Essay on Intertextuality and Discourse Community



Essay on Intertextuality and Discourse Community

Writers belong to specific discourse communities. They participate in a discourse that has its own unique and collective meaning. Additionally, the ideas they present are not entirely original but can be traced to previous texts. James Porter has written an article titled “Intertextuality and Discourse Community.” The purpose of this memo is to provide a detailed analysis of his work while focusing on the terms he uses.


Porter’s overall purpose is to present his view of writing. He argues that there is no piece of writing that can be regarded as the original work. Generally, he discusses intertextuality. In framing his informative work, the author uses several terms and concepts, which include “intertextuality”, “iterability”, “presupposition”, ” socialized writer”, and “traces”.

Porter uses the word “intertextuality” to imply that all texts rely on past works that give then meaning. Therefore, the concept is used by the author to denote that there is no original written work. Instead, all written works are as a result of tasteful compilation of previous texts. The author defines iterability as replication of specific textual fragments such as allusions or quotations (Porter 35).

Analysis-essay on Intertextuality and Discourse Community  

Based on Porter’s article, it is evident that the expectations that readers influences writing. Most readers evaluate a piece of writing on the basis of its acceptability within their community. Consequently, all writing must contain “traces”, which are the bits and pieces borrowed from other writers within a given discourse community. Intertextuality plays a crucial role in creating writing arguments and formulating rhetorical choices. Therefore, it gives a text’s setting more significance while making the author’s intentions less significant. Intertextuality is valuable to writers since it helps them to familiarize with a given community’s social context and to eventually become socialized (Porter 42). They can then recognize and appreciate the characteristics of their discourse community and advance arguments that none of its members will feel alienated.

Discourse and Application-essay on Intertextuality and Discourse Community  

An example of a text that uses intertextuality is “Last Friday Night” video by Katy Perry. All the characters depicted in the video wear clothes that resemble those worn in the 1980s. The artist creates a film-like influence. She uses intertextuality to create a deeper understating of the text. In the video, Katy stares at “Friendplace”, which symbolizes Facebook and therefore reflects the discourse community of youths who make up her audience. Intertextuality exists between the films “The Empire Strikes Back” and “The Guardians of Galaxy”. In one scene, the Guardians are attacked by drones. In this situation, Star Lord runs into the asteroid field. The scene is similar to the one in which Han Solo goes around an asteroid to avoid Imperial fighters in The Empire Strikes Back. The play titled “A Tempest” by Aime Cesaire is based on Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.” Aime presents a post-colonial version of the play. Additionally, the occupation and race of actors have been altered. He uses intertextuality to advance certain themes such as colonialism and slavery. It reflects the discourse community by referring to a great and famous piece of literature.

Moving Forward

To succeed in writing, it is important to avoid viewing it as being isolated since this would create unrealistic expectations. Students should understand their discourse community. Once they are socialized, they can successfully write within their specific social settings. Additionally, we should not be afraid of borrowing ideas from other writers. However, we must ensure that we do proper citation. Our writing would lack enough meaning if we failed to borrow from the ideas of other writers.