Thomas Kuhn’s Knowledge Community
InPenrose and Katz’s “Scienceas a Social Enterprise”,state that the scientists in a discipline makeup a community in whichknowledge would be built, validated and given meaning. The scientificcommunity, like other societies function within a system of beliefsand assumptions that govern the comprehension and perception ofphenomena, the research carried out, techniques used, as well as theform of conclusions that may be drawn and the solutions or treatmentsthat are eventually developed. Often, individuals undergo creativetension when they have a problem that they have no way of solving. Inmost cases, the problem lies in the fact that it is difficult to findthe solution in the individual’s current cognitive framework. Thisis especially considering that the assumptions that an individualmakes pertaining to the problem, the cultural and experimentalcontext within which he or she is working, as well as the expectationthat he or she has pertaining to the solution have a bearing on hisoverall perception. Thomas Kuhn underlines the fact that coming upwith a solution would entail perceiving the problem in an entirelynew context that would enable the individual to come up with thesolution. In “ TheStructure of Scientific Revolutions” Kuhn underlines the notion that the beliefs and assumptions thatinfluence the perception of phenomena by scientists are scienceparadigms, which are tacitly learnt via imitation and observation ofpractitioners and scientists in the field, as well as learnedexplicitly via specific practices, education and textbooks. As muchas paradigms restrict thinking, they offer context and support fordiscovery or rather the backdrop and scaffolding against which theconnection between different elements can be determined. Even ininstances where an individual scientist’s discovery occurs outsidethe dominant paradigm would be dependent on the paradigm so as toperceive the discovery. Prevailing paradigms come in the form of aset of examples, rules and assumptions, and assist researchers in thedefinition of problems within that field and the specification of thetechniques that are allowed in solving the problem, as well as theprediction of the expected results. As social mechanisms, paradigmscome off as checks or even mark the boundaries pertaining toindividual error and personal judgment, thereby enhancing thepossibility of science. This does not undermine the fact that thereare instances where the dominant paradigms are challenged. In suchcases, the scientists would start shifting their assumptions andbeliefs from the dominant paradigms and start taking on issues thatthe new theory creates. This is scientific revolution. Even in suchcases, the emerging or new scientific knowledge has to becorroborated or authenticated by the scientists’ community. Thisnecessitates immense and comprehensive communication regarding theconcepts discovered, with the scientists being required to persuadetheir colleagues about the authenticity and validity of theirdiscovery. Kuhn notes that individual scientists’ findings wouldonly attain the status of scientific knowledge when they are acceptedby the members of the scientific community as being valid andauthentic. Essentially, the process by which scientific knowledge isbuilt would be described via the achievement of consensus pertainingto what is considered to be factual rather than the individual facts.The consensus would be established or generated via scientificarguments, which underlines the importance of debate, argumentationand persuasion.
Thismodel comes in handy in offering an explanation pertaining to howconcepts emerge and become acceptable in a particular field asappropriate. It may be acknowledged that there is no way anydiscovery or concept would be created out of a vacuum rather thescientists have to pin their discoveries on specific elements andestablished paradigms. Indeed, there are rules regarding what wouldbe considered as authentic. In the academic discourse, it is oftenthe case that students will be given assignments that necessitatecomprehensive research so as to make proper and authentic academicpapers. This necessitates that they make a particular assertionaround which their argument would revolve, after which they wouldcome up with research that has already been done on the topic. Ofparticular note is the fact that students are, more often than not,required to make use of academic resources. In determining theauthenticity of particular academic resources, they would have tocomprehend the rhetorical situations of the texts where they askquestions such as the backgrounds of the authors in the subject andthe research methods that have been used, purposes, target audiences,the reception of the texts, genre pertaining to which the author hasdecided to compose the text in, as well as the relevant elements ofthe genre and, lastly, the purpose that the author was attempting toachieve. More often than not, the texts that are used in composingparticular literary works are peer reviewed, in which case theassertions that they make are examined by the community of scientistsin the field and determined to be authentic and valid.
