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    Intended for students enrolling in Discourse Analysis, this syllabus contains information specific to the course. It is a definitive record of the course's primary characteristics and the learning outcomes that a typical student can reasonably be expected to achieve if he/she takes full advantage of the available learning opportunities. This document also serves as a reference for academic and support staff, internal and external examiners, and for future course monitoring and review.


    Course Title

    Discourse Analysis

    Subject Area


    Course Code

    ENGL 50051

    Course Level






    Methods of Delivery



    Expected Length

    5.0 Weeks

    Class Meetings

    Dependent on the choice made during enrollment


    Michael Knight


    Computer Software: Any computer software that aids learning.


    Text 1: DA

    Title: Discourse AnalysisPutting Our Worlds into Words

    Author(s): Susan Strauss and Parastou Feiz

    Edition: 1st

    ISBN: 9780415522199


    This course introduces some major approaches to studying oral and written discourse, providing a forum for evaluating these approaches and the opportunity to utilize discourse analytic methods needed to develop a deeper understanding of written and spoken discourse that is particularly interesting to our students. These approaches will be applied to various contexts, including mass media, popular culture, everyday conversation, various institutional settings, classroom interaction, legal and policy documents, and texts of special interest to seminar participants. 


    Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to:

    • Describe and understand concepts central to discourse analysis, including genre, register, modality, deixis, indexicality, stance, conversation analysis, pragmatics, speech act theory, and critical discourse analysis. 

    • Apply the theory and methodology of discourse analysis to various spoken and written texts. 

    • Record, transcribe, and analyze natural spoken discourse. 

    • Analyze language units beyond the clausal level, such as narratives, conversation, oral history, expository text, and internet discourse. 

    • Identify primary and secondary sources relevant to a formal, written discourse analysis of the chosen text. 

    • Produce a formal, written discourse analysis of a chosen text and present the findings to the public. 

    • Conduct basic grammatical and semantic analyses using corpora and concordance queries. 

    • Understand the intricate relationship between meaning, grammar, and discourse—the basic idea behind the usage-based language model. 

    • Understand how language is socially contextualized and the complex relationship between discourse, society, and ideologies. 

  • WEEK 1

    Module 1

    Discourse, Words, and the World

    Reference(s): DA Ch1

    Module 2

    Discourse Transcription

    Reference(s): Articles

    Module 3

    Genre, Register, Modality, and Participation Framework

    Reference(s): DA Ch3

    WEEK 2

    Module 4

    Discourse Frames & Registers

    Reference(s): Articles

    Module 5

    The Building Blocks of Language

    Reference(s): DA Ch2

    Module 6

    Discourse and Grammar

    Reference(s): Articles

    WEEK 3

    Module 7

    Meaning and Collocation

    Reference(s): Articles

    Module 8

    Reference, Deixis, and Stance

    Reference(s): DA Ch4

    Module 9

    Information Structure, Cohesion, and Intonation Units

    Reference(s): DA Ch5

    WEEK 4

    Module 10

    Discourse Markers

    Reference(s): Articles

    Module 11


    Reference(s): DA Ch6

    Module 12

    Formulaic Social Actions

    Reference(s): Articles

    WEEK 5

    Module 13

    Pragmatics – Implicature, Speech Act Theory, and Politeness

    Reference(s): DA Ch7

    Module 14

    Indexicality, Stance, Identity, and Agency

    Reference(s): DA Ch8

    Module 15

    Critical Discourse Analysis

    Reference(s): DA Ch9


    WEIGHT: 10.0%
    DEADLINE: 23:59 (GMT+0) on Sunday of Week 5

    All students are expected to participate in all types of classroom activities. Regular attendance is required in order to maximize the number of opportunities to engage in classroom activities. Marks are based on the quality of the contributions made rather than the quantity of posts submitted, comments made in class, etc.  


    Students are encouraged to exchange contact information and support one another should any classes be missed. They are advised to contact the course instructor about any concerns they may have.  


    WEIGHT: 30.0%
    DEADLINE: Sunday at 23:59 (GMT+0) of Week 4

    General Information

    Students will be assigned to teams of three or four students. Each team will be assigned one of the starred articles on the schedule and responsible for leading class discussions on that day. Discussion should take 30-40 minutes, briefly summarize the article's main points, address any methodological/practical difficulties raised, discuss the analytical and theoretical implications of the research, and facilitate class discussion of the blog posts for that day. We will work out the teams and articles during the first two weeks of the semester. Each team is welcome to meet with the instructor beforehand to discuss details and any questions. 

    Evaluation Criteria

    To be found in the assignment section on the course website in Nebula.


