The Canoe Club

Blog » The Canoe Club

Posted on 08 Mar 2013 01:02

The group I chose is the concrete canoe club at CCNY which is a student activity in our college. The club is an attractive and popular organization of civil department. Thus, I picked the website of the canoe club department to introduce and analyze discourse community.

John Swales defined discourse community as “Groups that have goals or purposes, and use communication to achieve these goals.” As he said, the group should have a goal or purpose to achieve through communication. The concrete canoe club at CCNY is obviously a discourse community. First of all, the shared goal of the group is that all the members want to fabricate and race a canoe against people from other colleges and they also want to win the competition on an international stage. The things they care most must be the winning of the competition. A win can bring everyone honor, respect and better comments which are helpful after they graduate. Some other factors they care about may be the experience that they can learn skill and ability through the teamwork and communication during the competition. Furthermore, joining the group can also give every member a chance to get scholarship; students can make money by doing the canoe.

The document in the website is actually an announcement and description of the concrete canoe club. It’s distinct that the website can strongly help the community members achieve their goals. It described detailed information of how to be a member and what each member needs to do for the project. It’s an attractive announcement which helps the group recruit people to contribute innovative ideas. In addition, the webpage also lists the names and contact information of staffs of the department. Such as president: Cynthia Wang, vice president: Tung For Ko, secretary: Ronald Ademaj and treasurer: Francisco Amarante. These talents are directly helpful people to the community. Usually, the members of the club are always from the civil department especially the students. Thus, the contact information listed on the webpage make it easier and more helpful for the members in the group and those who are deciding to join the community.

There are several specific lexis used in the document. For instance, the word “Level” is a technical lexis. “The concrete canoe” and “construction” are lexis of civil engineering. Moreover, the words “analytical modeling” and “research” are also terminology. The author of the document is Cynthia Wang, the president of the concrete canoe department. Obviously, she is an insider of the community. She is the president and the leader of the project. She does not only give students advices but also lead the group to move forward. Therefore, I regard her as an insider of the community. Meanwhile, she is talking to outsiders through the document. The reason is that she seems to illustrate to people who are interested in but do not know much about the concrete canoe. In addition, the document is an expository text of genre. It gives the examples and information to identify and explain the concrete canoe.

In conclusion, the website I chose to analyze is a typical example of introducing an engineering group. The concrete canoe club at CCNY is distinctly a discourse community. As Swales said, discourse community is “Groups that have goals or purpose, and use communication to achieve these goals.”

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