2. Justify, as relevant to the particular texts/discourses under study, the selection of analytical tools for the analysis of language patterns of texts discourses.

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Analysing Discourse 

Assessment Brief

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Analysing Discourse (Campus)









Task description:

For this assignment, you will submit a research plan for the text/discourse analysis that you will submit as your second assignment. You should read second assignment brief before starting to work on assignment one, in order to have a clear sense of what you will be asked to do for assignment two. This assignment is worth 10% of your final mark and the length is 500 words (+/- 10%).

Your research plan should include:

  1. Brief introduction: explain the aims of your analysis and the rationale. What is your central research question?
  2. Data: which data do you want to analyse and why is this interesting/important?
  3. Tools: which tools do you intend to use and why are these the most appropriate for your analysis?
  4. Relevant literature: add a short reference list including the main literature you intend to use, briefly explaining why this is relevant to your study (5 sources max).

You can use the subheadings above to structure your assignment.

The feedback you receive for this assignment will help you prepare your report on textual analysis. This means that some of the plans you mention in the research project may change based on this feedback (e.g., you may want to choose different texts or additional texts or modify the tools of analysis). This is not a problem – in fact you are encouraged to incorporate the feedback in the second assignment.

How to select your data and analytical tools
a)      You should select suitable text(s)/discourse(s) which will allow you to address your research question(s). You can choose any kind of text/discourse that you like. You may choose one lengthier text/discourse and use your analysis to offer an explanation of it. You may instead choose a small number of texts/discourse and analyse them in the spirit of ‘compare and contrast’.

b)      The data you choose can be from any text genre, so long as it is in English. You can choose text genres which have been presented in the module (newspaper texts, advertisements, user generated comments online, courtroom discourse, educational texts, etc.) or ones that have not been (literary texts, instructional texts, speeches, etc.). You can run your texts by a member of the teaching team, if you are not sure if they are suitable.

c)      Then you should select suitable analytical tools which will allow you to try produce a suitable answer to the research question you have designed. Analytical frameworks which can be used are those which are discussed on this module: transitivity, conceptual metaphor, mood, modality, im/politeness, appraisal, theme-rheme, cohesion.

PLEASE NOTE: The text(s) that you choose to analyse should not amount to more than 2000-3000 words in total, and you can use one or more tools of analysis, but we recommend that you choose a maximum of two analytical frameworks to analyse your data.

Please include the full texts in the Appendix; you should only use excerpts in-text to show examples of your analysis.

Assignment support


  • In Consolidation week, you will be able to review the key themes encountered so far and start thinking about what texts you will choose for your final assessment.
  • In Tutorial week, you will have the opportunity to start thinking about how you will analyse your texts and discuss these with your lecturers.
  • In assessment submission week, you will have dedicated time to work on your assignment.

Is a reference list required?

Please refer to Referencing @ Portsmouth

Marking criteria

  • Selection of texts
  • Selection of tools
  • Ability to justify the choice and relevance of sources
  • Referencing
  • Logical organisation and clarity of writing

This assessment will evaluate the following Learning Outcomes:

1. Select appropriate analytical tools for the analysis of language patterns across the course of whole, authentic texts/discourses
2. Justify, as relevant to the particular texts/discourses under study, the selection of analytical tools for the analysis of language patterns of texts/discourses.

Completing this assessment will help you develop the following professional skills:

Analytical skills
Critical thinking
Writing skills

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