Defining Discourse Community

    Swales' 6 characteristics for the conceptualization of discourse community:

    1. "A discourse community has a broadly agreed set of common public goals."
    2. "A discourse community has mechanisms of intercommunication among its members."
    3. "A discourse community uses its participatory mechanisms primarily to provide information and feedback."
    4. "A discourse community utilizes and hence possesses one or more genres in the communicative furtherance of its aims."
    5. "In addition to owning genres, a discourse community has acquired some specific lexis."
    6. "A discourse community has a threshold level of members with a suitable degree of relevant content and discoursal expertise."


    Source: John Swales, The Concept of Discourse Community, Writing About Writing

    Breaking down definitions:

    Even though Swales himself says that in some sense his definitions are somewhat removed from reality, I still think he provides the clearest explanation of what a discourse community would be in a perfect world. 

    I define discourse community as a specific group that shares common language, ideas, and goals. 

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