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Engineering Discourse Community

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By awnalisa
Words 930
Pages 4
Awnalisa Walker

Discourse Community

The ability to communicate effectively is important in many aspects of live. From social lives to professional lives, conveying information within groups of people or communities serves several purposes. The different groups one communicates with to achieve these goals are called discourse communities. In a discourse community, the communication between its members is vital because it causes them to have shared knowledge and similar interests. Due to the different communities having distinct interests, the way they converse can be altered to best suit each group. For example, a group of doctors would talk about medical subjects unlike sport fans would talk about a sport. I am a mechanical engineering student and therefore identify with the engineering discourse community. In this field, the community use different platforms of communication to reach its members. The internet is an effective way of communicating with engineers and the website Engineering.com is a useful resource to share information. Engineering.com is a site used by engineering professionals or companies to communicate ideas and information with other people in the engineering community. I came across this website while searching for engineering websites on the internet. I would expect other people to find this site by the same means I did. What drew me into the site was what was said in the ‘About Us’ section. The site prides itself on bringing, “…the most influential voices in engineering to a worldwide audience of engineers.” This statement help make the site more professional and credible because it is telling the users that not just anyone can put information on the site and that the contents are created by people who know what they are talking about. On the site it also says, “Our goals are to work with content creators in every discipline and to build the most engaged audience across every distribution channel.” This shows that the site wants to keep its users interested in its contents and make sure that there is something for every type of engineer. Keeping users interested is important in a discourse community because it gives the community a chance to grow. The website is setup so that the site’s contributors or content creators publish articles about all of the different disciplines of engineering and other users communicate their thoughts and notions about the articles. The contributors to the site range for college professors to engineers working in the industry. The articles cover a whole spectrum of engineering topics and are for users with different experience levels. The language or vocabulary used in the articles can hint to the different types of users of the site. For example, the article titled “Diamond Nanothreads Push the Potential of Carbons” would require a user to have some knowledge about nanothreads and material structure which beginners in the engineering community might not have. Within the articles there are also some words that are specialized to this discourse community and would not be as useful in other communities. The vocabulary specialized for the community is the communities’ lexis. The lexis for this website is comprised of scientific words such as prototyping, nanotube, superconductor, etc. The lexis of a discourse community is important for the overall functioning of the group. It helps connect the users with each other and brings them together because they can relate to the vocabulary being used. Even though the words in the lexis may be more complex, the language for the website is otherwise casual. The layout for the website is organized in a way to draw in its users. The homepage is arranged with multiple pictures with their affiliated article titles in the center of the page. The pictures for the articles are colorful and lure people into choosing the article. Even though the pictures are there to be inviting, they are also informative and help the reader understand what the article is talking about. They are informative because some of the images are layouts to how things are put together or the results to an experiment. Other graphics on the page are the advertisements. The advertisements are all academic. The ads are either for engineering/design software like AutoCAD or colleges and universities. The advertisements for the site show that the community is focused on learning and furthering your engineering knowledge. On the top of the page there are tabs which lead the users to other pages like videos, games, jobs, and other engineering based subjects. Along with the tabs, there is a search box that will help the users go to the specific topic they are looking for. On the right side of the site there are sections for job postings and other resources that can be downloaded by the site’s users. These sections further the fact that the site is aimed to help members expand their knowledge and with their careers. The other graphics are ones used to promote the website. There are graphics to try and get the members to download the Engineering.com app. Also there are icons of the different social media sites to get people to subscribe to the websites social media pages like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. All of the graphics are consistent throughout the website to persuade the members to stay on the site or subscribe to the site’s social sites. Engineering.com and other websites provide a great platform to communicate with discourse communities. The websites ensure that most of its member will be capable of receiving the information on it. In a discourse community, communication is key to a better and well educated community.

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