out with a basic piece and as they progress the piece gets harder, they also give tips such as to soak your hands in rubbing alcohol every day for 90 sec so your skin can toughen up when plucking the strings.

    5) Genre that Meltzer’s group used was Meetup.com it helped the community figure out where the next meetup spot is and finding new members to the group.

    6) A Lexis that the group used was the 1/4/5 it’s a way to progress such as playing frets or playing solos on a major or minor scale these are the Lexis that the group uses.

    7) Beginners and Experts play by playing a different piece that they all bring and share with other group members and the experts can teach the beginners how to use this cord or if this sounds better and so on.

    8) I belong to the History Group community or the Art community because my art is not on par with other artist but I am always trying to adapt and get better and the art community has helped an average artist like me improve while the History group has helped me see different points in history mainly war and I never knew that after the D-Day invasion of France the Ghost Army was able to use inflatable mockups of tanks and trucks to lure the Germans to think that the invasion was somewhere else and the trick worked and the Allies were able to defeat the Germans by a simple trick.

    • Rebekah Coleman

      Kevin,

      I am glad that you enjoyed the piece! I loved learning about that different communities (art, history!) that you belong to and can’t wait to learn more.

      RC

  5. Arian Qosaj

    I liked this piece because it caught my attention and it really explained a lot about the concept of a discourse community and what that is. According to John Swale (and Dan Meltzer) the features that all discourse communities have are to have communication with each other, a set of common goals, use of communication to provide information and feedback, genres that help with the goals, a specialized language, and many expert members. The shared goals of Meltzer’s guitar jam group were to have fun, learn new songs, and enjoy the music. Meltzer’s guitar group’s mechanism of intercommunication among members was to share information about when and where they were playing and to communicate even when they weren’t together. They use these methods to provide information and feedback by letting each other know what song they were going to play. Meltzer defines genre with music. The genres that Meltzer’s guitar jam group used were The Meetup.com and the handouts with lyrics and song chords. An example of the specific lexis that Meltzer’s guitar jam group used is “we talked about the root note of scale, a 1/4/5 chord progression, putting a capo on different frets, whether to play solos in a major or minor scale, double drop D tuning, and so on” which points out how they communicated in a way that helped them understand their songs. The beginners and experts in Meltzer’s guitar jam group worked together by letting each other take turns when it came to singing, playing the guitar, and bringing songs in to look at.

    • Rebekah Coleman

      Arian,

      I am glad you enjoyed the piece and found it interesting!

      RC

  6. Tenzin Namgyal

    If I’m being honest I wasn’t very interested in the article. Although I did learn new things It didn’t really catch my attention. Features that all discourse communities have are a broadly agreed upon set of common public goals, mechanisms of interaction among members, information and feedback, one or more genres that help further the goals of the discourse community, a specific language that is understood by the community, and a couple expert members. The shared goal of the group was to have fun, enjoy and learn new songs. As the text states, “that these monthly gatherings were for having fun, enjoying the music, and leaning new songs.” The groups mechanisms of intercommunication amongst themselves was through “Meetup.com.” As the text states, ” “ The guitar group communicated primarily through the Meetup.com site.” Meltzer defines genre with music, the genres that his group used were the “Meetup.com” and the handouts. An example of the specific lexis is, “we talked about the root note of scale, a 1/4/5 chord progression, putting a capo on different frets, whether to play solos in a major or minor scale, double drop D tuning, and so on” this shows how they used these specialized terms in order to better understand the songs. The way I saw experts and beginners work together is that experts can share their knowledge and experience with the beginners, while beginners can share new songs to play. A discourse community I belong to would be on the app discord. I play a game called destiny 2 and on the discord server we talk about the game and things that can help us get better. There’s old players and new players but we all learn and get better through sharing tips and tricks to one another about the game.

    • Arlene Perez

      I think it’s cool how players share tips and tricks to help each other get better in that game.

    • Rebekah Coleman

      Tenzin,

      Thanks for your honest feedback! I liked learning about the DC that you are interested in and can’t wait to learn more!

