Group Week 3

In “Literacy Discourse and Linguistics” Gee shares with us his thoughts on the different types of the discourse communities. Gee illustrates Discourses to be ““ways of being in the world; they are forms of life which integrate words, acts, values, beliefs, attitudes, and social identities as well as gestures, glances, body positions, and clothes.” Gee goes on to examine the Primary Discourse community which is involvement with social interactions, like your immediate family. The family or any other primary discourse community would lay the foundation for all of the rest of the discourse communities the individual joins later in life. Next on Gee’s list were Secondary Discourse communities, which are attained from social institutions like church, school, and work. Secondary Discourses are usually transitional throughout one’s life. Also, the individual more than likely is involved with more than just one Secondary Discourse. The Secondary Discourse community is split into two separate parts Dominate Discourse and Nondominate Discourse. In Dominate Discourse it generates “social goods”like money, status, and power, with this discourse an increase in status could be underway. In a Nondominate Discourse it brings “solidarity with a particular social network”, this community doesn’t really an increase in one’s status. A mushfake discourse is when people make do with what is available. Ann Johns speaks of mushfake and goes on to say that people can join dominant discourses by only knowing what it required for a discourse community. They do not have to be actively involved, but know the basics. One of the most important things about mushfake, in my opinion, is that it is the chameleon act of being accepted into a Discourse or environment. An example of mushfaking is dressing and talking differently for a job interview. Mushfaking is the product of society’s push for conformity for acceptance.

Gee explains to us that a discourse is something that can neither be taught nor learned in the class but instead is more like an“apprenticeship”, it has to be discovered through social interactions with people in that certain discourse community.“You can’t overtly teach anyone a Discourse in a classroom or anywhere else”(Gee 7). You have to be committed to learn a Discourse to be a “master”of it. Gee argues that there is no other way than to master the Discourse. The only way a Discourse community can survive is through the cycle of apprentice-master training.

The words discourse and a discourse community have similar meanings, both dealing with communication. A discourse is communication either written or spoken. A discourse community is a set of people who share some of the same language, values, and goals.  These aspects are one’s identity kit in their Discourse. Gee relates to our major research project because we will be researching are future discourse communities we wish to join. We would learn the language and goals of the people in our discourse community. To some of us our goal would be to master our major or in this case Discourse.


Gee’s Reading Response

Gee’s explanation of Discourse and all of it’s accessory terms and ideas is applicable to everyone’s life, even if they are unaware of it. He defines a Discourse as “ways of being in the world; they are forms of life which integrate words, acts, values, beliefs, attitudes, and social identities as well as gestures, glances, body positions, and clothes.” This is an extremely detailed definition that provides a broad umbrella over most, if not all, subcategories that make up a person. This definition can be described as one’s identity-kit, the summation of a person’s natural characteristics that were molded by a combination of different discourses. Almost as if each Discourse one is involved in has a “costume and instructions” to abide by the become a successful, master member. A primary Discourse is one that rules over a person’s life. Almost as if their “go-to” persona that has been engraved them for a long-standing time. My primary Discourse would be my family. I am in my rawest form around them and base my actions and opinions around how I was raised and experiences that I have had with them. A secondary Discourse is a Discourse that one becomes involved with later on in life after the primary Discourse. Although the primary Discourse shapes this person’s actions, speech, expressions, etc., one may be influenced by what or who they surround themselves with. An example of this would be a secondary Discourse in my life being my coworkers and job. Although they play a large role in my life, who I am at work is not necessarily who I am with my family or peers. It is possible, and probable, that one will have more than one active secondary Discourse. Also, secondary Discourses are more likely to be transitional and temporary than primary Discourses. Mushfaking is one of my favourite terms in Discourse. It is the chameleon act of being accepted into a Discourse or environment. An example of mushfaking is dressing and talking differently for a job interview. The job resume is probably edited time and time again to filter out any personal touch on it to make it cookie-cutter for presentation to a stranger. The funny thing about mushfaking is that no matter how much one may disagree with conforming, societies hand in expectations is just too strong for one to ignore mushfaking in foreign situations.

Bazerman Reading Response

Bazerman’s piece illustrates several importances of genres in our world of interaction and communication. Bazerman argues that genre is a word with a stigmatized definition that is too limited for efficient purpose. He points out that genres are the “guideposts” to for members to become involved in a habitat or environment. This habitat or environment is also known as a discourse, which we have previously learned about through Swales. The most well-known definition of genre is far too traditional to allow new ideas and innovation to flow through into these discourses. The limited skeleton of genres is not efficient gateways into “environments for learning”. Bazerman points out that genres “shape thoughts we form and the communications by which we interact. How do these groups, or discourses, interact? A concept that I still need to adjust to is that textual features alone should not define genre; it is much more than that. Bazerman stresses that genre relies heavily upon “expressiveness and addresstivity” and that genre is about whom we share it with. Social relations through communication and speech play should be the focus of the evolving definition of genre. Unfortunately, genre has been engraved into my mind (and I am sure in many of my peers’ minds) as shallow textual features such as bullet-points and short paragraphs. The way I have decided to retrain my brain to understand the evolution of the term genre is through a science analogy. The translation of genre into a discourse is most impactful through speech and social relations, not text. Social relation is the genotype of genre, while textual features are the phenotype. Bazerman describes the connection of discourses and genres as “multidimensional”. This is why I find the analogy of phenotypes and genotypes so helpful. There is more than meets the eye when it comes to the translation of communication within a discourse. The more a member can understand the different angles, the more efficient that member is to it’s discourse.

Swales Reading Response

Swales’ writing speaks of the term “discourse” and what it means to writing technique and style.  A discourse in the literary sense defines a group that has common interests and ideas. There are two different types of discourses, primary and secondary discourses. A primary discourse is the main influence in one’s life. The primary discourse is usually constant for long periods of time and has the strongest pull. In my life, preparing myself in education to get into my career has been a primary discourse. Before my primary discourse in education, it was solely my family life. A few secondary discourses I am involved in are my job in service, being a student at Wayne State University, and my group of close-knit friends. Now that I have decided on my degrees in Criminal Justice and Psychology, I have two new secondary discourses I would like to become involved in. Although I am an amalgamation of primary and secondary discourses, each plays a special role in my life. Each of these roles require different ideas, interests, and communication. I use blackboard to communicate through my discourses of being a Wayne State Student and for getting involved in activities for my degrees. These would be more informal writing opportunities of these audiences. I may also need to use formal writing in these discourses for resumes or final research papers. Every situation is circumstantial and I need to be prepared with a genuine understanding of how to approach each discourse I am involved in.


Beaufort Reading Response

There were a few key points in the passage from Beaufort’s book that I found to be more then note-worthy.  One of them being the generalization of writing.  Beaufort acknowledges the hindrance of one-size-fits-all has on learning and production outcomes.  The obvious example of being able to be a chameleon of writing techniques would be two pieces such as this informal blog and a final portfolio.  I would argue that the micro-analyzation of genre is more difficult to learn and to teach than the previous example.  When I say micro-analaztion I am referring to a writer’s voice and writing patterns that are the causation of habit.  One of the most useful writing exercises that I have ever done was last semester when our instructor encouraged us to organize our thoughts for one paper in three different ways that we are not accustomed to.  My background of being my high school’s journalism and yearbook editor gave me experience and skill in writing, but I had never thought to brainstorm or draft my work in a variety of ways.  I did three different brainstorming activities which consisted of a visual web of ideas, free writing, and and a stiff outline of broad topics and thoughts.  I then took the products of those and began to draft off of each one individually.  I realized how much each papers’ path varied just because of how I put my ideas together.  That to me was the best lesson I have ever received on learning how to make sure my writing is not generalized and I believe that this was the message Beaufort was relaying to her readers.  When she explains “good writing” and “writing expertise”, I would relate those two terms to writing adaptability and flexibility.

