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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Amoshaun Phynn Toft
COM 470
Seattle Campus

Discourse: Analyzing Talk and Texts

A critical and practical introduction to contemporary theories/methods in discourse analysis: how verbal communication (together with visual communication) is used in conversational talk and mediatized texts to construct identities and relationships; and how power and ideology are reproduced through these everyday social interactions. Offered: jointly with LING 470.

Class description

This course provides an overview of theoretical and methodological approaches to discourse analysis. We will cover a range of issues pertaining to the study of language in use, including: the relationship between social theory and empirical research; the role of the researcher and research ethics; power and the politics of naming; inductive, deductive, and retroductive research design; and using numbers in qualitative research.

Students will learn to use a set of tools for grammatical and lexical analysis, perform collaborative research tasks, and produce original research that interrogates the ways that language structures relationships, identities, and societies.

Student learning goals

Familiarity with social theories of importance in the field of discourse analysis

An understanding of the range of methods for analyzing discourse

Ability to analyze written, visual, and auditory discourse samples

Fluency in considerations of importance in research design, sampling, and database production

General method of instruction

The course will take the form of short lectures, multimedia exemplars, and in-class activities.

Recommended preparation

Students should bring an interest in language and representation. Experience in communication, linguistics, research methods, or social theory are particularly welcome, but not required.

Class assignments and grading

Assignments will be a combination of method-based activities, writing assignments, and exams.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Amoshaun Phynn Toft
Date: 02/03/2012