      RC

  7. Hanting Hu

    I feel “Understanding Discourse Communities” by Dan Melzer is boring. The piece has a lot of information, but it can’t catch my interest. The discourse community has broadly agreed with the common public goal; the communication mechanism between members; use its participation mechanism to provide information and feedback; one or more types promote its goals; it also acquires some specific vocabulary and has an expert level. The shared goal is to entertain, appreciate, learn, and become a better guitarist. For example, “These monthly gatherings are for entertainment, enjoying music and learning new songs.” Meltzer’s guitar group’s intercommunication mechanism among members was Meetup.com to shared information about when and where they played, exchanged when and where they played. Example of the specific lexis (language) that Meltzer’s guitar jam group used is chords and solo. Beginners and experts work together to watch each other in turn, helping the beginners learn the difference.

    • Rebekah Coleman

      Hanting,

      Thanks so much for your honest feedback! I am sorry you found the piece boring but I am glad that you learned about Discourse Communities.

      RC

  8. Hanting Hu

    I feel “Understanding Discourse Communities” by Dan Melzer is boring. The piece has a lot of information, but it can’t catch my interest. The discourse community has broadly agreed with the common public goal; the communication mechanism between members; use its participation mechanism to provide information and feedback; one or more types promote its goals; it also acquires some specific vocabulary and has an expert level. The shared goal is to entertain, appreciate, learn, and become a better guitarist. For example, “These monthly gatherings are for entertainment, enjoying music and learning new songs.” Meltzer’s guitar group’s intercommunication mechanism among members was Meetup.com to shared information about when and where they played, exchanged when and where they played. Example of the specific lexis (language) that Meltzer’s guitar jam group used is chords and solo. Beginners and experts work together to watch each other in turn, helping the beginners learn the difference.

  9. Arlene Perez

    1. I personally did not find the essay interesting, but it was informative and can be of use in this writing class.
    2. According to Dan Melzer and John Swale all discourse communities have in common are: “A broadly agreed upon set of common public goals. Mechanisms of intercommunication among members. Use of these communication mechanisms to provide information and feedback. One or more genres that help further the goals of the discourse community. A specific lexis (specialized language). A threshold level of expert members.”
    3. The shared goals of Melzer’s guitar jam group were “having fun, enjoying the music, and learning new songs”.
    4. Meltzer’s guitar group’s mechanism of intercommunication among members were through a website called “meetup.com’’. At the physical jam sessions, they used “handouts with chords and lyrics” to provide information to everyone attending.
    5. Meltzer defines genres by making a comparison to different features in types of music and by comparing different types of music. His guitar jam group used the “meetup.com” site as a genre to provide information on the group and to “help recruit new members”. The second genre the group used were the “handouts with chords and lyrics” providing the same musical information to everyone so they could play the same songs at the jam sessions and follow along.
    6. Some examples of “lexis language” that Meltzer’s guitar jam group used are talking about the “root note of scale” or “a 1/4/5 chord progression”. The used specific terms that related to music to communicate in their discourse community.
    7. The beginners and experts in Meltzer’s guitar jam group worked together by helping expand each other’s musical knowledge. The experts helped the beginners learn how to play certain notes or chords while the beginners brought new lyrics that the experts had never played before.
    8. A discourse community I belong to is the veteran organization called “The American Legion Association”. It’s a non-profit organization that helps veterans transition from the “military” life to the “civilian” life. The American Legion entails of many more things than just assisting veterans, we also conduct events in local communities to assist veteran families in need, food drives, charitable work, etc.

    • Rebekah Coleman

      Arlene,

      Thanks for your honest feedback. I am sorry you found the piece boring but I am glad that you learned a lot from it. I am looking forward to learning more about the American Legion!

