Medicine are essential ingredients to a healthy lifestyle; therefore, it is crucial that individuals that take them should have a way to learn more about what they are putting into their bodies. That’s why there exist a discourse community of health professionals specializing in drugs that can help educate their audience, the consumers, in what they know in this field. Since the targeted audience are typically novices in the field, it is hard for professionals in the health department to explain their understanding of the topic using a long and complicated science paper, which they are accustomed to. In this sense, blogs are used as a better alternative for communication between these two parties because it is easier to understand and simpler to read for the newcomers. However, like how papers are written differently for each genre, blogs too have a distinct style that’s specially designed for each discourse community. This is because even though blogs are more informal and are shorter than science papers, they still maintain the core elements that is focused solely for those within this field. Thus, it is necessary to learn how this discourse community write their blogs before starting one yourself. Simply put, an individual in a discourse community must learn how to communicate their values before informing their audience in what those ideals are.
To understand how blogs are written in my discourse community I had to search and read various entries posted by them across the internet. There is no clear procedure to finding sources for blog in this topic, so I went with the general approach of utilizing the help of google by typing in the term “Professional Blogs Drugs.” Then I had to go through each link that popped up one by one and chose three blogs I deemed to be closely related to my topic of interest from authors with credible backgrounds. Notes were then taken on key points I found important throughout each entry. I then pooled all the notes together for comparison purposes. Techniques, characteristics, word choices, style, and any features that commonly appeared across the blogs chosen were highlighted for further analyzation.
Blogs written from health professions tends to provide their sources using hyperlinks embedded into their examples. This way, it is easier for the readers to access each individual example to verify the credibility of the source and provide the opportunity for them to conduct their own background research of the topic. Another key finding is that blogs from these discourse community always bring up definitions and background information when using unfamiliar words to show that they are conscious of who their audience are and do so in order to help them stay on track. Blogs of this community also share the common feature of beginning with some staggering statistics that is relevant to the rest of the blog to grab the readers attention. This both serve as an engagement mechanism and an urgency for the topic.
The blog writers from these types of communities are from scientific backgrounds therefore, they heavily rely on peer-reviewed research articles to back up their claims. Furthermore, these sources are dense and can be very complicated to understand without prior understanding of the subject, making it hard to present the materials to a general audience. However, with blogs it is much easier to present this data because it utilizes a more informal type of writing style different from science papers. For example, the blog by PokitDot Team demonstrated this with the use of hyperlinks in their quote “as Melissa Etehad and Kyle Kim at the Los Angeles Times report, people in countries such as Great Britain and Italy spend $5,000 less per year on their healthcare.” The info provides the main take away from the source while the embedded link navigates the audience directly to the source for the full story. This unique feature of blogs that allows for the usage of hyperlinks enables the audience a way to verify the credentials of the source themselves. In addition, audience are granted to access to more in-depth details of the topic. It is important to note that hyperlinks are essentially another document within the blog. Health professionals takes advantages of this convenient method because it allows the audience to do their own background check to confirm the sources credibility, intrigues them with further info, easy to use, and ultimately, saves the blogger’s time from explaining too much detail so that they can keep the formatting of the blog simple and concise.
The usage of definitions and background info are also essential elements of these blogs because the discourse community is writing to educate their audience who aren’t as well-versed in the subject matter as they are. This was seen in Tuntide’s blog when he explains how drugs are metabolized by mentioning that it “is the process by which the body changes the structure of the drug to make it easier to excrete.” Like other writers from health-related topic blogs, this author regularly defines words and concepts throughout his paper. This is important because the author is keeping in mind that his/her audience are novices in his field so, rather than using big words and assume the audience knows what’s going on, he slows down and thoroughly explains it to them so they’re on the same page. Explanations are relevant in that they can keep the audience from getting lost and it may also allow the writer to showcase their knowledge which can translate into the validity of the author’s words.
The last thing found commonly in many of my discourse communities’ blogs is that they always begin with an impactful statistical finding relevant to the topic they are about to present. The reason data is executed in this way is because it can be used as a shock value to draw in the reader’s attention and provoke a reason for the audience to read about their topic. One of INdiana Systemic Thinking’s blog demonstrated this by opening with statics where 17 billion dollars were spent on anti-depressants and anti-psychotic drug, which alone accounted for more than 13 percent of the total amount of consumers spent on prescription drugs in 2005. In this statistical example, the large amount of money reported along with the illness opens the blog with a shocking revelation that can trigger concern for the audience. The values alone can already indicate to the readers that depression and bipolar disorder are more serious than it is thought to be as it takes up a majority consumer’s spending and variety as a drug. After the attention is drawn from the reader and the topic’s importance is confirmed, the author can continue to build on from this point with the rest of the blog.
In my research of how to write blogs for my discourse community, I’ve discovered three key findings that are prevalent in each source. The first finding is that hyperlinks are necessary for credibility and connecting audience a more detailed description of the topic. The next discovery was that supplying background information and definitions was needed to help the audience digest the reading so that that the blog can flow smoothly for them. The last thing is that blogs often introduce a conspicuous statistical fact that is associated with the rest of the paper to draw in the reader’s attention as to why they should read the blog. Science-related topics are hard to communicate to those outside of this field, therefore health professions turn to blogs because they are simpler and easier to connect with their readers. Each of these key findings all serves the purpose to further make the blogs more conversation-like while keeping the professional elements expressed in science papers. Lastly, the process of writing blogs not only help blend in with the audience outside of the health field, but also improve the blogger’s writing ability as they experience this new style.