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Comparing Two Discourse Communities

In this essay, you'll be using the skills developed writing the Discourse Analysis to compare and contrast essays written within two different discourse communities on the same subject. When comparing/contrasting (a common request in college writing) you want to be sure to point out both similarities and differences. It's not very interesting to read a paper which shows how two things are "exactly alike" (especially if they're not), and if the two things are completely different, your reader might wonder why you're writing about them together at all!

The key question you'll answer is "How does the intended audience (or discourse community) affect these two writers' approaches to this subject?"

You're answering the key question for a professor of a class on your group's topic. She is trying to decide which of these two readings is more appropriate for the class to read and has asked you to read and compare them. You can either offer a suggestion (if one essay is clearly more appropriate) or just stick to showing their similarities and differences clearly enough for her to be able to make an informed decision.

Your goals: Once again, you'll want to use detail to support your claims about the two essays. In this case, the details will be examples from the essays themselves. You'll also want to focus your essay on a particular claim about how the two essays are alike and/or different. (Be sure to account for the similarities and differences by referring to the authors' different target audiences.) Finally, you'll want to carefully consider your organization so that you are able to talk about the two essays together without confusing your reader.

Strategies for completing the essay include these: