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Discussion: Devitt, Bawarshi, & Reiff Yolanda: Having read this article, I can somewhat grasp what a genre is and

its purpose. A genre, correct me if I'm wrong, is basically a material used by professionals, specialists etc. to write down the language of their community and used for nonmembers to interpret. Like a medical chart is to a doctor, or as used in the article, a tax form is to a tax specialist vice versa. Genres are difficult to decipher if you are not a part of that community and members of said communities expect ordinary people to know the language and interpret its procedures. The article describes that different people have different values and beliefs and based on those values, that is how most will interpret a genre. Without sharing a common goal, genre interpretations will always be different, but if you are a part of that discourse community and being that you share the same goals and lexis, it should not be a problem. I believe by using ethnography as a way to study a discourse community is a beneficial way to learn their genre. It's like becoming a part of that community to study how they work and speak to better interpret their underlying meaning of existence. So if genres are sometimes exposed to nonmembers, why not make it understandable for those people? Or like the jury in the courtroom example, why use so many difficult terminology and expect ordinary people to decide whether or not someone will be convicted? Even by breaking up words and giving definitions, the genre is still difficult to understand because it is used in different context. So, even if one is using everyday vocabulary, the context that it is being used in, gives it an entirely different meaning. Peer Posts That Helped… Richard Ly: Compared to Amy Devitt's article "Generalizing about Genre", this article seems to focus more on real life situations concerning genre. In the first part of it, Devitt talks about Legal Genre. When Devitt talks about this particular genre, she explains the difficulty in

translating the instructions for the jury. In doing this, the lawyers making it out must keep it simple enough to the point where everyone would be able to understand the instructions while keeping the key legal points in it as well. Devitt looks over these instructions and attempts to make another version of the instructions to make it clearer and still keep the legal points; however, whenever she has lawyers and judges review it, it's turned down since her rewording of the instructions actually change the whole meaning and leaving out necessary legal issues. From this example, it shows the difficulty of translating instructions from a community to someone who is not apart of that community. Anis Bawarshi talked about the Medical Genre, using the Patient Medical History Form (PMHF) as an example of a genre. Providing this as an example was an excellent way of explaining the use of genres. In the medical community, PMHF's are used everyday to exchange information of a patient with ease. Using these forms, it has resulted in the use as being rhetorical. By this I mean that doctors and nurses may end up calling a patient "the patient in room 3" or "the patient with an ankle fracture"; over time, the use of a genre will make situations repetitive and rhetorical. Mary Jo Reiff explains the usefulness of genres in her part of this article. When Reiff talks about Susan, the upcoming law student, Reiff talks about how Susan used old law briefs to learn how novice members of this particular discourse community "became socialized to values, beliefs, and knowledge of the community". Using the genres of this community, Susan was able to learn the generic features of the briefs. When Reiff used this example, she wanted to explain the importance of using the genres; If you were able to understand the lexis, or language of the community, you would have a much higher understanding of what it means to be a member of the community. Kevin Buscemi: This article by Devitt was much easier to comprehend, and she definitely elaborates on her conception of a genre much more. She made this easier to understand by using

the example of a court room throughout her writing. Genres basically serve to describe the discourse communities that they are used in. Anis Barwashi then went on to describe what a genre is as well but did so by using the example of a medical field. The authors explain how genres should be used to guide one, and in this specific example they relate it to a writer and their writing. The examples relate great to the text and the concept of genre and really help the reader to understand what exactly is going on. I would like to see some more examples of genres in discourse communities just to ensure that I properly understand the concept of the term. Overall this article was clearer than Devitt’s previous one and I am starting to grasp the concept of a genre. Why: These posts just put everything into perspective for me because they were just as confused as I, but after reading theirs I understood genre better. Plus I didn’t feel as bad for not knowing about genre beforehand.