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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ENGL2023 Power of Language

20 creditsClass Size: 67

School of English

Module manager: Dr Mel Evans

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Pre-requisite qualifications

Students wishing to take this module must have passed an introduction to language study in the School of English or another department (such modules include ‘English Structure and Style’, ‘Analysing English’, ‘English: Context, Culture & Style’, a Level 1 module in Linguistics and Phonetics, or similar modules in other departments in Modern Languages.) If you do not meet this requirement, but do have a Grade A in English Language A-level, and you wish to take this module, you must consult the module tutor, as should any student who is uncertain whether they meet the pre-requisite requirements.

Please note: This module is restricted to Level 2 and 3 students.

This module is mutually exclusive with

ENGL3274The Power of Language, the Language of Power

Module replaces

ENGL3274 Power of Language, Language of Power

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module aims to familiarise students with the linguistic means by which a whole range of persuasive texts can be analysed. We will also be considering the use of English language as a powerful tool in itself. We will investigate a range of discourse types and theoretical approaches including but not restricted to analysis of: advertising, journalistic and political texts, consideration of stylistic and rhetorical features, examination of linguistic creativity and language 'play', techniques for revealing a text's underlying ideological stance and bias, sociolinguistic examination of power relationships and the effect this has on language.


On completion of this module, students will be able to:
- analyse linguistically and stylistically a wide range of discourse and text types
- understand the power of language to move the emotions and inspire a response
- gain an understanding of the basic concepts of style and rhetoric
- be able to explore critically and evaluatively issues of emotive manipulation, bias, ideology and power
- analyse a corpus of texts both quantitatively and qualitatively

Learning outcomes
Students will have developed:
- the ability to use written and oral communication effectively;
- the capacity to analyse and critically examine diverse forms of discourse;
- the ability to manage quantities of complex information in a structured and systematic way;
- the capacity for independent thought and judgement;
- critical reasoning;
- research skills, including the retrieval of information, the organisation of material and the evaluation of its importance;
- IT skills;
- efficient time management and organisation skills;
- the ability to learn independently.

Skills outcomes
• Ability to acquire quantities of complex information of diverse kinds in a structured and systematic way.
• Ability to analyse large bodies of data using corpus methodologies
• Ability to synthesise and interpret diverse range of data and text types
• Ability to undertake both quantitative and qualitative analysis
• Skills for effective communication (oral & written)
• Capacity for independent thought and judgement


This module is concerned with two inter-related themes. (1) We shall examine a range of discourse types in order to understand the power of language to move the emotions and to inspire an aesthetic response. Basic concepts of style and rhetoric will be discussed, and issues of linguistic creativity and language 'play' explored. (2) Such creativity, however, is also associated in history with those in power or with power. So we shall also be exploring issues of emotive manipulation, bias and ideology in such discourses as advertising, journalism and political oratory. A broader sociolinguistic perspective will underpin discussions of power relationships in social interactions.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours172.00
Total Contact hours28.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Reading and research using module reading list, lecture follow-up, seminar preparation, and wider reading and research within and beyond the module description.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Contribution to seminars
- Feedback on 1,700-word essay
- Feedback on presentation

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2,000 words60.00
PresentationPowerPoint presentation40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Students must submit/sit and pass all elements of assessment. Students who fail any element (even as a result of penalties) will have to resit the failed element in order to pass the module.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 17/10/2022


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