Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date

Fall 2019


34 pp.

Conference Name

Association for the Study of Higher Education, Portland, Oregon, November 13-16, 2019


In this analysis, we sought to identify key linguistic properties of mission statements and to explain how these properties function toward managerial purposes. Data included a target corpus of 920 community college mission statements (47,943 words), a domain-specific corpus of 632 “welcome statements” published on websites by community college presidents (173,534 words), and a general reference corpus extracted from the Corpus of Contemporary American English (16.53 million words) (Davies, 2017). We used specialized corpus linguistics software to generate standardized word frequencies and to tag each corpus for parts of speech. We then identified the words and parts of speech that were statistically underrepresented and overrepresented in mission statements compared to each reference corpus. We then interpreted the findings using Fairclough’s (2003) framework for analysis of genre.


0000-0002-9137-9014 (Ayers)

Original Publication Citation

Ayers, David & Brooks, Wanda. (2019). How Do Welcome Statements Differ from Mission Statements?: The Salience of Genre. Paper presented at Association for the Study of Higher Education Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon, November 13-16, 2019.