SwalesDiscussion of Genre
Moreoften than not , the examination of the appropriateness of aparticular genre is determined by its validity and acceptance of thediscourse community. This underlines the fact that a particulardiscourse would have to align itself to certain principles andparadigms as dictated in the genre. As Swale notes, the utilizationof the concept of “discourse community” underlines theincreasingly shared assumption that the discourse operates withincertain rules and regulations that are defined by the respectivecommunities, which could be the social groups or the academicdisciplines. There are varied characteristics that are crucial in theidentification of a group of people as comprising of a discoursecommunity. First, discourse communities incorporate a broadly agreedcollection of common public goals. Secondly, discourse communitiesmust incorporate intercommunication mechanisms that the membersapply. Of course, there are variations regarding the participatorymechanisms that individuals in these communities use includingnewsletters, conversations, telecommunications and even meetings. Ofparticular not eis the fact that even in instances where theinformation is shared among individuals, it would not solve thelogical problem pertaining to assigning community memberships toindividuals that neither recognize nor admit the existence of thecommunity. Thirdly, discourse communities utilize their participatorymechanisms in the provision of feedback and information. This meansthat becoming a member of a particular discourse community wouldessentially entail being a consumer of the informationalopportunities. The exchange of information can be used in improvingthe performance of the community or enhance its financial standing.Fourth, discourse communities uses and possesses a particular genrewithin the communicative furtherance of the community’s aims.Discourse communities persistently develop or improve discoursalexpectations. The expectations are established by the genresarticulating the discourse community’s operations. Further,discourse communities must acquire specific lexis. The specializationcould involve the use of lexical items that the wider speechcommunities know in technical and special ways or via the use ofhighly technical terminology as is the case for medical communities.Lastly, discourse communities incorporate a clearly stated thresholdlevel pertaining to the members that have appropriate degree ofdiscoursal expertise and relevant content. These communities alwayshave varying memberships, with the survival of such groups beingsubject to the balance or ration between the experts and novices.
Readingand writing research reports
Moreoften than not, students are tasked with the responsibility of comingup with carefully researched academic papers on which theirperformance will be graded. Even in the professional circles, it isoften the case that scholars come up with journal articles thatexplore specific aspects of their genre. It may be acknowledged thatsuch literary works are often based on earlier research conducted byother scholars. Indeed, it was noted that there are certainconventions and rules by which the academic works of individualswould have to be based. In essence, research article authors wouldhave to borrow from other people’s academic works. Nevertheless,whether an individual paraphrases the texts or takes them as theyare, it is required that he or she gives credit to the originalauthor. Failure to do this would amount to plagiarism, which entailsthe use of other people’s original ideas and passing them as one’sown without giving credit to the original owners of the same. Thiswould amount to academic dishonesty. There are varied reasons why itis required that the individuals give proper credit of other peoples’ideas that they incorporate in their articles. First, the citation ofresearch comes as a disciplinary shorthand that creates a sharedcontext with other research community members (100). In this regard,the writer would be establishing himself as having undertaken thenecessary research pertaining to the issue that he or she wishes toexplore and identifying the gaps that exist in the previous studiesand literary works. In addition, this would be summarizing the stateof knowledge within the field, as well as acknowledging the work ofother experts in the field. It should be noted that in instanceswhere an individual comes up with an original idea or literary work,he or she has copyrights to the idea/work, in which case any otherperson who wishes to use the same would have to seek his permissionor, as happens in the academic discourse, cite the source or originalauthor of the works. Failure to do this amounts to academicdishonesty on the part of the journal article writer and could leadto disqualification. On the same note, such citation would givereaders an idea regarding where to get more information pertaining tothe issue that is under discussion. It is often difficult forindividuals to import entire portions of literary works. Instead,they get the idea and summarize it in a way that would allow them tomake their point effectively. However, the readers may also need toexplore these works aas a way of gaining more knowledge of thesubject, which can only be done if they have access to areas in whichthis topic is comprehensively discussed. Essentially, offering propercitation for the sources of the ideas or texts that have been madewould be imperative in not only demonstrating academic honesty andgiving the basis for the explored ideas, but also give readers a wayof exploring the concept further. This may be connected to rhetoricalsituations, where individuals would have to ask questions regardingthe authors’ expertise in the subject, the research techniques usedin the same, as well as the purposes and target audiences for thesame. This would allow the authors to determine the appropriatenessof incorporating specific texts in his or her literary work. It isnoted that academic works would have to be based on other works thatare reputable and empirically sound, in which case only when suchworks are demonstrated to be based on such texts would they be deemedvalid and authentic.