As I had stated previously, I have experience as a newspaper and yearbook writer and editor.  I feel as if I am well versed in creative and informal writing.  I like to view writing as art.  Although these are my writing habits and voice, I have the understanding that not one size fits all in the writing world.  I am a Criminal Justice major with a minor in Psychology.  Every paper I write for these two fields is in APA style, which is much different than writing structure used in MLA format.  The one downfall of what Beaufort calls “freshman writing class” is that only MLA is covered (at least in my educational experience this holds true).  I went into classes specified for my degree blind to how to construct an effective paper in APA.

If this semester’s learning objectives had a mascot, I feel as if it would be Beaufort herself.  I enjoyed and share her opinions discussed in the passage.

English 3010 Introduction

ImageI am Kristin Holtz, which is an intricately woven web of potent primary and secondary discourses wrapped up into one concise name. The place my heart and mind call home is with my liberal, loving, hilarious family of my mother, father, and 20 year old brother. The four of us have always resided together in cities located in south-western Michigan. I would describe us as a puzzle; we all equally contribute to one outstandingly impressive unit. Although my brother and I are a first generation college students, my parents are plenty wise and extremely hard-working members of society. I was raised with the mindset to love, laugh, learn, and succeed. Between my irreplaceable family and marvelous friends, I have the best support system a 22 year old girl could dream for.

I have come a long way from my childhood when my mom read me enough books to fill an Olympic sized swimming pool, to holding the title of Editor in Chief for my high school’s yearbook and newspaper. I thoroughly enjoyed my Journalism and AP English class, and I have always had a soft spot for writing and making it into an art. I strongly encourage others to view writing as more than just spell-check, grammar, and sourcing. One of my most cherished lessons is being able to understand that writing is the key to raw communication, enlightening inspiration, and vividly expressing yourself. Sometimes, if you are lucky, it can lead to finding yourself. I often metaphor writing as chicken soup for the soul.

As cliche as it sounds, music has such an undeniably profound impact on who I am. If someone were to ask me where my favorite place on earth is, I would tell them that it is front row at my favorite band’s show. Ears ringing, mind buzzing, screaming lyrics that I have adopted as my own life anthem, and feeling like I am in a different universe. That is my definition of being on cloud 9. The combination of how the music makes me feel and think and the people whom I have connected with truly makes my scene of music an entirely different world.

In current day, I am a full-time student majoring in Criminal Justice and minoring in Psychology and a part time worker in the Service field. These two paired together, along with how hectic life can be, keep my mind stuck on overdrive. Good thing for me my mind works best while buzzing. I love Criminal Justice and Psychology because they are two fields that you can never find a concrete answer to. The goal is not to reach a certain standard, but to keep growing in research and ideas. That is my favourite part. My goal this year is to entwine myself more with being a Wayne State University student, and less of a candle burning at both ends. I am itching to make a point to pick a new direction and to make a new connection.


Also turned this into my About Me 🙂

Reflection 4

In bold are the sections of our brainstorming and pre-writing.  The regular texts are my thoughts/questions.


Employers agree that they were not train to improve their thinking skills or any kind of skill. such as problem solving, making decisions, or come up with plans.

How can communication of shoulder-to-shoulder training?  How can we define shoulder-to-shoulder training?


Changes needed to be made:

– Face to face meetings (regular) = full attention

– Being clear and understood = less misinterpretation

– Follow-ups = insuring problems were assessed

– Getting to know your workers (audience) = using the method of communication most efficient = avoiding problems that could arise easier and quicker

What are the consequences if these actions are not made?


Why this needs to change:

 – lazy

– lack of feedback

– not recognized

– unreachable goals

– stress

What are the consequences if these changes are not made?


What are the main structural differences in content of the evaluation and the proposal?

What aspects should make up the intro and the conclusion paragraphs/thoughts?