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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

George L. Dillon
ENGL 563
Seattle Campus

Research Methods in Language and Rhetoric

Introduces research theories and methodological approaches in language and rhetoric. Methods and content focus include ethnography, corpus analysis, case study, discourse analysis, rhetorical criticism, and various other qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Class description

Tony McEnery and Andrew Hardie, Corpus Linguistics: Method, Theory, and Practice. CUP, 2012. Anne O'Keefe and Michael McCarthy, The Routledge Handbook of Corpus Linguistics, Routledge, 2010

Over the last decades, interest in Corpus Linguistics has risen sharply as the power of personal computers has burgeoned. It is now possible to build corpora of texts very quickly and to analyze the usage of language in that corpus in a number of sophisticated ways to make patterns apparent that are not otherwise easily seen.

Corpus techniques can also be used to examine usage in various genres/registers including the domains of academic, formal language, or business, news reporting, or fiction of several kinds, or variants by regional or national type. This seminar will concentrate on academic writing (in English) across the disciplines and with emerging national* standards of writing English.

The corpora and tools we will use can all be found on line and are free (including, in the end, corpora you make); one, AntConc, needs to be downloaded and installed on your own computer. You will want to bring your laptop to class every day. No background in statistics is necessary, though it wouild be handy. Along with the readings and discussion of the concepts and issues they present, there will be a goodly number of exercises to practice using the tools. Seminar paper topics might include very partial and preliminary answers to questions like “how different is EuroEnglish?” or “what are plausible sub-domains of Scientific and Technical writing?” or “what kinds of 'I' are used in different academic disciplines?” (Note that most of these do not require making new corpora.)

*or international, in the case of EuroEnglish.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


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 George L. Dillon
Date: 02/14/2014