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Discourse Analysis

In Unit 1, we explored the issue of education as a class. In Unit 2, you'll be working in smaller groups, exploring an issue of your own choice. For this first essay, you'll again be developing a "group text" of possible sources. But this time, instead of just summarizing the ideas in them, you'll be looking at how those ideas are expressed and for what purpose.

The key question you'll answer is "How does this essay respond to its intended audience?" In other words, how does the writer organize and develop his/her ideas? How is the voice a response to the imagined/intended readers (its "discourse community")?

You're answering the key question for your group members, who are working with you to find a pool of sources that might be useful in the next essay for this class. They'll be counting on you for an accurate report on your source.

Your goals: Think of this assignment as preparation for the longer essay you'll be asked to write next (comparing and contrasting two essays on your topic written for two different audiences). As a group, you'll want to find as many different sources, targeted toward as many different audiences, as you can, so that when you sit down to write your essay you'll have plenty of essays to choose from. Individually, then, your goal is to "do your part" for the group by finding an interesting possible essay and offering a detailed analysis of it for your group to use.

Strategies for completing the essay include these: