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Essay on Discourse Community Reflection

ENGL 1301 is a broad and informative class, even only being in it for a few week I am already learning a lot. For example, these first few weeks of class I have been learning about the importance of the logos, pathos, and ethos appeals that are so important to the masterdom of the rhetorical situation. With these appeals a writer such as I, will be able to convince this class of my success in joining the discourse community of animal shelter volunteers. A discourse Community is a community of people who share not only knowledge about specific shared topics but also similar backgrounds, values, and share a common language.

I will prove in this paper that I successfully entered one of these discourse communities and was accepted by showing my credibility, giving knowledge specific only to one in the community, and showing my hold of sway over other member in the community. This paper will show that I have not only joined a discourse community successfully, but that I am able to join other-future-discourse communities. It will also enable me to, hopefully, make this discourse community, ENGL 1301-093, a more connected community with a deeper pool of shared knowledge.

Logos: Old and New Facts Working at the animal shelter as a volunteer wasn’t as hard for e as it was for some. I already had the prior knowledge of how to take care of animals that came along with being the caretaker for cats and dogs for many a year. I already knew about how cats need to have there litter boxes changed at least once a week, of course that changes depending on how many cats are using said box. I knew that dogs have to be walked at least every other day and have multiple play times throughout the day. I already had an affinity for sick or weak, call it a weird mothering gene, animals that needed more attention than others.

From this affinity I had been able to glean basic, very asic, knowledge of how to treat a wounded or neglected/ abused animal. For instance my dog Curious’s During my time at the shelter I was able to learn how to ACTUALLY help a wounded animal. For example if a dog has an eye infection you should gently splash some saline solution onto the eyes of the dog and than gently wipe it away. After that you should mix a teaspoon of salt in some warm water and carefully use a sterile cotton ball to wipe away any discharge that is visible from the eye and the surrounding area.

The theory of doing this was much easier than the application as most dogs don’t want to sit till let alone let you anywhere near their eye. This prior knowledge came in handy when was asked to take over for the vet during the course of treating a dogs eye infection. Ethos: Credibility Credibility is something that has to be earned through experience at the animal shelter at which I volunteer. You wouldn’t ask someone who has never dealt with a broken bone to reset one. My time in as a volunteer made me a valuable member because of the time I put into it, because of my experience and my knowledge.

For instance when I helped along the younger volunteers with their duties until they could et a hang of it themselves. They turned to me for guidance for such things as how to change a bandage or the doggy play time schedule. Others of a higher place among the community also turned for me for assistance. Examples such as trusting me to treat an eye infection by myself and to properly write up evaluations on the animals in the shelter. In fact I became so good at being able to correctly and extensively evaluate an animal that some of the vets, the “pros,” were asking for my opinion of animals as another pair of trained eyes.

I was also trusted to be able to properly handle at risk animals. By at risk nimals I mean dogs and cats that have been neglected or abused that showed signs of aggressions or isolations. These problems make it very hard to adopt them out as no one really wants an animals who is aggressive. So being able to ‘tame’ them was a special skill indeed, one that went very well with the ability to properly assess them for adoption. As stated above being able to write up accurate evaluations on the animals was about more than just their injures, its about their mental state, what type of personality they have.

At the animal shelter of which I volunteer they have a process by which they try to atch up animals and people for the best fit. To do this the people looking to adopt must fill out a form that basically asks what they like to do and what kind of dog or cat they want. Making up these pairs is not aways easy and sometimes when you have multiple people trying to match the same person things get a little messy. In one case we had a man come in who didn’t have much in the way of an active lifestyle. He was looking for a dog that matched that as he didn’t want to be letting down a dog that was expecting play time all the time.

I picked out a bulldog-pug mix, Gizmo, who was notorious around he shelter for being lazy, it was a fight to get her to go out on walks. I knew that they would be a great match, but as I was getting Gizmo out of his crate, I noticed one of my co-workers getting out another dog. When asked what she was doing she said that she believed Polly, a very energetic dog would be a great match for him. I told her that he was looking for a lazy dog and that matching him with Polly would not be good for Polly or the man. She believed that sense Polly had been looking to be adopted longer than Gizmo that she should be adopted out.

I asked her if pairing an energetic dog with a lazy man would be a ood idea in her book and she hesitated. Sensing that this was the way to go I then told her that sense Polly is very energetic and the man isn’t very active that it wouldn’t be a good match. If we went through with this match both Polly and the man would be unhappy and Polly would most likely end up getting adopted out again by the man. Using this reasoning I was able to convince her that while Polly had been here longer Gizmo would be the better choice. To this dayI often receive photos and updates about Gizmo and her human, it was a match made in lazy dog paradise.

Now some people might say that because I aven’t taken any animal welfare classes that I’m not actually qualified to be considered a pro or an actual part of this discourse community. It does not matter that I didn’t take any classes because I had real world experience, I was in a shelter doing and learning the things they are teaching in classes. I might not be a pro among vets and people that have gone to school for it but I am considered experienced. I happen to have more knowledge than even the most dedicated of pet owners and even among people who are a good deal into their college lives to become vets or just starting to volunteer.

If I was to start college class about care of animals I might have a leg up on the other students because I have already been a part of a discourse community dedicated to helping animals. With the completion of this paper I can safely say that I know how important it is to possess the title of master of the Ethos, Logos, and Pathos appeals. The ability to successfully use these appeals to communicate with other members and be able to rhetorically appeal to them will help me to succeed in other discuses communities in the future. These include ones I will encounter later on in college, in my future career, and in life in general.

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