Moreoften than not, words and ideas have to be joined so as to send aparticular message. Usually, disjointed messages come with disjoinedideas. The concepts of subordination and coordination underlinetechniques for blending clauses, phrases and words to makeconsiderably more complex forms of the same. Coordination, on theother hand, involves the use of conjunctive adverbs and coordinatingconjunctions or punctuations so as to blend short independent clausesinto single sentences. It underlines the balance of elements thathave similar semantic values in sentences. In instances wheresentences are blended or combined together, they have to incorporatesome element of unity and coherence. Coherence underlines the stateof systematic and logical consistency and connection. In essence, thecombining of phrases and words would have to pay credence to theconsistency of the texts so as to send the message.
P.Obox 6446732, Illinois,
Re:Warranty for the Electrical Product
Ipurchased a water heater from you premises in Chicago on 13thDecember 2014. As much as I acknowledged that the product was from areputable company, I insisted that I needed a warranty for the same.I was provided with the warranty for the next one year and was issuedwith a receipt for the same. Two weeks ago, the water heater brokedown for no apparent reason. I have quite a number of otherelectrical products in the house and I measure the electrical voltageevery now and then to determine how proper it is. There have been noerratic changes on the same, least of all when the kettle is on.However, on returning product for repair in your company, I wasinformed that they could not repair it as indicated in the warrantyas the product seemingly had been tampered with.
Ibelieve that that is an escapist way that the company uses to deviatefrom taking responsibilities for the quality of its products. Indeed,in instances where the item has not been damaged , the company has aduty and responsibility to honor its pledge as outlined in thewarranty. Indeed, the kettle has never been used in high voltage ascautioned in the warranty, in which case the company is obligated totake responsibility and either refund my money or repair the kettle,or give me another one at their cost. I am considering taking legalaction on the matter and hoped to get you to honor your obligationsbefore I do. I am waiting for your feedback on the matter.
P.OBox 824366, Chicago.
Re:Application for a job as an Accountant,
Followingyour recent advertisement of a vacancy in your finance department, Ihereby tender my application for the position of an assistantaccountant.
Iam a 2014 graduate from the DHU University, where I was undertaking aBachelors of Commerce, Accounting option. I graduated with a FirstClass Honors in the course. In addition, I have cleared accountancyprofessional exams and am a registered accountant in the country. Ihave tremendous experience in accountancy particularly stock taking,auditing and journal entry, not to mention the fact that I am wellconversant with varied accounting packages such as SPSS andQuickBooks. IN essence, I feel that I am qualified for the post. Iwill be willing to discuss my capabilities and other skills with youin an interview upon being requested to do so. I am hoping to get apositive response from you.
Applicationfor a position in an unrelated field
P.OBox 824366, Chicago.
Re:APPLICATION FOR THE POSITION OF A SALES EXECUTIVE
Iam writing to you regarding the vacancy in the sales department ofyour company which appeared in the local daily on 16thApril, 2014.
Iam a 2014 graduate from the DIOU university college, where I wasundertaking a course in Bachelors of Commerce, Accounting major. Iminored in marketing and graduated with a first-class in the course.I have tremendous experience in sales and marketing having beenworking in the marketing department of Supreme Sounds as a salesexecutive. On the same note, I have been working with XGV electronicsas a sales representative where I managed to streamline the sales andmarketing department to make it effective. Essentially, I haveperfect knowledge of the market and the most appropriate ways ofapproaching the market, not to mention the strategies that can orcannot work. In essence, I believe that I have the perfect capabilityto contribute positively to your company’s bottom-line in both thelong-term and the short-term.
