1020 Session Three: Discourses and Genre

Today’s Agenda:

  • Responses to Gee. What is a primary Discourse? A secondary Discourse? How relevant are they to your college writing experiences?
  • Project One
  • Project Two
  • Rhetorical Situation and Genre

Make a list of all the different Discourses, or scenes, that you participate in and outside of college.  With one or two partners, discuss your lists and see where they overlap.  Answer the following questions together:

  • Who are the participants?
  • How are participants expected to behave and interact with each other?
  • What mode and style of communication is used?
  • What specific topics are of interest?

Today we’re going to look at personal blogs as one genre that is used in certain discourse communities to communicate individuals’ ideas about topics. In particular, in preparation for Project One, we are going to look at the about me or about pages on these blogs to see what they look like (what textual features they have) and what they are meant to do (what the social function is). Thinking about how the design of the text connects to the purpose of the text will help you think about how you want to put Project One together, but also about how genre, purpose, audience, writer, and context all work together as part of the rhetorical situation.

So as we look at these blog examples today, we’ll talk about

-What does the text look like?

-What impact does that design have on the purpose and audience?

The features we catalogue in these pages may be things you’ll want to incorporate into your own about me pages in Project One.

“About Me” example 1

“About Me” example 2

“About Me” example 3

“About Me” example 4




  • Wayne Writer chapter 1, “Understanding Scenes of Writing” 3-25, 41-45
  • The Concept of Discourse Community” by John  Swales
  • Using this list, or Google, find a blog related to your major, career path, or personal interest.  Read a post or two to get a feel for the blog and blogger(s). Post the URL of your chosen blog on your wordpress site.


  • Begin drafting your “About Me” page.
  • Post Two: Blog Analysis

    • Write an evaluation (@ 300-500 words) describing the blog you found above by 11:59 pm, Wed. 9/10/14
    • Discuss:
      • Blogger and hosting site
      • Readers and their characteristics
      • What the blogger(s) want their readers to do
      • The ways the blogger(s) influence readers’ attitudes and actions
      • How well these objectives were met (or not).
      • Post this to your wordpress or other blog by 11:59 pm, Wed. 9/10/14
  • Project One is due by 11:59 pm Sunday, September 14, 2014
  • Project Two is due by 11:59 Sunday, September 28, 2014

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