For anyone approaching discourse analysis for the first time, theory means little when it is not related to actual knowledge and experience of language in use. "Describing Discourse" takes the unique approach of introducing discourse studies through the hands-on analysis of linguistic data.
The book introduces students to specific discourses constructed for particular purposes, for example, from the domains of advertising, law, medicine and education. Each chapter provides examples, exercises and commentary designed to develop the analytical abilities needed in describing the characteristic forms and typical functions of different discourses. At the end of each chapter relevant theoretical approaches (including conversation analysis, enthnology, relevance theory and audience-design) are introduced in relation to the data just analysed.
In this way, "Describing Discourse" provides the ideal entry into the study of discourse for students new to the subject.