ATS2683 - The analysis of discourse: Texts, narrative and society - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit



Dr Louisa Willoughby

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


Every day, we engage with a wide range of different text types and speaking situations, from casual conversations with friends to news reports, medical appointments to advertising. In this unit, we explore the typical features of these and other genres. We look in detail at text and conversation structure to uncover their hidden rules and understand what causes common misunderstandings. Students are introduced to different approaches to discourse analysis, including Conversation Analysis, Critical Discourse Analysis and Interactional Sociolinguistics, and reflect on the appropriateness of each approach for analysing different types of data and answering different types of research questions.


On successful completion of this unit, a student will be able to:

  1. Understand and apply key terms and concepts used in discourse analysis
  2. Show a developed understanding of the linguistic features that define different types of texts
  3. Articulate key differences between two or more approaches to discourse analysis
  4. Describe in detail the ways in which English speakers use paralanguage cues (such as pitch, stress, pauses, laughter) to convey meaning in conversation
  5. Outline common rhetorical strategies used to develop coherence and cohesion within a text
  6. Apply their knowledge in an extended analysis of a text of their own choosing


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Two gateway units in Linguistics