“By ‘discourse’ I mean stretches of language which ‘hang together’ so as to make sense to some community of people.” James Paul Gee, Social Linguistics and Literacies, 112.
Choose an online or print publication. If you prefer, you might instead choose a company or brand (e.g. Groupon, or a company that targets a particular demographic or members who practice a particular hobby). Be sure to get approval from me regarding your publication before proceeding.
Read at least a dozen essays and spend some time getting a feel for the kinds of things they publish. Consider the tone, audience, and texture. What are the defining features of this discourse community? What are the social goods they value? What kinds of organization do the essays follow? What kinds of language or jargon do they employ? What are common terms or categories? What kinds of people run the publication and what kinds of people write for it?
In answering these questions, you will begin to draft a rhetorical analysis of the publication and the community of readers it imagines.
Write a four-page description of the publication that answers these questions and aims to familiarize a potential editor with the context he or she would be entering.