    WEIGHT: 60.0%
    DEADLINE: Sunday at 23:59 (GMT+0) of Week 6

    General Information

    This must be eight pages (approximately two thousand words), not including references, title page, and appendix. The purpose of this assessment is to determine the level of comprehension and mastery of the material covered over five weeks, focusing on the practical aspects of the course. The deadline to submit this assessment is always on Sunday at 23:59 (GMT+0) of Week 6. The grade is stored in the online grade book. As only one attempt per piece of coursework is allowed, it is highly recommended that students review all course materials and complete some test preparation tasks before attempting the graded assessment. 


    Students are expected to submit an original research paper related to the subject matter of this course. The paper should either be a macro-level analysis of a piece of discourse data, a close analysis of a social action pursued through talk, or a micro-level analysis of a grammatical phenomenon observed in discourse. 

    Evaluation Criteria

    To be found in the assignment section on the course website in Nebula.


    All students are required to participate in all classroom activities, attend classes regularly, and prepare before classes for classroom activities that require advance preparation. Students need to fully appreciate that good attendance results in more opportunities to engage in quality participation, which, in turn, results in a more thorough acquisition of subject knowledge and higher participation grades.

    Participation in classroom discussions and other types of activities indicates that students have read the assigned readings. Grades will not be based on the number of posts submitted or comments made in the classroom but on the overall quality of contributions to discussions.

    If a student is unable to attend 3 or more classes, he/she may be asked to complete additional assignments to complete the course.

    Modes of Attendance
    • For the portions of the course that take place over Microsoft Teams: Students are required to arrive on time and engage appropriately with their fellow students, their teacher(s) and course materials. They must attend with a functional web camera and microphone, have the latest version of Microsoft Teams installed on their computers, avoid attending via a mobile phone or web browser, and have all necessary materials to hand. Also, their cameras must be always switched on, except for occasions when privacy becomes a necessity. In addition, they must be appropriately attired, attend in an environment that will not distract them, their fellow students or their teacher(s), especially avoiding attending while in a vehicle, whether moving or stationary. 

    • For the on-campus portions of the course: The mandatory on-campus session meets as per the AUS Campus Schedule. Good attendance is required to earn credits and pass the course. Students are not permitted to arrive late for class or leave class early. Students traveling from far away locations must plan accordingly, giving themselves plenty of time to arrive by the start of class.  

    Classroom Expectations

    Classes start and end on time, with late entry or reentry allowed only under exceptional circumstances. All phones and electronic devices must be turned off for the duration of a class.


    Students are expected to read assigned materials prior to class. Class discussions are based on their reading of these materials and their reflections on what they have learned and how these relate to their experiences. Assignments are intended to encourage students’ reflection on and synthesis of assigned topics and course discussions.

    Assessments are listed in the course syllabus and are due by the stipulated deadlines. No assessment will be accepted after the day following the day it is due. If an assessment submission is one day late, it will receive an automatic reduction in grade of one letter (for example from an A to a B). After that, no late work will be accepted, and the student will receive an F grade for the assessment.

    Late submission of papers must be approved in advance.


    Students are responsible for understanding the University Policies and how to use resources appropriately. Violations of academic integrity are taken very seriously. Students should revisit the materials on the Orientation session to review important information pertaining to academic citation and referencing rules.


    The university is committed to student welfare and accommodates students with disabilities and those who fall ill. Disability Services (DS) is responsible for accommodating students with disabilities. A student who wishes to be granted a special arrangement due to a disability or illness must request it through DS. Instructors cannot grant such requests without prior DS approval. DS should be contacted as soon as possible to avoid delays in the provision of such an arrangement.

    Because the university takes student privacy very seriously, any medical documentation to support a request for an arrangement to accommodate any special needs connected with a disability or illness should be provided directly to DS. If a student misses any classes due to a short-term illness, he/she should notify his/her instructor, but avoid the inclusion of a doctor's note. Academic staff will not request, accept, or review doctor's notes or other forms of medical documentation. For more information, email


    Ethical considerations restrict how course materials and lectures may be used. Students may not post, publish, sell, or otherwise publicly distribute course materials without the written permission of the course instructor. Such materials include, but are not limited to, lecture notes, lecture slides, video and audio recordings, various types of assignments, examinations, other students’ work, and answer keys. In addition, students are not permitted to use materials prepared by faculty or students for courses that have previously taken place. These materials include, but are not limited to, case write-ups, Research Papers, summaries of readings, answers to Problem Sets, and answers to Academic Discussion topics. Furthermore, making video or audio recordings of class sessions for one’s own use without written permission from the instructor is not permitted. Infringements of the above-listed rules are taken seriously and may lead to disciplinary action, including a requirement to withdraw.


    Additional information can be found on the course website.

    Please note: the syllabus may be modified prior to and during a course, including updates to assignments and additional material.