A Case Study Of Reddit As A Discourse Community

Initial Midterm Draft

Revision Proposal

New--Revised Midterm Piece

Revision Self Assessment

The revision project piece was pretty daunting to me when I first sat down to write it, and I must admit that I don't feel any better having finally written it. I bit off way more than I could chew and as I reread my work I realize that it deviates from what I had wanted to accomplish. I still believe it to be a success, though, because it is my very first serious attempt at writing to the audience of linguists and academics, and my attempt at this seems to me to have been a rather decent one. The original piece sought to prove the Reddit is a discourse community and the revision is my attempt at expanding on the concept of genre within this discourse community. As it turns out, genre plays a very adhesive and authoritative role within the community and in discussing some of the genres commonly found on the particular sub-Reddit, r/atheism, I tried to explain what significant role they play and why they are so important to the goals of the community.

I chose genres as the new direction for the piece because it was pointed out to be during the revision process that I mentioned the concept several times throughout the piece without ever leaving the reader with any closure about it. It was clear that genre plays a big part in the community and I would do well to bring it up. I had a lot of trouble figuring out how I would accomplish that because I felt it was a broad and difficult concept to even grasp. As a Redditor, I had never actually given enough conscious thought to the genres I had chosen, but as it turns out I was always subconsciously choosing the one that would make my message viewed often. If I was using a meme, I would be doing it because my message is funny or really relatable, or just happened to fit perfectly into the stock situation behind a meme.

My methodology for the revision cannot be described as anything more than thorough observation. At some point I wanted to keep a tally of how many memes make it to the front page every day, or how many Facebook screen shots, or famous quotes etc. As I reflect, that might have given me some very interesting qualitative data that I might have analyzed in some new way.

I was quite proud of myself for accomplishing my goal of using in text citations in this revision. Granted, they were mostly in the same area of the essay, but I feel that because most of the essay is an explanation of things on Reddit, it is really the definitions that need warrants or sources from other sociolinguists. I think my least successful portion was the one that actually talks about how genres on Reddit have significant roles. I feel like that entire section is hopelessly redundant but I couldn't really figure out how to combine it with the other, similar portion from above it.

Overall, I found this project and my specific idea for it daunting from the start, and I had had a lot of difficulty focusing on it. I am not particularly happy about the circumstances through which I was writing this essay. The end of the semester had a very bad impact on my overall well being and I could not force myself to properly write this for nearly a week after it was due. Each time I sat down to write I could only accomplish a little bit as I was having trouble finding motivation and inspiration. As a result, parts of the essay are redundant and don't quite fit the way I had intended when I first set this goal. However, the essay is still a good source of information on how people communicate on Reddit and it is relatable to most social networks and forums on the internet; this is significant because cyber communication ought to be studied because it has great implications for the way in which genre is used in modern times.

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