Iwould be willing to discuss with you my qualifications andcapabilities with regard to the advertised position and the positionsthat I have applied for. In essence, I am looking forward to apositive reply from you regarding an interview for the same. Attachedplease, find copies of my resume and academic and professionalcertificates that validate my application. The copies of my resumealso have my address and phone number on which you can get to me atany time. I am hopeful for an opportunity to not only discussparticulars of my qualification but also the contribution that I hopeto make to the company’s bottom-line upon selection andrecruitment.
Reviewof “Writing in the Sciences: Exploring Conventions of scientificdiscourse”
P.OBox 824366, Chicago.
Re:SUITABILITY OF “WRITING IN THE SCIENCES”
Writingis always a comprehensive and fundamental part of the contemporarysociety. It is often used in passing messages, educating andentertaining. Volumes of literature have been written exploring thenumerous aspects of this art, some of which we have used in theclassroom. However, I feel that “writing in sciences” comes asone of the most memorable and comprehensive texts I have ever comeacross.
Thebook is a multi-disciplinary and rhetorical guide that outlines themain genres pertaining to the science of writing including conferencepresentations, grant proposals and research reports, as well asvaried types of public communication. It blends a descriptiveapproach that assists readers in acknowledging the unique featurespertaining to common genres in their fields while concentrating onthe rhetoric, as well as assisting them in undertaking an analysis ofthe why, for whom and how the texts have been created. Moreover, itincorporates numerous samples obtained from real research cases todemonstrate the varied scientific disciplines, as well as audiencesfor scientific research alongside the corresponding variation sinarrangement, focus and style, among other rhetorical dimensions.While this is the case, the book seems a bit advanced and suitableonly for advanced courses rather than general audience, in which caseit may require supplemental theoretical pieces particularly withregard to the social constructionist epistemological approach orstrategy to scientific endeavor. All in all, I feel that it is a goodand appropriate book for the course.
CRITICALREVIEW TO AN AUDIENCE
Thebook “Writingin the Sciences”comes as one of the most appropriate allies for teachers and studentsalike, particularly in instances where they are interested inbecoming excellent writers. In its first part, it ties the role ofcollaboration and that of persuasion in scientific communication. Itmay be noteworthy that the book does not offer writing process theoryalone rather the authors incorporate discussions pertaining to theprocess of reading and writing as they outline varied genders. Thisapproach of imparting knowledge in the students with regard to howthey can write grants and academic journals, make oral presentations,write public policies, as well as the fundamental nature of abstractscomes as extremely crucial information for every student irrespectiveof the discipline that he or she is pursuing.
Inthe second part of the book are sample research cases, which offer awide range of documents that can be had in the scientific fields,referenced all over the book. This provides teachers with numerouspossibilities for moving from the abstract to the applied for writingand discussion assignments. Even better is the fact that the book isnot all gloom rather a large number of these documents are extremelyentertaining and interesting, thereby debunking the perception ofscience writing as dull and dry.
Alfred,Gerald J., Charles T. Brusaw and Walter E. Oliu. Handbook ofTechnical Writing. New York: Bedford, 2012. Print
Haisler,Peter. Howto Write a Good Research Paper.Frederiksberg: Samfunds litteratur, 2011. Print.
Markman,Roberta H, Peter T. Markman, and Marie L. Waddell. 10Steps in Writing the Research Paper.Hauppauge, N.Y: Barron`s, 2001. Print.
Penrose,Ann M and Steven B Katz. Writing in the Sciences: Exploringconventions of Scientific Discourse. New York: Routledge, 2010
Swales,John. “The Concept of Discourse Community.” WritingAbout Writing: A College Reader. Ed.Elizabeth Wardle and Doug Downs. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011