Spring 2024 - ENGL 470W D100

Seminar in the English Language (4)

Class Number: 4883

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 8 – Apr 12, 2024: Fri, 12:30–4:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units including at least one upper division English course, or permission of instructor. Reserved for English honours, major, joint major and minor students.



Advanced seminar in linguistic, pragmatic, historical and social theories of the English language. The course may be repeated for credit if a different topic is taught, though students who obtained credit for English 470W prior to Summer 2015 may not take this course for further credit. Students with credit for ENGL 470 may not take this course for further credit. Writing.


Discourse Analysis

In discourse analysis, investigators aim to explain why a stretch of discourse, an actual instance of communicative action in the medium of language, is shaped in its particular way. In the effort to answer this question, they consider many of its facets: its structure, its participants, its prior texts, its medium, and its purpose. By exploring these facets, they pay close and systematic attention to the data, working to develop a revealing description and explanation of a particular stretch of discourse. In this class, we work with a heuristic that supports this kind of investigation, we see how others have used this sort of approach in their published research, and we practice doing discourse analysis with a variety of data. We pay sustained attention to the details and structures of English as it is used in particular texts. This is a research methods course, so the focus is on practice, on gaining experience using a method. We work with data of many kinds--spoken and written, more and less planned--and students practice using discourse analysis to make their own discoveries.


  • Analysis paper 30%
  • Test 15%
  • Inquiry paper 40%
  • Drafts 5%
  • Participation 10%



Selected articles, available on Canvas.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

IMPORTANT NOTE Re 300 and 400 level courses: 75% of spaces in 300 level English courses, and 100% of spaces in 400 level English courses, are reserved for declared English Major, Minor, Extended Minor, Joint Major, and Honours students only, until open enrollment begins.

For all On-Campus Courses, please note the following:
- To receive credit for the course, students must complete all requirements.
- Tutorials/Seminars WILL be held the first week of classes.
- When choosing your schedule, remember to check "Show lab/tutorial sections" to see all Lecture/Seminar/Tutorial times required.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html