      RC

  10. Elma Kastrat

    1. I found this piece boring. It didn’t catch my attention. While I was reading it I felt like I’m reading something less important for our community.
    2. According to John Swale there were six features that all discourse communities have. The first one was a widely agreed upon collection of common community strategies. The second one was the intercommunication process among the representatives. The third one was the use of these methods of communication to provide knowledge and input. The fourth one was one or more genres that assist to further the discourse community objectives. The fifth one was a particular specialized language. The sixth one was a threshold level for experienced members.
    3. The shared goals of Meltzer’s guitar jam group were made for having fun, enjoying the music, and learning new songs. He is comparing them with “guitar players” for whom he said that they are not discourse communities because they don’t have the same goals and they don’t interact with each other.
    4. Meltzer’s guitar group’s mechanism of intercommunication among members was the site Meetup.com. They shared their information about when and where they are playing and to communicate with each other outside of the night of the guitar jam. They used these methods to share chords and lyrics of the songs, so that they can get critical information from community members and see what they think about their group and songs.
    5. Maltzer defines genre with music. The Meltzer’s guitar jam group used two primary genres. The first one was the site Meetup.com where they provided critical opinion from people who were already members to help them get new members. The second one were song chords and lyrics to help people play along and follow the singer.
    6. An example of the specific lexis (language) that Maltzer’s guitar group used was the root note of scale, a 1/4/5 chord progression putting a capo on different frets, double drop D tuning, and so on. If someone couldn’t identify what key their song was they used this language to communicate.
    7. The beginners and experts in Maltzer’s guitar jam worked together. They helped each other and let each other take their turns when it was their time to sing, play the guitar, and everyone brought songs to play.
    8. I didn’t belong before to any Discourse Community. If that happens one day I would like to be like a music group because I like music or the handball team because handball is my favorite sport.

    • Rebekah Coleman

      Elma,
      Thanks for your honest feedback! I am sorry you found the piece boring but I am glad that you learned about discourse communities. I think now that we have talked more, you have realized that in fact, you do belong to multiple DCs!

      RC

  11. Pedro Flores

    I liked this piece because the author began with a story of him being the first writing teach and transferring into a rockstar And how he joined a community that plays guitar. I was reading this throughout my weekend and on my way to work. It was a little hard focusing because there was a lot information and sometimes I’ll loose focus. Overall I enjoyed it and like the beginning of the reading. The features the discourse community have is communication, different types of genre, giving feedback, language, and experienced members. The shared goal is to practice how to play guitar and learn how to play the guitar. “having fun, enjoying the music…”. Meltzers group used the website Meetup.com and define music as a genre. They all worked together helping each other out. One group i might belong to is maybe a soccer team because soccer is my favorite sport.

    • Rebekah Coleman

      Pedro,
      I am glad that you enjoyed the piece! Thanks for sharing your feedback!

      RC

  12. Jeimi Bravo

    I had many mixed feelings about this piece, the beginning was funny because I used to play the game guitar hero but because of the story it is started with but reading more into the text I can not say I was bored but it didn’t catch my attention to make me want to read it again. I did learn a few new things which are always interesting. John Swale discussed commonly shared goals, interacting with community members, provided feedback, comparing information, different genres, having resources of expert information, and different language. The shared goal of Meltzer guitar jam was to enjoy the moment, have fun while you become better, and improve on your skills. Meltzer provided a lot of useful information and had a website Meetup.com so others can know when and where they would play and get helpful feedback on how to improve. Meltzer compares genres by comparing features and Lexus and uses two primary genres. When the group used specialized terms it was because it was necessary but not because they felt as if they needed to. A Discourse community that I might belong to is volleyball, I’ve always been really into sports and I enjoyed playing volleyball.

    • Rebekah Coleman

      Jeimi,

      Thanks for your honest feedback. I am glad you learned something from the piece, even if it was a little boring! I can’t wait to learn more about your DCs!

      RC

  13. Jsantana

    I did enjoy reading this piece because you can the author is very devoted to his discourse community. Also, he was very engaged and proud to be apart of the guitar discourse community and shared with the reader his experience with everything. As for a discourse community, everyone involved has a common opinion or idea that they all share. Secondly, participants always provide information or ideas that everyone can appreciate and help reach their goals. For the author’s particular discourse community one goal was to practice the guitar and to advance in their skill levels. The group insured this by using things that would help each other with guitar playing. Such as music sheets to certain songs or sharing tips on how to play better. Furthermore, one of the genres for the community was meet.com which is where they would converse with each other. One example of the lexis that the author’s discourse group used was the 1/4/5 cord method. This was a shortcut that helped everyone in the community interpret song notes. The experts held meetings for everyone that included beginners and there they brought their own songs and they all participated in playing with their guitars. One discourse community that I might belong to is the sneakers community because I love sneakers. I invest most of my money and time in buying them. Also, I feel as though every sneaker is very unique and has its own story. Whether it’s the color way or the curators that collaborated to make the sneaker.

    • Rebekah Coleman

      Jorlyn,

      I am glad that you enjoyed the piece! Thanks for sharing your feedback!

