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2016/17 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

LING2500 How Texts Work

20 creditsClass Size: 18

Module manager: Dr Bethan Davies

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2016/17

Pre-requisite qualifications

ENGL1020 or
ENGL1160 or

This module is mutually exclusive with

LING3140Discourse Analysis
LING3500How Texts Work

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

What makes a text a 'text'? This module looks at the resources we use to make meaning at the discourse level, including ways of thinking about non-linguistic resources such as context. This will involve micro-level linguistic analysis, analysis of the medium of communication (spoken, written, multimodal), and the consideration of larger organising structures like genres and scripts and how these all affect the interpretation of text and talk.


The emphasis in this module will be on the practical analysis of authentic texts, through which we will look at the complexity of the relationship between texts, text producers, text interpreters and the context in which the text is situated. The aim of this module is to get students to think about the myriad different aspects that are important to text production and understanding, and how linguistics tries to account for these.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this modules, students should be able to:
- Undertake a basic analysis of a written or spoken text from a number of different perspectives
- Understand that different analytical methods carry different theoretical assumptions
- Select an appropriate analytic method for a text-type/analytical purpose
- Discuss the role of context in the production and interpretation

Skills outcomes
Students will have developed:
- The ability to use a range of analytical methodologies from this field of linguistics
- A greater understanding of the ways in which texts are structured
- A greater understanding of the importance of context to our understanding of texts


This module will cover a broad range of approaches to the analysis of discourse, looking at features within clauses and sentences as well as higher- level structures. It will consider both spoken and written language, seeing the medium of text production as crucial to its design and intended interpretation. Topics covered will include models of conversation (Conversation Analysis, Exchange Structure Model), linguistic features to guide the interpreter (cohesion, information structure), ways of thinking about resources for interpretation (context, genre, coherence) and the importance of the medium (spoken, written, electronically mediated, layout and design).

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours180.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

- 4 hours reading per lecture/workshop (60 hours)
- 15 hours preparation on set readings for seminars
- 20 hours preparation for non-assessed exercises
- 50 hours preparation for essay
- 35 hours preparation for examination.

Students will be expected to undertake independent reading outside of class; guidance will be given on this.
There will also be preparation for the seminar classes and for practical data analysis sessions in lectures.
There will also be substantial individual preparation for the coursework assignment and the exam.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Progress will be monitored through students' contributions to analyses and discussions in both lectures and seminars. They will get verbal feedback on these contributions. They will also be provided with written feedback on their coursework assessment before their exam at the end of the semester.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2500 words50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

Should be scheduled at the same time as LING3500. Resits will take the same format as first sits.

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 18/04/2016


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