Joining a discourse community is something we have all experienced, whether we realized it or not. To earn a position in a discourse community we have to possess accurate knowledge about how they communicate and argue with each other. I used to have a position in part of a discourse community on my high school key club. There I learned to be a leader and was able to establish a reliability to my peers and the people in the other organizations we have helped.
Even though I had done some community service in previous years on my own. This was completely different, in this community not only did I learn to work with others to help the community but also how use ethos, pathos and logos to persuade my peer to help some of the charities that I thought was important.
To join any community, you first have to have knowledge of what the community is about and how they communicate.
During my four years in key club, I learned the importance of appealing to other peoples’ emotions to persuade them to help with our cause whether it be by doing actual physical labor or just donating money. For example, if we were doing a drive for the animal shelter we would have picture of sick or hurt animals on our booth. We would also sometime have the actual animals at the event to emotionally pressure people to donate. Almost all of our causes and campaigns were directed to the viewer’s emotions so they would have the most impact.
At beginning of every month we have an event that’s almost like a debate, where we have to bring our ideas for different causes or fundraisers we will help with. Everyone that brings a new idea can’t say that want to do that certain project because of how they feel about it. They have to give logical reasons. They have to consider and see if the project is something we can accomplish with the amount of people and money have. They also have to consider the it will take to complete the project and whether if it’s reasonable. When I submitted my idea about helping the cook’s children’s hospital I had to seriously consider if it was something that can be done with the means we have. And if it’s something that the members will enjoy doing and will be willing to help.
In terms of ethos, I feel that in key club credibility is everything. In every fundraiser we’ve done was for a certain credible cause. Before starting any of our projects, we have to research our cause or of the organization we want to help. We were even taught to check the credibility of the people running the organization we helped with. If the organization or the people running the organization aren’t credible, then you would be the given the option to do the project with on the key club members or not do it at all. During my junior year I start a project called “Beanies for babies”, where we would crochet or knit baby hats and blankets for the cook’s children’s hospital. Before I could even talk to my key club coordinator about the project I’d have research to show that the organization is credible as well as the people that run the organization. once I had done that I would have to document everything from how much we spent on yarn to how many people we were also required to document everything to show that everything we do for each project, it’s to ensure that no one can question our creditability. When I reflect on my membership in the discursive community of key club, I understand how important it is to master ethos, pathos, and logos. They have not only helped me in key club but also will help me in the future. It four years to learn how to communicate with other members and to persuade them using rhetoric. I know I will use these tools in the future when I join another discourse community.