A Discourse community is defined as ‘a group of people who share a set of engagements, understood as basic values and assumptions, and ways of communicating about those goals (Downs, Parkinson, Inglis, & Kirkwood, 2007).The discourse community to that I will talk about is Mechanical Engineering Technology at Central Washington University a course that many students pursues including myself at the university. In the discourse community the primary area of focus is on community development, with the students hoping to pursue developmental initiatives that would help to promote the levels of growth and development in their communities. As a discourse community, Mechanical Engineering Technology adheres to all the six characteristics of any discourse community and meets the minimum threshold as entailed in Gee’s article (Downs, Parkinson, Inglis, & Kirkwood, 2007). The engagement between the learners and the professors is often interesting, with the students hoping to attain their desires and dreams through the course. In Gee’s discourse community, mechanical engineering technology is placed under the Big ‘D’ category. Primary, this is because of the breadth of scope and the extent to which it affects the general society.
According to Swales, a discourse community should meet at least six characteristics, including meeting common public goals; methods of communication amongst the different; participatory communication method; a genre that provides a definition of the group; Alexis; and standard knowledge needed for membership into the discourse community (Hyland, 2008). First, Mechanical Engineering Technology serves to meet public goals in many ways.
Primarily, the goals of the discourse community are to ensure the institution of various development projects in the community and to create various innovations. For instance, Mechanical Engineering Technology is responsible for the development of road networks and other structural developments. The roads or structural developments serve the public’s interests and help ensure that everyone travels conveniently (Stahl, Zhou, & Toledo, 2006).
As such, it makes the discourse community an important aspect of society and helps serve the interests and needs of the society.
Secondly, in terms of communication amongst the professionals in Mechanical Engineering technology, the discourse community qualifies to be unique because of the consistency with which it does its communication. First, the community discourse has its own jargons and terminologies. In so doing, it ensures that the communication is done in specific codes to ensure that only qualified personnel enjoy the communication. For every communication in the profession, individual use specific terms and forms of communication (Swales, 2016). It is for this reason, in part, that it is hard for most of the people to understand Engineering language, ensuring that there is no misuse of communication or sharing of information in a manner that might affect professional ethics. For instance, in places where Mechanical Engineers speak, other professionals, like nurses and lawyers, are likely to experience communication inefficiencies and difficulties. For this reason, Mechanical Engineering is considered to have some traits of a discourse community.
Additionally, the discourse community has a specific genre that provides its definition. While the discourse the writer has chosen is a course that is pursued at the University, there are specific qualifications that students are expected to meet before their admission to the courses. The failure to meet the minimum requirements for admission to the course is one of the reasons students are denied an opportunity to get admissions to the course. As a discipline, the course is largely categorized as an engineering course, with most of the professionals in the course sharing basic knowledge and understanding of various concepts. For instance, as part of the engineering departments, professionals in the course are able to understand specific abbreviations and make correct interpretations of terminologies (Swales, 2016). The contents and concepts entailed in Mechanical Engineering Technology are defined by specific interests and needs of the community, with the students relying on course outlines and expected outcomes as guidelines for their studies.