Ron is a Swell Guy

Harris and company refer to the way we write in a manner which can be summarized by our experiences. They state that our writing style comes not from our “discourse community” or our selves, as they see it we can neither write wholly in one manner or the other. Thus our writing must be a combination of all of our communities and ourselves, to say that we create our individual styles because we cannot separate ourselves entirely from our other communities. I agree with them on this point and think that logically it makes sense that we would bring our personality to our community writings, even if it may not be the most appropriate way of writing. Harris makes a good point that there should not be this expectation in academic discourse communities that the way “we” do things is proper and “they” are wrong, instead he thinks we should consider other pedagogues as equally valuable.

I really liked Ron’s excerpt about how other disciplines may not value the freedom offered by his writing course. In my academic experiences freedom is not only impossible, it is downright irrelevant. I have a decent amount of experience in Mathematics and less experience in Computer Science but in both discourse communities the idea of writing “freely’ isn’t possible. I suppose at the highest level of theoretical mathematics this sort of writing might exist but as a student I am not at liege to propose radical papers in an attempt to add to the community. Instead I am expected only to learn what has been discovered through thousands of years of hard work. As such I don’t value the idea of an academic discourse community at all. Honestly, I think this could only ever apply to liberal arts and has no real place in the worlds of Math or Computer Science. The reason I like Math and Computer Science is because there isn’t this sort of grey area of right/wrong, there is a very straight forward right and wrong and only the highest level of experts are allowed to argue otherwise. I do see value in what Harris writes about in other academic communities but I’d like to keep myself distanced from the notions exhibited. Like Ron said “I won’t break out because I have this bad habit, it’s called eating”. I have to say I like Ron, much more so than Harris or Swales, he seems like a swell guy.

As far as the relation between Harris’ ideas and Swales’ I noticed that while Harris does not disagree with Swales neither does he wholly agree. Instead I’d like to think Harris liked Swales’ idea but saw the flaws in it as well. Harris points out that by Swales’ definition leads us to fall back onto a warmly persuasive stance on communities. I think Harris’ main ideas line up with Swales’ but the way Swales addresses them is too unopposed. Without a counter to community the term loses significant meaning and Harris knows that. Overall I think Harris and Swales both make good points about discourse communities and I see no reason why both can’t be right.

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