Major Writing Assignment #2: Discourse Community Website

(Student Learning Outcome A: Rhetorical Situation and Purpose)


In this second major writing assignment of the semester, you will be creating a website that discusses a discourse community that you belong to.

Why a Discourse Community Website?

In order to fully understand the rhetorical situations we encounter, we have to examine the social and linguistic constructs of the various groups we interact with. Analyzing these groups gives us valuable information about culture, language usage, membership requirements, and more. It sets us up for success when we then need to turn around and write to this community as an audience. The website portion of this assignment is simply to get you using a new genre for your work and teaches you how to use Adobe Spark, a free state-of-the art media creation tool.

What is a Discourse Community Website?

A Discourse Community Website showcases your findings on a particular group of people who share a community. The website communicates the uniqueness of this community and the complexity of the members, language use, and the surrounding rhetorical situation. As a website, it is situated in a public place, offering both insiders and outsiders a view of the community.

How do I write a Discourse Community Website?

Begin by choosing a discourse community that you chose to join (voluntary vs. compensatory). Then begin noting

  • the unique culture of the community,
  • how it was created,
  • how you joined it,
  • your interactions with other members,
  • what distinct words and phrases are unique to the group,
  • and the general rhetorical situation (audience, purpose, situation) of the communication.

After you have made note of these things, you can begin crafting an outline for your website. Think about the main pages you want to showcase and if there are any subpages to those. Think about your public audience and what they need to know to understand the community. Then, as you start drafting pages, begin thinking about what visuals (photos, text colors, fonts, embedded videos) you want to use to further communicate about this group. Finish writing and revising and then turn it in!

Labor-based Requirements for a B grade

  • Create a website using Adobe Spark or Google Sites
  • Have at least 5 distinct pages/subpages on the website
  • Describe your community and how you intersect with it (joining and participation)
  • Describe the unique cultural, lingual (related to language), and rhetorical moves made in this community
  • Use appropriate visuals (text and color choices, related photos or videos)

Additional Requirements for an A grade

  • Quality content (goes above just an initial draft or fully explores ideas)
  • Excellent visual use (color palette, appropriate fonts, sizes, inclusion of personal photos)