FASS517 Discourse Analysis

Module description

Sessions will be structured around the presentation and discussion of an area of discourse analysis. These include genre and text, modality and evaluation, multimodality and spoken language.  Each week, there will be a key reading, which course participants will be expected to read and think about in advance.  Each session will include a workshop element, in which the approach in focus will be demonstrated and then course participants in small groups will apply it to some of their own data.   

By the end of the course, participants will be familiar with a range of approaches to discourse analysis and the relevance of these to their own work, and will have gained confidence in using this approach in the analysis of texts.

Aims and objectives

  • Introducing multiple approaches in discourse analysis, particularly critical discourse studies, an approach which aims to systematically relate linguistic and semiotic properties of texts to the broader social and cultural contexts of which they are a part, and thereby to contribute to understanding and critique of social problems and inequalities.
  • Identifying key respects in which critical discourse studies differ from other approaches to discourse analysis, and reviewing some criticisms of the approach.
  • Considering the strengths and weaknesses of various approaches, particularly in relation to participants' own research questions and disciplines.
  • Giving participants an opportunity to do small-scale discourse analyses, using samples of their own data or data relevant to their own research.

Reading list

Fairclough, N. (2003), Analysing Discourse: Textual Analysis for Social Research, London and New York, Routledge.

Gee, J.P. (2011), An Introduction to Discourse Analysis: Theory and Method, 3rd Edn.

Jaworski, A. & Coupland, N. (Eds.) (2014) The Discourse Reader 3rd edition (Abingdon: Routledge).

Johnstone, B. (2008) Discourse Analysis. 2nd edition (Oxford: Blackwell).

Jones, R. (2012) Discourse Analysis (Abingdon: Routledge).

Paltridge, B. (2012) Discourse Analysis 2nd edition (London: Bloomsbury).

Renkema, J. (2004) Introduction to Discourse Studies (Amsterdam: Benjamins).

Schiffrin, D., Tannen, D. & Hamilton, H. (Eds.) (2001) The Handbook of Discourse Analysis (Oxford: Basil Blackwell).

Wodak, R. & Meyer, M. (2009), Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis, 3rd edition (London: Sage)


Timing and Location




16/10/17 - 11/12/17

Number of sessions:

9 x 2 hour sessions

Timing and Location:

Mondays, 3.00-5.00, Charles Carter A17


Additional information

Minimum quota: 6

Participants will not be admitted after the first session unless they have given in advance a valid reason as to why they have to miss the first session.