Assignment Description:(The chosen field of study is economics or Math You can choose either one)

You will record and submit an online presentation that analyzes the writing expectations and community of practice within a chosen field of study at your institution. You will analyze the distinctive style of communication within a disciplinary field. You will base your analysis on syllabi of courses that are in the field of study, any informal interviews you conduct with professors and students of your chosen field of study, and any research conducted on the kinds of books used, websites on the subject area, where writing is published, and expectations of writing assignments in your institution’s courses. You may also consider spoken, written, and nonverbal communication as certain glances, gestures, body language, attitudes, and dress codes.

Explain to your readers the importance of the “codes of communication” within this discourse community. You may also include a list of handbooks or places where they can find essential information. For example, if you are writing about the discipline of Psychology, you will want to make sure you include the DSM-V in your discussions. If you are in the medical field, you may wish to include Gray’s Anatomy Textbook by Henry Gray (not the tv show).


You will be writing to your peers who are interested in entering the discipline you are analyzing, but who have not yet been exposed to it. Therefore, you are writing to a community of peers who are not in the discipline (think freshman students).


The essay should have a thesis (controlling idea) that directs the action of the essay and provides an interesting and detailed take on the language patterns in your chosen field. Remember, your essay will not take an explicit stance on the right or wrong of the community’s values – you are not arguing for any particular position, but instead breaking down how community identity is strategically created through writing and rhetoric, among others. Therefore, your thesis will not make a value argument about how good or bad the community is in what it does; instead, your thesis should make a claim about how the community is patterned or structured by genres of writing it uses and the connected values it calls on to support itself.


You may use any online presentation software. This includes (and is not limited to): Microsoft Powerpoint, Google Slides, Prezi, Keynote, Pre-recorded video. You will need to make sure the link is accessible and your provide permissions for people with the link, so that we are all able to view your presentation.

Guiding Questions:

Your essay should analyze the academic discourse community by looking beyond the obvious.

  • What discipline is your field of study in? What does this discipline study? What questions do they ask? What is the focus of their inquiry? (Human behavior, natural phenomenon, interpretations of text, social movements, historical events).
  • What methodologies do they use? What strategies for gathering data and information do they use (quantitative, qualitative, mixed)?
  • What are the expectations of writing in this field? What does writing look like? Is the writing formal, lengthy sentences, with the use of adjectives and adverbs, etc.?
  • What is the difference between language expectations in this field and in other discourse communities?
  • What are the codes of communication? Are there any communication patterns that this discipline must adhere to?
  • What are you expected to already know when you enter the field (what were you taught in the introductory courses to your discipline)?
  • What are you expected to learn, value, or believe in order to successfully become a part of this discourse community?
  • How do you exhibit that you are a part of this discourse community?
  • What is the predominant language style, rhetorical appeal, or ways of thinking, believing and doing in this discipline?
  • What is the purpose of documentation in this field? Look at the peer-reviewed articles, how do they use references? (Is the focus on names, dates, or both? Why? What is valued in this discipline, empirical studies or expressions of ideas?)
  • What genres are you expected to write in? What genres have you already written in or have been asked to read in your discipline (case studies, novels, textbooks, coding, lab reports, etc.)
  • What communication rituals do you notice in this community of practice?

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