      RC

  14. Jsantana

    I did enjoy reading this piece because you can the author is very devoted to his discourse community. Also, he was very engaged and proud to be apart of the guitar discourse community and shared with the reader his experience with everything. As for a discourse community, everyone involved has a common opinion or idea that they all share. Secondly, participants always provide information or ideas that everyone can appreciate and help reach their goals. For the author’s particular discourse community one goal was to practice the guitar and to advance in their skill levels. The group insured this by using things that would help each other with guitar playing. Such as music sheets to certain songs or sharing tips on how to play better. Furthermore, one of the genres for the community was meet.com which is where they would converse with each other. One example of the lexis that the author’s discourse group used was the 1/4/5 cord method. This was a shortcut that helped everyone in the community interpret song notes. The experts held meetings for everyone that included beginners and there they brought their own songs and they all participated in playing with their guitars. One discourse community that I might belong to is the sneakers community because I love sneakers. I invest most of my money and time in buying them. Also, I feel as though every sneaker is very unique and has its own story. Whether it’s the color way or the curators that collaborated to make the sneaker.

  15. Jsantana

    I did enjoy reading this piece because you can the author is very devoted to his discourse community. Also, he was very engaged and proud to be apart of the guitar discourse community and shared with the reader his experience with everything. As for a discourse community, everyone involved has a common opinion or idea that they all share. Secondly, participants always provide information or ideas that everyone can appreciate and help reach their goals. For the author’s particular discourse community one goal was to practice the guitar and to advance in their skill levels. The group insured this by using things that would help each other with guitar playing. Such as music sheets to certain songs or sharing tips on how to play better. Furthermore, one of the genres for the community was meet.com which is where they would converse with each other. One example of the lexis that the author’s discourse group used was the 1/4/5 cord method. This was a shortcut that helped everyone in the community interpret song notes. The experts held meetings for everyone that included beginners and there they brought their own songs and they all participated in playing with their guitars. One discourse community that I might belong to is the sneakers community because I love sneakers. I invest most of my money and time in buying them. Also, I feel as though every sneaker is very unique and has its own story. Whether it’s the color way or the curators that collaborated to make the sneaker.

  16. BrandonP

    1. I did not find the essay interesting at all but it did have important information that helps with the writing piece we were assigned for our own discourse communities.

    2. According to Dan Melzer and John Swale all discourse communities have in common are: “A broadly agreed upon set of common public goals.
    Mechanisms of intercommunication among members.
    Use of these communication mechanisms to provide information and feedback.
    One or more genres that help further the goals of the discourse community.
    A specific lexis (specialized language).
    A threshold level of expert members.”

    3. The shared goals of Melzer’s guitar jam group were to have fun, enjoy music, and learn new songs.

    4. Meltzer’s guitar group’s mechanism of intercommunication amongst all the members was through a website called meetup.com. They would use handouts with chords and lyrics to provide information to everyone attending.

    5. Meltzer defines genres by making a comparison to different features in types of music and by comparing different types of music. His guitar jam group used the meetup.com site and handouts with chords and lyrics as a genre to bring together the group and recruit others as well as share the ways with each other.

    6. Some examples of “lexis language” that Meltzer’s guitar jam group used are talking about the root note of scale. They used this specific term that related to music so they were able to communicate in their community.

    7. The beginners and experts in Meltzer’s guitar jam group worked together by helping strengthen each other’s musical knowledge. The experts helped the beginners learn how to play while the beginners brought up new lyrics that the experts had never played before in their life.

    8. A discourse community I belong to is sneakerheads. We all get together to fantasize, enjoy, and collect shoes that bring great feelings to ourselves.

  17. Christina Bethelmy

    This piece was very interesting and I liked the story, and the author referred to how different genres are used socially. It was very relatable and the discourse community features that were present were about group members and common goals.

    • Christina Bethelmy

      Also, the author explains genres by comparing it to different ones, etc. He was proud to be associated with the guitar discourse community and compared with the reader his experience in detail. As a discourse community, everyone involved in it shares similar thoughts/ideas that they all can relate to. People can show information that others can use to help achieve different or the same dreams/goals. One of the ideas/goals represented in this piece was to practice the guitar and rise in their skill levels.

    • Rebekah Coleman

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