9 Discourse Analysis Assignment

Discourse Analysis Assignment

General Information

  • The goal of the Discourse Analysis Assignment is for students to learn how to analyze the way that people speak and interact in different settings and for different purposes. By learning to recognize how their discourse choices affect their message, students will understand how to use English and present themselves more appropriately in a variety of casual and academic situations. The assignment has four parts: 1) form a group with 2 or 3 other students, 2) select an appropriate video clip, 3) watch the video and analyze discourse language features, 4) give a group presentation in class which introduces the video and explains the details of the analysis.
  • The presentation is worth 20% of the final grade


  • Students must select a video clip on the internet. The video clip can be a scene with two or more people talking in a TV show or a movie that showcases the interaction between people with different personalities and showing various emotions. The teacher must approve all videos before they can be used. Searching for videos on the YouTube website (https://www.youtube.com) is suggested. The chosen video clip should be at least 6 minutes long to ensure that there will be enough discourse to analyze.
  • Each Group must select 4 (ESL1071), 5 (ESL1072), or 6 (ESL1073) of the following language features to analyze:
  • syntax, lexicon, speech flow, body language, tone of speech, presence, turn taking

Presentation Requirements

  • Each group should prepare a PowerPoint presentation to accompany their spoken presentation. The presentation must be submitted to Canvas before class when presentation is scheduled. The PowerPoint should be professional looking and contain appropriate fonts, colors, and visuals. Each group member should speak for about the same amount of time during the presentation.
  • Presentation Outline Guide – Order of Information

Presentation Outline 


  1. Background information
    1. Briefly describe what the video clip is about and provide enough information about the scene so the setting can be understood.
    2. Introduce the character by describing what kind of person they are.
  2. Preview statement—Overview of the language features being covered.
  • Thesis statement—State if you have a positive or negative opinion of the

character. Are they good at communicating appropriately?


  1. First language feature (e.g., body language)
    1. Aspect being focused on (e.g., hand gestures)
      1. Details – what the characters did
      2. Effect – what effect or impression it created
    2. Aspect being focused on (e.g., movement)
      1. Details – what the characters did
      2. Effect – what effect or impression it created
    3. Second language feature (e.g., lexicon)
      1. Aspect being focused on (e.g., use of technical vocabulary)
        1. Details – what kind of words the characters used
        2. Effect – what effect or impression it created

***The same format should be used for other language features***


  1. Summary statement – Review the main points of the analysis.
  2. Overall analysis—Evaluate the appropriateness of the characters’ discourse choices for the setting.
  3. Concluding statement—End the presentation smoothly.


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