Professional Discourse Community Map

We have defined the concept of a “discourse community” as a social collective that communicates, in part, using written texts, but also shares common goals, values, writing standards, specialized vocabulary, and specialized genres. As we have learned, writing is a social act--an act of connecting with others for multiple purposes.

The purpose of this assignment, then, is to examine how your writing is shaped by and shapes the various professional discourse communities you belong to.

Compose: You will construct a discourse community map that outlines the various professional discourse communities you belong to or will belong to and the different literacies you will need to be a member of these communities.

Design: As you begin, you might want to look at various concept models (see attached examples) to inspire a design as you begin to construct your discourse community map. More templates can be found online by using search keywords like “concept map templates.” You need to consider what the goals are for each discourse community. How do the goals shape how and what they provide in terms of communication (oral, visual, written)?

Design Plan: These areas need to be addressed in your Professional Discourse Community Map :
• What are the conventions of the discourse community?
• What are the typical genres used by the members of the community?
• What subjects are written on or about in this discourse community?
• What specialized language is used and why? (provide examples)
• How does one become a member of this discourse community?

Product Testing: You will turn in your Discourse Map in hardcopy on 3/6/09 at the beginning of class. You also may be asked to present your Discourse Community Map in class for discussion where we will evaluate and discuss your choice of concept map, the various discourse communities identified, the characteristics of each discourse community, and the various literacies (oral, visual, written) found within each discourse community.

Adapted from Fall, 2008 UTEP Critical Writing and Rhetoric packet, p.14.

Discourse Community Map Type 1




O.W. rev. 12/08

For educational purposes only.


Owen M. Williamson - Education Bldg 211E - phone: (915) 747 7625 - fax: (915) 747 5655
The University of Texas at El Paso - 500 W. University Ave. - El Paso, TX 79968
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